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November 9, 2022

Calgary’s construction and development industry paves way for a thriving future

Calgary’s construction industry continues its upward trend for the third quarter of the year. With 5,101 building permits issued, the total construction value for Q3 2022 is $1.43 billion, up 38 per cent from last quarter. 

“The high construction volumes of 2014 are reminiscent of Calgary’s booming past, however, the values we are experiencing now are significant for a different reason,” says Ulrik Seward, Manager of Business and Building Safety Approvals, Development, Business & Building Services. “In spite of the global challenges we have collectively experienced in the last two years, investment in Calgary’s future continues to remain a priority for our construction industry and development remains a driving force in our community.”

Residential and commercial construction value for the first nine months of 2022 is valued at $4.61 billion, exceeding the 10-year median of $3.62 billion by 27 per cent and ranking within the top three highest volumes, coming in behind 2014 and 2021 respectively.

“While some of our permit numbers are down from the data collected over the last two years, the value of the projects has increased significantly, specifically residential construction,” says Seward. “Providing more housing diversity through residential construction in Calgary means more opportunities for everyone to find a place that they can call home.”

Residential Improvement Permits have slowed from the record pandemic highs and are down 10 per cent from last year but up 16 per cent from pre-pandemic averages. We have also seen a significant increase in Commercial Multi-Family (CMF) building permits, issuing 1,153 CMF permits in Q3, exceeding the second quarter by 10 per cent. The Q3 construction value of received CMF permits totals $1.13 billion, up 13 per cent from last quarter and up 4 per cent year-over-year.

Building permits for single and semi-detached homes is up 45 per cent from last quarter. In Q3 we received 423 building permits to legalize secondary suites in Calgary. 8,000 secondary suites have been legalized since the start of the Secondary Suites Amnesty program, 1,598 of which have been legalized since Jan. 1, 2022.

Affordability and immigration contribute to strong demand for new home construction. According to a Statistics Canada analysis, over 23,132 people have moved to Alberta from other provinces in Canada, this year alone.

“There was a period where there was an outflow of people from Alberta, but the trend has now reversed and people are beginning to move west again,” says Seward. “The construction industry is very important to the economic growth of our city and is uniquely positioned to create jobs and solutions to the social, climate and energy challenges facing Albertans.”

Trade and development inspection volumes continue to remain high over the first three quarters of 2022. In the third quarter alone, The City of Calgary completed 54,442 inspections, up 12 per cent from the last quarter and up 8 per cent year over year. Of those inspections, over 16,000 were electrical. There have been a notable number of inspections for businesses and homeowners investing in renewable energy ranging from solar panels to electric vehicle charging ports.

In the third quarter of 2022, The City issued occupancy for major projects such as Lakeshore School, a new middle school in Auburn Bay which will be able to accommodate 900 students, Gilchrist Senior Citizen Homes Phase 2, a supportive living seniors’ residence with 115 studio-style suites as well as resident amenities.

Additional occupancies, with construction values exceeding $25 million, include:

  • Project Maverick Warehouse, a 2.6-million square foot Amazon warehouse, valued at $400 million
  • Mackimmie Link & Block, a mixed-use building located on the University of Calgary campus, valued at $78.5 million.
  • West Village Towers, a 42 storey multi-residential mixed-use development, valued at $118.7 million.
  • West Village Towers Phase 2 – Tower B, a 42 storey multi-residential mixed-use development valued at $56.5 million
  • Trico Communities Building 4 & 5, two new residential apartment buildings with a combined 122 units, valued at $68.2 million.
  • Dominion Phase 1 Apartments, a 15-storey apartment complex with 163 units located in Bridgeland/Riverside, valued at $41.4 million.
  • The Theodore Apartments, an 11-storey apartment complex in Hillhurst, valued at $32.8 million.
  • Airport Crossing – Warehouse Building 5, a 172,150 square foot warehouse in north Calgary valued at $19.2 million.

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