Apartment Starts Escape the Downturn

A report by Altus Group suggests, while the apartment sector will be driving most of the overall moderation in starts in 2013, Calgary is the only market expected to escape a downturn.

Calgary apartment starts are expected to reach 4,100 in 2013 compared to 4,000 in 2012, the only increase in major centres covered by the Altus Group report. By 2014, however, that number is expected to drop to 3,600.

“In Calgary, new condominium apartment sales were up in 2012, according to Altus Group’s Multi Family Quarterly Update, boosted by strong demand in the downtown area,” stated the report. “Starts and units under construction were also up substantially, but unabsorbed units remain in check. Inventory in the resale market remains very tight, which is boosting prices.”

The report also took a look at 2012 home sales pointing out Calgary home sales were up “substantially” compared to 2011. Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax finished 2012 with numbers similar to those in 2011. Vancouver’s home sales decrease of one fifth between 2011 and 2012 while Toronto saw a four per cent decline in the same time frame.

“Resale inventories are well below last year in Calgary,” said the report. “Inventories are up somewhat in Winnipeg and Toronto, but remain relatively low.”

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