Monday, July 22, 2019

Multi-family construction starts in Calgary almost double over last year

Led by a surge in new apartments, construction starts for all multi-family development in the Calgary area last month grew 92 per cent from the same time a year ago.

Shovels were in the ground for 945 multi-family units of all kinds in the Calgary census metropolitan area in June, up from 491 year over year, says Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. The census metropolitan area includes work in neighbouring cities and towns, such as Chestermere, Cochrane, and Airdrie.

“We are seeing an increase on the multi-family side,” says Richard Cho, CMHC’s principal of market analysis.  Some large-scale condo developments are planned in advance and don’t necessarily reflect current demand, he adds.

“We do have some concerns about the multi-family market, just because the inventory levels are quite high in Calgary,” Cho says. “At some point, I think we are going to see a slowdown on the multi-family side as developers look to move their current inventory as opposed to starting new projects.”

While new construction picked up in all multi-family segments compared to June 2016, apartments recorded the most substantial upswing. There were 640 of these starts, rising 170 per cent from 237 year over year.

The bulk of last month’s activity came from the Beltline district with 290 new apartments. Southwest Calgary, the only other area in triple-digit apartment starts, trailed with 149 on the books.

Meanwhile, last month, new construction on townhomes jumped 30 per cent, while duplex starts increased by 12 per cent, says CMHC.

There were 151 new townhome starts, up from 116 last year. Here, there was a wide lead on Calgary’s northwest end, where 82 of these units took root, trailed by southwest and northeast Calgary, with 16 and 15, respectively.

Keep reading in the Calgary Herald

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