Buying real estate in Alberta

5 Replies

I am new to real estate and own one property in Grande Prairie, AB. I am currently focused on buy and hold strategy.

Due to COVID-19 and oil prices, Alberta economy has suffered badly. I am not very knowledgeable about cycles of Alberta economy but is this normal? 

Should I take it as an investment opportunity as prices will recover in next few years as it always did? Or should I stay away from the market as there will be an era of high vacancy rates where buy and hold won't be viable?

Thanks in advance!

@Muhammad Tariq   It depends on where you are in Alberta.  Some areas are not as dependent on oil as others.  Try investing in another part of the province.  Lethbridge still has lots of construction and prices are fairly stable.  If you are getting into student rentals, I might wait a bit to see what happens with universities in the fall.

Hi Theresa,

Thanks for your advice.

I am based in Grande Prairie and the market here does get affected with oil prices.

I am new to real estate investing. Is it a good idea to look into long distance opportunities like Lethbridge or should I gain experience in town first?

Originally posted by @Muhammad Tariq :

Hi Theresa,

Thanks for your advice.

I am based in Grande Prairie and the market here does get affected with oil prices.

I am new to real estate investing. Is it a good idea to look into long distance opportunities like Lethbridge or should I gain experience in town first?

 It depends on where you are.  I have rentals locally and in another town.  I bought the ones in another town because I want to retire there in ~10 years and the market there has increased a lot unless where I currently live.  So to keep up with that market, I bought rentals.  If buying in another location that is not in easy driving distance, make sure you have a good property manager who can oversee everything.

@Muhammad Tariq I think GP is great place to invest we have all our properties here. There is an upside to the market rebounding for sure but I think investing here is a safe bet 2 as grande prairie services the whole North West side of alberta and even could argue North East side of BC so even though population is fairly low in GP their are hundreds of thousands of people in the surrounding areas that need Grande Prairie and its services which will help it get through the tough times. I also see a huge advantage to starting in your own area gaining the experience of being close and dealing with all the issues in person instead of just hiring someone to do if for you and take huge amounts away from you profits

I recommend reading Secrets of the Canadian Real Estate Cycle by Don Campbell to understand it better. It will give you a lot more confidence on what to do once you understand the various indicators and influencers in a particular market.

I can't comment much on GP, as my expertise is in Edmonton. 


As a new investor, you can start local or invest from a distance. Pros and cons to both. If you do decide to invest out of town,  but stay in Alberta, I would suggest sticking to Alberta's top ten towns* (according to research done by Real Estate Investment Network):

1. Edmonton
2. Calgary
3. Leduc
4. Fort Saskatchewan
5. Lethbridge
6. Okotoks
7. Red Deer
8. Medicine Hat
9. Airdrie
10. Lacombe

*as of March 2020