Red Deer in the middle of the pack for investing options

A business that specializes in real estate investment research and education has ranked Red Deer in the middle of the pack when it comes to investment options in Alberta.

A business that specializes in real estate investment research and education has ranked Red Deer in the middle of the pack when it comes to investment options in Alberta.

The Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) has Red Deer tied for sixth place with St. Albert on a list of 11 communities. Edmonton tops the rankings, followed by Calgary, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc and Airdrie. Rounding out the list are Cold Lake, Lloydminster, Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie.

In a report accompanying its rankings, REIN pointed out that Red Deer benefits from having a strong oilfield servicing sector.

“With over 250 manufacturers located in the Red Deer area, nearly every component used in the oil and gas industry is manufactured within the city,” it said. “These job opportunities have led to an influx of people from across Canada, helping to support one of the strongest rental and real estate markets in the province.”

The report noted the existence of a large petrochemical complex nearby, as well as a strong agriculture and agri-processing sector. It added that more than 86 per cent of Alberta’s population is within a two-hour drive of the city — opening the door for warehousing and distribution opportunities.

“In 2012, there were over 600 transportation and warehousing companies in the greater Red Deer region.”

The report also described the city as a business-friendly community, noting that in 2013 KPMG ranked Red Deer as the second most entrepreneurial mid-sized city in Canada.

The authors of the REIN report said they’re optimistic about the outlook for Red Deer, particularly with the city’s diversified economy and prospects for job growth. Employment opportunities will result in population increases, and rising housing and rental values, they said.

REIN’s rankings were based on five criteria — economic risk, yield growth potential, political climate, accessibility and investors’ insights — with a number of indicators considered under each of these categories. Red Deer earned 39 out of a possible 50 points, with Edmonton accumulating 45, and Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray 36 each at the other end of the spectrum.

The REIN report spoke glowingly about the investment potential of Alberta as a whole. It said GDP and employment growth should boost demand for housing and real estate values.

Based in Langley, B.C., REIN performs research, analysis and investor education for more than 2,700 members.

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