Trend to boost multi-fam­ily de­mand

More row houses, apart­ment units be­ing built

Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - CLAIRE YOUNG

Con­struc­tion starts of mul­ti­fam­ily homes in Cal­gary grew in Novem­ber, but eased dur­ing the first 11 months of the year com­pared to the same pe­ri­ods last year, says a fed­eral agency.

Shov­els in the ground more than dou­bled this Novem­ber over last, ris­ing to 1,098 starts com­pared to 479 dur­ing the same month last year, says Canada Mort­gage and Hous­ing Corp.

Cal­gary also saw 5,701 con­struc­tion starts of multi-fam­ily hous­ing from Jan. 1 to the end of Novem­ber, down 13 per cent com­pared to 6,542 dur­ing the same pe­riod in 2012.

Within multi-fam­ily homes, row houses and apart­ments saw sig­nif­i­cant in­creases in con­struc­tion starts in Novem­ber com­pared to the same month last year.

There were 305 con­struc­tion starts of row houses in Novem­ber, al­most four times more than the 82 starts dur­ing the same month in 2012.

Apart­ment starts were 2.5 times higher in Novem­ber, ris­ing to 677 com­pared to 271 last year.

In con­trast, con­struc­tion starts of semi-de­tached homes were down 7.9 per cent, eas­ing to 116 in Novem­ber com­pared to 126 dur­ing the same month last year.

“We’ve seen an in­crease in rows and apart­ments. Semis were pretty close to what they were last year,” says Richard Cho, se­nior mar­ket an­a­lyst with CMHC.

“I think there’s a num­ber of fac­tors that have re­ally helped sup­port de­mand for row hous­ing. The pric­ing, and the space for that pric­ing, is what’s draw­ing peo­ple to row houses.”

It isn’t un­com­mon to see apart­ment num­bers swing from month to month, says Cho.

“We didn’t have as many large apart­ment projects start this year com­pared to last year, so they are down,” he says.

“We are ex­pect­ing that to change mov­ing into 2014. We are fore­cast­ing more multi-fam­ily units break­ing ground.”

In­ven­tory of multi-fam­ily homes has been on a down­ward trend, says Cho, adding this will en­cour­age more de­mand for that hous­ing type.

The City of Cal­gary’s build­ing per­mit num­bers, which show an in­ten­tion to build but not ac­tual build­ing, show an in­crease in plans for multi-fam­ily projects, he says.

Pho­tos: Cal­gary Her­ald/Files

Richard Cho of CMHC sees de­clin­ing in­ven­tory en­cour­ag­ing more de­mand for multi-fam­ily homes in Cal­gary.

There were 305 starts of row houses in Cal­gary in Novem­ber. RICHARD CHO, CMHC

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