The Market Wants What the Market Wants
The demand for single family homes is still on the rise in Calgary.
Despite increases in condo and apartment living in nearly every other Canadian city, Calgary continues to see incredible demand for the traditional, detached, single-family home. And developers and builders must, to a large extent, produce dwellings that reflect demand.
Compared to cities like Vancouver, Montreal, Victoria, Toronto and Quebec City, where single-family dwellings account for less than half of all homes, Calgary is at 58% and rising. The percent of condos and apartments, on the other hand, a mere 25%, actually represents more than the numbers for future demand would suggest. Based on our survey from 2016, only 12% of participants interested in purchasing a home in the next five years say condo/multi-family dwelling buildings are their preference.
Even more interesting is comparing these numbers with those regarding neighbourhood safety: 91% of those surveyed said that safety is important when considering a new home. Not surprising, of course. However, what is surprising is the correlation between perceived safety and single-family homes. While several of Calgary’s suburban neighbourhoods have statistically lower crime rates, many of our city’s central, more established neighbourhoods offer excellent per capita stats along with all the other benefits of community density.
Although we are unusual in our never-ending demand for single-family homes, we do have one companion: Edmonton. As Canada’s second fastest growing city, Edmonton has seen massive development in the last five years, and is set to welcome three new outer-city communities in the next fifty.
The benefits to redeveloping, and adding gentle density to existing communities are undeniable — but convincing Calgarians to give up the idea of single land ownership is a hard bone to pick. For affordable and dwelling diversity, new communities can be more appealing than the inner city, which we associate more with multi-family living. That said, multi-family homes are available in all new neighbourhoods –mixed-use and some-thing-for-everyone is required for our growing region.