Danielle Millar from the Oil Sands Investor Abroad blog posted a great clip from 20/20 about the price of gas in the US. I should also point out that gas is cheaper in the US than here in Canada, and much cheaper than in the UK, EU or a lot of other places on the planet. (I do drive a half-ton pickup, so higher gas prices are no fun, regardless of ‘relative cost’)
I do know that higher gas prices are already having a major impact on automotive sales, and will accelerate people’s eventual migration away from petroleum based transportation. I’m personally a big fan of the Edmonton west LRT expansion, even though it’ll be less than 3 blocks from my parent’s house. I’ve lived in the UK, and traveled in Europe, and it’s a great way to move people.
When it comes to Alberta real estate, and for Edmonton in particular, this is no big deal. The eventual shift to more efficient cars, and "cleaner" industries is not going to kill the growth of Alberta’s economy, which is actually more diverse than you’d think if you’re not from Alberta. Yes, Oil and Gas are important drivers for the current Alberta economy, but global demand goes far beyond North American car buying preferences. The billions of dollars that have been invested in Alberta oil sands development, and in oil and gas exploration across Western Canada are going to stay, and they’ll be the spring board for a robust long term economy. Just look at how much construction is going on at my alma matter, the University of Alberta.
Remember, Canada’s West has the three things the world needs: Food, Fuel and Fertilizer.
That’s set of economic fundamentals that aren’t going to change anytime soon, and yet another reason why Alberta’s cities and towns like Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer and Fort MacMurray are great places to buy long term real estate.