2012 has been an incredibly active year for Canadian real estate, building on the momentum of the previous 12 months but with a few very interesting new twists which are sure to play out even more dramatically in the coming year. Canada rolled in 2012 as one of the world&#x27s top real estate investment destinations with a choice of incredibly attractive markets. Nationally, housing and commercial real estate have continued to perform considerably well, especially in the first three quarters of the year, with Calgary holding it&#x27s crown as the top global investment hot spot. Of course, this has also been a year of ongoing global uncertainty from the U.S. presidential election to the fiscal cliff and a series of troubles in Europe, while the BRIC collective has failed to deliver the performance many expected. This has all added to the surge in Canadian real estate investment throughout the year, which isn&#x27t expected to slow down anytime soon. Unfortunately, the nation&#x27s popularity and success also lead to the government making a series of €˜precautions&#x27 to prevent overheating. Many of course would argue that these moves, especially the new mortgage rules were far too much and merely a copycat of the horrible decisions made in the U.S. which caused and prolonged the crises there. This has resulted in cooling off of some old favorites like Toronto and Vancouver with ongoing debates about whether these cities will experience isolated property crashes. This and the strength of the Alberta economy has continued to push savvy Canadians and real estate investors into the province for jobs, better deals on homes, and better investment returns. However, perhaps most surprising to some and most significant has been the arrival at the pivot point where Edmonton has begun to overtake Calgary as the preferred destination of incoming residents, businesses and investors. Edmonton has long offered more value and affordability but with an array of new development in the works and a need for Canadians to escape tougher times elsewhere and investors to find a safe harbor and high yields we are seeing an explosion of interest and action. Edmonton is firing on all cylinders, offering low unemployment, rising wages, affordable properties, great cap rates and perhaps the most significant potential for capital growth and property appreciation as we roll in to 2013.

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