Apartment construction slows
Townhomes, duplexes rise in July: CMHC
New construction of multifamily housing in the Calgary area eased last month compared to the same time in 2013, says a federal agency.
In the Calgary census metropolitan area, shovels turned out 686 multi-family units.
That’s an 18.5 per cent downswing from the 813 starts in July 2013.
It was also a move back from the 1,780 starts a month earlier in June.
The census metropolitan area includes activity in surrounding cities and towns, such as Airdrie, Chestermere and Cochrane.
“The decline in multi-family starts that we saw in July was mainly due to the apartment segment,” says Richard Cho, senior market analyst with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. There were 384 construction starts on apartments last month, down from the 575 that broke ground a year earlier.
While there was less apartment construction last month, the other multi-family sectors grew. There were 118 construction starts on duplexes in the Cal- gary area in July. This marked a 60 per cent uptick from the 74 starts a year ago. Townhomes saw 12 per cent growth with 184 starts last month, up from 164 during the same time in 2013.
“Semis (duplexes) and rows (townhomes) tend to be priced lower in comparison to a single-detached home and that would likely appeal to some individuals who perhaps want to pay a bit less but also want something larger compared to an apartment unit,” says Cho.
Between Jan. 1 and the end of July, the Calgary area saw new construction on 6,657 multi-family units. This is the highest of any urban centre in Alberta. It’s also double the starts from the same span in 2013, when there were 3,290 starts. In the first seven months of the year, the Edmonton area reached 3,793 starts. This is a 50 per cent difference from the area’s 5,706 starts a year earlier.
A construction crew works on a multi-family project in the inner-city in Calgary. July starts of multi-family homes in the Calgary area were down, the CMHC says.