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It’s time for another edition of our weekly column from the A-Team. Here is some important news for the week.

Although the provincial government has announced oil production cuts to start next year, Suncor plans to increase its output, albeit within the set limits:

Suncor to increase production by 10 per cent in 2019

The company said the increase in production includes estimated mandatory production curtailments. It added that their initial production cap has actually been made higher than the 8.7 per cent announced in early December, but wouldn’t say by how much.

In a statement released on Dec. 14, it said the higher cap “creates several potential unintended consequences,” including an impact on safe and reliable operating levels. It’s reviewing various issues it feels are impacted by the cap with the province and the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).

Suncor also announced a 2019 capital program between $4.9 and $5.6 billion dollars. Via mymcmurray.com

From 730,000 barrels a day in 2018, next year’s output will increase to at least 780,000 (and a maximum of 820,000).

Regarding the local economy, unemployment fell below 6%, the lowest it has been in the region since before the 2014 oil crash:

Local unemployment drops to 2014 levels, retail and resource jobs continue dropping

Statistics Canada data released Friday pegged the unemployment rate at 5.3 per cent for November, the lowest number since December 2014.

Despite the drop, the region still lost 900 jobs from October, with 700 full-time jobs lost and 200 part-time positions lost.

Compared to the same period last November in 2017, 1,500 full-time jobs have been lost and 1,700 part-time positions have been lost. Via fortmcmurraytoday.com

The Statistics Canada report adds that most job losses have been in mining and natural resources, with retail in second.

The Fort McMurray REALTORS® released the November report this week, showing a (seasonal) month-to-month slowdown:

Report: Homes Sold See Monthly Decrease, Housing Market Still Going Strong

A total of 30 properties were sold – down from the 36 in 2017.

The average price for each was $573,625, down from $593,141 at the same time last year.

Overall, 2018 has been a good year for buyers and sellers as the number of sales are up 13 per cent. Via mix1037fm.com

Regarding the topic, we recently analyzed the state of the market for local sellers, and what they can expect. Give it a read here.

That’s all for this weeks’ roundup. Check back on The A-Team blog for more news and updates on Fort McMurray.

Disclaimer: The A-Team is a team of associates at Walsh Real Estate (2010) Ltd o/a RE/MAX® Fort McMurray, 9919 Biggs Avenue, Fort McMurray, Alberta, T9H 1S2. Each office is independently owned and operated. The licensed associates are Tom Albrecht, Breanna Albrecht, Denise Hildebrand, Aaron Chalmers, Heather McCandless, and Rita Sobkowich. Eric Dunham, mortgage specialist with RBC®, is not affiliated. We also recommend Amanda Stuart at TD Bank® and Mariam Fawaz at Mortgages for Less®.

Licensed and Regulated by the Real Estate Council of Alberta.