Af­ford­abil­ity drives town­home de­mand

Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - JOSH SKAPIN

Town­homes have been hot in Cal­gary this year, with de­mand ris­ing in both re­sales and newly con­structed homes.

From Jan. 1 to the end of Novem­ber, con­struc­tion was un­der­way on 1,801 town­homes in the Cal­gary area, says Canada Mort­gage and Hous­ing Corp.

That’s an in­crease of 13 per cent from the same time in 2012, when 1,589 broke ground.

On the re­sale side, the num­ber of town­homes sold be­tween Jan. 1 and Dec. 16 was 21 per cent higher, ris­ing to 3,907 trans­ac­tions com­pared to 2,542 dur­ing the same pe­riod last year, says the Cal­gary Real Es­tate Board.

“If it’s well-made and in a good lo­ca­tion, we’re fill­ing a need,” says sales and mar­ket­ing man­ager Brad Lo­gel of Cardel Life­styles.

The com­pany of­fers town­homes at its Cranston Place de­vel­op­ment in the south­east com­mu­nity of Cranston.

Builders point to af­ford­abil­ity as a driver for the in­crease in in­ter­est for town­homes.

The av­er­age re­sale price for town­homes sold be­tween Jan. 1 and Dec. 16 is $341,160, up eight per cent from $316,993 a year ago.

The av­er­age re­sale price of sin­gle­fam­ily homes is also about eight per cent higher than the same time in 2012, ris­ing to $517,622 be­tween Jan. 1 and Dec. 16 com­pared to $481,246 dur­ing the same time in 2012.

“The de­mand for town­homes has been driven by the in­crease of prices in sin­gle-fam­ily homes, as well as the lack of avail­able in­ven­tory of com­pleted sin­gle-fam­ily homes,” says Ash­ley Car­ca­sole, sales and mar­ket­ing man­ager with Street­side De­vel­op­ment Corp.

Ac­tive re­sale list­ings of sin­gle-fam­ily homes de­clined 18 per cent from Jan. 1 to Dec. 16, eas­ing to 1,904 on the mar­ket com­pared to 2,324 a year ear­lier.

“Our town­home sales this year out­paced all ex­pec­ta­tions, with sales com­ple­tions of projects six months ear­lier than an­tic­i­pated,” says Car­ca­sole. Street­side builds town­homes at Kin­talla in Red­stone and Evanston Square in Evanston.

“Town­homes suit both the af­ford­abil­ity is­sue and they also suit the life­style,” says Lo­gel, adding they pro­vide a prime choice for downsizers. “There’s a num­ber of downsizers who are not nec­es­sar­ily ready to go to a condo (apart­ment). Some are, but not ev­ery­body. And for those who are down­siz­ing, the town­home gives them a base­ment, main floor and up­stairs.”

Kelly Hal­l­i­day, sales man­ager with Brook­field Res­i­den­tial’s multi-fam­ily di­vi­sion, says they have also seen strong town­home sales in 2013.

“We have no­ticed a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the num­ber of buy­ers look­ing to down­size from a sin­gle fam­ily de­tached home into a life­style that lends the op­por­tu­nity to lock and leave — our town­home com­mu­ni­ties al­low for home­own­ers to do just this.”

Brook­field of­fers town­homes in Auburn Bay, Cranston, McKen­zie Towne and Bridge­land.

In De­cem­ber, res­i­den­tial sales ac­tiv­ity of all kinds typ­i­cally cools down. But town­home sales con­tinue to be strong late in the year, says Lo­gel.

“We list them and within 24 to 36 hours, there’s one or more in­ter­ested pur­chasers,” says Lo­gel.

The num­ber of town­home re­sales is up 21 per cent in 2013 over 2012.

Brad Lo­gel

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