This blog covers four of the top cities in Alberta for buying real estate. However, Lethbridge is also great for real estate buyers become inventory numbers are …
Why is Canada so poor?
Canada is actually one of the richest countries in the world. It ranks lower than the US in terms of per-capita income, but you have to realize the quality of life in Canadian cities is far higher than in US cities. The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked three Canadian cities (Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary) as being among the top ten cities in the world for livability.
Australia also had three cities in the top ten (it helps to be a huge, underpopulated country with efficient police and gun control) The top US city was Honolulu, Hawaii at #19, but no other US city made the top 30. US cities got badly downgraded for high crime rates, mass murders, terrorist activities, bad race relations, urban poverty, poor police protection, and generally poor government. You don’t have to put up with these kinds of things in Canadian cities, although average incomes might be somewhat lower.
You do have to put up with extraordinarily high house prices in Toronto and Vancouver, but that is just because foreign multimillionaires have discovered these places and are bidding up house prices. Mostly this is because they want a second place to live in case the SHTF in their home country. Both Vancouver and Toronto have put in restrictions and extra taxes on foreigners buying property there. Calgary is still relatively cheap and welcoming to outsiders but, as most Canadians know, there are a lot of other nice cities to live in in Canada that haven’t been discovered by foreign multimillionaires.
The US has a higher average income than Canada, but you have to realize that this is concentrated in the top 1% of the population. The bottom end of the income scale isn’t doing that well and is really suffering. They don’t even have universal health care, competent police, or gun control in the US. Canada doesn’t really have this problem because the income distribution is much flatter and the social safety net is much better, particularly for health care. “Peace, order, and good government” are written into the Canadian constitution as rights for all of the people.
If you drive across the US, you can really see how things are going there. Much of the country is descending into third world status. My wife and I drove through Aspen Colorado, where the average house price is $2.8 million, and my wife had a really bad reaction to the place, particularly the large number of private jets parked at the airport. We had to get out of there as quickly as possible due to her allergic reaction to it. She couldn’t stand that much affluence. She can’t even stand the affluence at our place in Canmore, Alberta, which is less than half as affluent as Aspen. However, once we drove across the mountain range to Leadville, Colorado, where the average house price is about 1/10 of Aspen, her reaction went away. She began to feel really sorry for average working Americans. It was trailer town America.
Then we drove through Craig, Colorado, which is noteworthy for having the largest coal mine and power plant in Colorado. When we checked into the hotel, the manager asked, “Why did you come here?” Well, it was on the map on a direct route to where we were going, and we wanted to see what it looked like. It was a combination coal mine and truck stop. She picked up a coffee as we drove out of town, and a local real estate agent asked her, “Why did you come here?” She said, “We wanted to see the real working-class America”, and the woman said, “Well, honey, you’ve found it!” and bought her the coffee.
Since then the coal mine has gone bankrupt due to Obama’s clean energy program, and no doubt things are a now lot worse. It’s working-class America without any jobs. That is probably one of the reasons Trump ended up being president, not that it is going to do working-class Americans any good.
That’s the US, in Canada we don’t have these problems. The “2008 global economic crisis” was more of an economic speed bump in Canada, entirely due to the downturn in the US economy, and while nobody is really rich, nobody is really poor either and if they are poor the government helps them out. Immigrants are welcome because, although there are huge numbers of them, they are not really a problem. The country just keeps moving along being neither rich nor poor while the other major countries lurch from crisis to crisis.
Australia is somewhat similar, except it completely skipped over the 2008 global economic crisis due to not having much trade with the US, or Europe either.