Casting light on Calgary’s current rental crunch, a new report shows there were fewer purpose-built apartments built in Calgary than in any other major city in Canada between 2006 and 2011.

As shown in the report released by the Altus Group, there were only 800 purpose-built rental apartments built in Calgary between 2006 and 2011. The number places Calgary last amongst the markets surveyed for rental apartment construction. During the same period, Montreal saw the highest level of purpose built apartment construction, with 16,000 units built, while the next lowest level of rental construction came in Ottawa, where 1,100 units were added.

During the five-year period in the survey, Calgary’s population went from 991,759 to 1,090,936, an increase of 99,177. In the same span, Edmonton added 1,300 purpose-built rental units while posting a population increase of 81,829.

“New units in condominium apartment projects outpaces units in purpose-built rental apartment buildings by about three to one in 2006-2011,” stated the report, which took information from the National Household Survey conducted during the 2011 Census of Canada.

Demonstrating the demand for rental units in the city, the report showed 41 per cent of the condominium apartment units built between 2006 and 2011 ended up as rental units, while 46 per cent were owner occupied.

Of the 10,700 condo apartment units constructed in Calgary during the period, only 3,800 were in buildings higher than five storeys. In Toronto, where 61,000 apartments were built, 55,000 were in buildings higher than five storeys.

Other findings in the report showed nearly one million Canadian households were in need of “major” repairs, roughly seven percent of the country’s housing stock. Defined as problems that “compromise the dwelling structure or the major systems” of the home, 17 per cent of homes built before 1920 were need of major repairs compared to just one per cent of recently built units.

Also detailing the make-up of the average Canadian household, the report showed the average household size for those living in newly built homes was 2.7 persons for owner occupied units, while the average size for those in rental units was an even 2.0 persons.