The Calgary area’s multi- family sector is at its highest level of production since the late 1970s, with more than 11,000 units under construction at the end of October. 

The high level of units under construction includes more than 8,500 condominium apartments, most of them inside Calgary city limits and may raise fears of overbuilding, but numbers from CMHC say otherwise.

Migration to Alberta and Calgary was at record levels in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and the makeup of the migration supports the high level of construction in the multi-family sector.

Jobs are the main reason for the western migration.

As more multi-family homes are completed and inventory rises, CMHC says production will moderate in the Calgary region, with the agency predicting 8,000 multi starts in 2015 and 6,500 in 2016.

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First, the inaugural building launched in East Village by developers FRAM+Slokker, has now grown its full height of 18 floors. To mark the occasion, the developers, contractors and architects involved in the construction gathered for a roof top ceremony on Tuesday. A ceremonial bucket of concrete was poured in a frame as a lasting mark. Roof top parties are traditionally held to celebrate the finishing of concrete work, in this case, by ITC Construction Group.

First is one of seven buildings FRAM+Slokker has land for in East Village. It is now selling its second building, Verve, an eye-catching design on the Riff, a pedestrian thoroughfare through the community.

The team of more than 150 workers currently working on the project enjoyed a catered lunch after the ceremony in the sheltered parking garage.

When complete, First will have 196 units within the 18 floor tower and its surrounding four-storey podium. It has commercial space on the ground level.

Residents will be able to enjoy that spectacular roof top view when they use their roof top lounge and outdoor patio. And they’ll be able to take an elevator there.

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Calgary’s newest condo launch is the city’s most successful grand opening since the recession as 252 units have sold at the Parkside development, part of the Waterfront project along the Bow River in the Eau Claire neighbourhood.

They sold in the span of three days late last week.

It’s another sign of the growing demand for inner-city condo ownership.

Parkside, directly adjacent to Sien Lok Park, will consist of four buildings of 17, nine, nine and six storeys with 302 units. Prices range from $289,900 to $2.3 million.

The company bought the current land just east of the Eau Claire Market in 2004 and started construction on the first building in 2007.

Construction on Parkside will begin in the spring 2015 and all four buildings will be built at once with spring/summer 2018 completion.

The downtown condo market is a segment of housing that never existed before in Calgary. The city’s skyline will be completely transformed in the coming years.

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Calgary and Edmonton top the list of residential real estate investment markets in Alberta, according to a new report released Tuesday.

The new REIN (Real Estate Investment Network) Score measures each city or town on five different categories for a total of 50 points including: Economic Risk (possible 12 points); Yield Growth Potential (possible 12 points); Investors’ Insights (possible 10 points), Political Climate (possible 8 points), and Accessibility (possible 8 points).

Calgary and Edmonton topped the rankings with 50 points followed by Fort Saskatchewan (43), Airdrie (41), St. Albert (39), Red Deer (39), Lloydminster (38), Fort McMurray(36), Grande Prairie (36), and Leduc (34).

Calgary received 12 out of 12 in the economic risk category, 10 out of 12 in yield growth potential, six of eight in local politics conducive to business, eight of eight in access to transportation and nine of 10 in investor’s insights.

The report said the formula of job creation creating an influx of people, leading to higher housing values is evident in Calgary.

The report also noted that Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, will see the most residential growth in 2015, a trend that has been helped by more jobs becoming available in the West than in Central Canada, while Calgary and the Greater Toronto Area will hold the most potential for retail growth.

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Calgary’s resale housing market is in balanced territory, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

In a report released Friday, the board said the sales-to-new listings ratio in Calgary was 0.717 in September.

It said the seasonally-adjusted annual rate of MLS sales in the city was 34,752, down 2.3 per cent from the previous month but a hike of 8.6 per cent year-over-year.

The annual rate of new listings at 47,676 was down seven per cent month-over-month but up 11.4 per cent year-over-year.

In September, the board said the average sale price in Calgary of $466,425 represented a 0.5 per cent monthly gain and a 6.2 per cent annual gain.

The report also forecast that short-term year-over-year price growth in Calgary would be in the five per cent to 6.9 per cent range.

Calgary’s unemployment rate is the lowest of Canada’s major cities by a significant margin and people are moving to the city not only for the immediate job opportunities, but because they believe in the city’s long-term potential and lifestyle.

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