Calgary Office
Healthier outlook: New homes industry anticipates market strengthening through 2021

Mike Selinger, Calgary regional president of Cardel Homes, says builders and partners worked successfully to meet buyer interest in 2020. PHOTO BY CHRISTINA RYAN /Calgary Herald

As the calamity that was 2020 slides into the mist, pressure is mounting on 2021 to be, at the very least, an improvement.

For Calgary’s new home building community, 2020 wasn’t that bad and 2021 could be equally “not bad.”

“We had to make adjustments, like all builders had to,” says Mike Selinger, Calgary regional president of Cardel Homes. “There was a lot of value re-engineering and negotiating with our trades and suppliers. They were fantastic, working with us to hit the price points customers were comfortable with.”

Despite the challenges, he says buyer demand was still there in 2020, helping Cardel to meet sales targets. But, not without a big dent in the bottom line.

“Everybody took a hit on profitability, big time, but we found a balance that worked for us,” Selinger says.

Rob Roach, director of research for ATB Economics, says housing starts from January to October were down by 16 per cent compared to 2019. Conservative targets, streamlining construction and adjusting sales practices kept builders going and astonishingly, prices on single family homes remained stable.

“We might have expected worse,” he says. “People haven’t panicked, despite high unemployment and a tremendous amount of pain. It hasn’t led to people having to sell or foreclose — we’re not there. That’s kept prices stable and as we look ahead, the vaccine may change the game in a very good way.”

Cardel builds in Cornerbrook in the northeast, Walden in the southeast and is the builder/developer of Shawnee Park in the southwest. In 2021, the builder will open show homes in the new Dream community of Alpine Park in the southwest and has committed to develop another new neighbourhood called Silverton.

“We have 175 acres just north of Belmont (in the city’s southwest) with a targeted launch date in Q3 2022. Even with COVID-19, we’re still looking to execute some growth projects,” Selinger says.

Eric Carlson, president of land developer Anthem United, says that like everyone else his company fell into “Covid Canyon” in early 2020. The hope and optimism at the start of the year fell during the first lockdown but rose as demand returned in summer.

“Interest rates were low and 90 per cent of people in Calgary didn’t get laid off. They were stuck at home and were thinking things like, ‘This place is too small — we have to move up.’ This created opportunities for us. Our builder partners started selling houses,” he says.

In 2021, Carlson says job and population growth will drive home sales. He predicts positive job growth by the middle of 2021, giving people the confidence and income to buy. Population growth will take more time.

“There aren’t too many international people coming, but there will be immigration from other places in Canada,” he says. “I think 2022 is going to be a great year. We might not get our swagger back, but we’ll feel a lot better about life.”

Anthem United’s current projects include Belmont and Sirocco at Pine Creek in the southwest; Cornerstone in the northeast; Wedderburn and D’Arcy in Okotoks; and Chelsea in Chestermere.

A new phase of Chelsea will hit the market this year and on the horizon is Glacier Ridge in Calgary’s northwest, a 732-acre joint venture project with Ronmor Developers. The 10-year plan includes 4,135 single-family lots, 87 acres of multi-family development plus a firehall and a high school site.

Glacier Ridge squeaked in before the City of Calgary put the brakes on new development in fall 2020.

“As a developer, I’m always pro-growth, but it was the right thing to do. There is still some momentum, but there has to be an adjustment. It’s a complicated time and the world is grouchy right now,” he says.

Veteran developer Qualico will move forward in 2021 with Ambleton in the northwest, Vermilion Hill in the southwest and Painted Sky in Langdon.

Not faring so well in Calgary is multi-family housing. According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, the median price of resale apartment-style condominiums fell by 14.49 per cent in 2020, taking an average 73 days to sell. Yet, the second and third quarters of 2020 were hectic for University of Calgary Properties Group, developer of University District in the northwest, which is exclusively multi-family.

Cambridge Manor, a senior living development operated by the Brenda Strafford Foundation opened in the summer; new projects by Truman, Homes by Avi, Brookfield Residential and Gracorp Properties launched or were completed and the main street retail district finally opened.

“There were some great milestones achieved, but the impact on the retail sector is much more dramatic than what people would have predicted,” says James Robertson, president and CEO. “We had to update some of our tenants. Some couldn’t afford to keep going, and we had to work to maintain retail operations in a very different economic environment.”

Robertson is also the 2021 chairman of BILD Calgary Region, helping to navigate the association through the remaining days of the pandemic and an uncertain economy.

“It’s a challenging time for many, from suppliers to renovators to home builders. We are all very nervous and also optimistic about what a vaccine might bring and what 2021 will look like by the end of the year,” he says.

Roach says 2020 is behind us, but nothing has really changed when the year turned over on Jan. 1.

“It’s still winter. We’re still facing restrictions and the vaccine is just getting started. We might have to think of summer 2021 as the real start of the new year,” he says.

Cindy Stephen,
For The Calgary Herald

  1. Canada – 30 countries want to move there
  2. Japan – 13 countries want to move there
  3. Spain – 12 countries want to move there
  4. Germany – 8 countries want to move there
  5. Qatar – 6 countries want to move there
  6. Australia – 5 countries want to move there
  7. Switzerland – 4 countries want to move there
  8. Portugal – 3 countries want to move there
  9. United States – 2 countries want to move there (tie)
  10. United Kingdom – 2 countries want to move there (tie)

Over the past few months, we’ve been hearing about people wanting to move out of the U.S.—and from January 2020 to October 2020, there was a 29% increase in global Google searches for the phrase “how to move abroad.” But where would Americans actually want to live if they could leave America? If you think the answer is Canada or even Italy, you might be surprised by the results of a new report that shows where people around the world would move if they had the chance. You’ll also be surprised to find out which countries want to move to the United States. (Hint: It’s not any of our neighbors.)

Canada's Number 1 country to live in

The report was created by Remitly, a financial startup that helps people send money abroad. Remitly analyzed Google search data for 100 countries, looking at the average monthly search volume for phrases associated with moving abroad. The company then ranked the most-searched locations among 100 countries.

Overall, Canada was number one, with 30 countries—including Britain, Mexico and France—placing it at the top of their wish list for the place they would most want to live. Remitly pointed out that the appeal includes its high levels of safety, low unemployment rates, friendly locals and beautiful scenery.

For Americans, the top destination was a whole lot more far-flung than Canada. Japan came in as the top place Americans most want to live—and was also the top place for Canadians. In fact, Japan ranked second overall as the country people around the world want to move, with 13 countries wanting to live there, including Australia and Montenegro. Japan’s appeal? “Its reputation for high safety levels, job opportunities and heavily-praised quality of life,” reports Remitly.

Third on the list was Spain, with 12 countries wanting to move there, including Argentina and the Netherlands, including six South American countries, plus Sweden and Finland. Remitly says that Spain is attractive due to its “great healthcare, general safety levels and the fantastic quality of life.”

The United States, on the other hand, was pretty far down the list, with only two countries wanting to move to here—Russia and Norway. The United States tied with the U.K., which was popular with people from Japan and St. Lucia.

Laura Begley BloomSenior Contributor
ForbesWomen
Transformative Travel: I look at how travel can change lives.

Year-end promotion on Walden's Hudson bungalow - Green Space

In a bungalow without the hassle of stairs, everything becomes a little simpler and a lot more accessible. The demand for brand-new bungalows at lower prices is on the rise in Calgary, but within the city, the opportunity to build this style of home is limited because the right type of lots is in low supply. The team at Cardel believes they have a great solution in Walden, with the Hudson bungalow and 16 available park amenity lots.

With possibly the best location currently available in Walden, the 16 34’-foot wide lots offer east and south yards backing mature trees. The Hudson includes a spacious master bedroom and ensuite on the main floor and a developed basement with two more bedrooms, a large recreation room and an additional full bathroom. It has a double-attached garage and a rear deck. There is also an option for a main floor office. With impressive curb appeal, an innovative layout and savvy interior design features, this bungalow checks all the boxes.

Walden is an attractive location for buyers looking to right-size within a community that is close to completion. Ideally located, this community provides easy access to major thoroughfares as well as being lined with parks, existing playgrounds and a pathway system that connects Walden to the serenity of Fish Creek Park. A unique shopping amenity will be opening this spring in the neighbouring community. Township, an expansive mixed-use development, presents an impressive list of retailers as well as office, residential and hotel space.

As a year-end promotion, Cardel is offering a special introductory price of only $499,900, including lot and GST, for the next three sales. Visit our Hudson bungalow model, located at 119 Walgrove Green SE, to learn more about this exciting limited bungalow opportunity.

Year-end promotion on Walden's Hudson bungalow - interior 1 Year-end promotion on Walden's Hudson bungalow - interior 2
View the Hudson model home View the available lots in phase 28 and 29
  1. Canada – 30 countries want to move there
  2. Japan – 13 countries want to move there
  3. Spain – 12 countries want to move there
  4. Germany – 8 countries want to move there
  5. Qatar – 6 countries want to move there
  6. Australia – 5 countries want to move there
  7. Switzerland – 4 countries want to move there
  8. Portugal – 3 countries want to move there
  9. United States – 2 countries want to move there (tie)
  10. United Kingdom – 2 countries want to move there (tie)

Over the past few months, we’ve been hearing about people wanting to move out of the U.S.—and from January 2020 to October 2020, there was a 29% increase in global Google searches for the phrase “how to move abroad.” But where would Americans actually want to live if they could leave America? If you think the answer is Canada or even Italy, you might be surprised by the results of a new report that shows where people around the world would move if they had the chance. You’ll also be surprised to find out which countries want to move to the United States. (Hint: It’s not any of our neighbors.)

Canada's Number 1 country to live in

The report was created by Remitly, a financial startup that helps people send money abroad. Remitly analyzed Google search data for 100 countries, looking at the average monthly search volume for phrases associated with moving abroad. The company then ranked the most-searched locations among 100 countries.

Overall, Canada was number one, with 30 countries—including Britain, Mexico and France—placing it at the top of their wish list for the place they would most want to live. Remitly pointed out that the appeal includes its high levels of safety, low unemployment rates, friendly locals and beautiful scenery.

For Americans, the top destination was a whole lot more far-flung than Canada. Japan came in as the top place Americans most want to live—and was also the top place for Canadians. In fact, Japan ranked second overall as the country people around the world want to move, with 13 countries wanting to live there, including Australia and Montenegro. Japan’s appeal? “Its reputation for high safety levels, job opportunities and heavily-praised quality of life,” reports Remitly.

Third on the list was Spain, with 12 countries wanting to move there, including Argentina and the Netherlands, including six South American countries, plus Sweden and Finland. Remitly says that Spain is attractive due to its “great healthcare, general safety levels and the fantastic quality of life.”

The United States, on the other hand, was pretty far down the list, with only two countries wanting to move to here—Russia and Norway. The United States tied with the U.K., which was popular with people from Japan and St. Lucia.

Laura Begley BloomSenior Contributor
ForbesWomen
Transformative Travel: I look at how travel can change lives.

Your pulse on the Shawnee Park market as of August 15, 2020.

Shawnee Park Development Update.

Although Fish Creek Park is just a short distance away, Cardel ensures Shawnee Park residents experience nature right outside their door. Neil MacKimmie, Vice President of Land Development and Brett O’Reilly, Project Manager of Land Development, shared their vision for this to become one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods in Calgary. It’s obvious Shawnee Park goes above and beyond.

What should homebuyers know about the Shawnee Park greenbelt?
“The greenbelt is a 20-metre area surrounding most of the community. Creating an accessible connection between many of our larger parks, the greenbelt also provides a buffer between Shawnee Park and the adjacent neigbourhoods. The paths and greenways foster a feeling of an established community and make it ideal for family strolls, bike rides or walks with furry friends.”

When buying a home in Shawnee Park, what can one expect regarding green space and trees?
“We’re focused on creating a neighbourhood where existing trees are retained and supplemented with new ones sustaining the current urban canopy. Upon completion, the community will boast over 3,150 trees, 582 of which will be mature, existing trees. The recently completed park, nestled in Phase 7, incorporates 26 of these. A typical development is required to dedicate 10% of its land base to parks, but we planned an open- space network that is 33 acres. This amounts to over 25% of the total development area, making Shawnee Park very unique among new developments.”

WITH NEIL MACKIMMIE, VICE PRESIDENT – LAND DEVELOPMENT AND BRETT O’REILLY, PROJECT MANAGER – LAND DEVELOPMENT

What phases and products are available? “Currently, there are only thirty-one lots and six completed or planned inventory homes remaining for purchase in phases 5, 6 and 7. These come with 2020 and 2021 move-in dates. The lot selections include Shawnee Park greenbelt locations and 40′ – 42′ wide lots, suitable for triple-car garage models, many with south-facing back yards and a beautifully treed main boulevard. A dynamic range of single-family homes starting in the $590s, including house, lot and GST, are available in these three phases. To date, the average closing price is just over $800,000, demonstrating the confidence that buyers have in this remarkable project.

Phase 8 is targeted for fall 2021, offering 2022 possessions. It will see the release of two new product lines, one being a premium-level double-car garage townhome and the other, unique wide lot single-family homes directly interfacing with the Shawnee Park greenbelt. Within the next few years, we intend to build another impressive park in the southwest corner of the community that will include a more naturalized water feature and active spaces for play of all kinds.”

Grafton_Shawnee-Park-News-1

THE GRAFTON – NEW MODEL HOME DESIGNED TO FIT.

A one-of-a-kind community requires a magnificent home. The Grafton, designed especially for Shawnee Park, is just that. With an innovative plan that has many appealing elements and still hits targeted budgets, the buyer will get something extraordinary with this floorplan.

Triple-car garage homes are always in demand. Although not everyone needs this space for vehicles, it is ideal for storage. A wide lot is not essential for the new Grafton model, created to fit on a 40′ one. There is room for three cars, without the need for a large site so the homeowner can benefit from the extra space without the extra cost.

Grafton_Shawnee-Park-News-2

This creative design delivers additional trending features. In the model home, the main floor den can be upgraded to a bedroom with a full bathroom–perfect if a family requires a multi-generational plan. Further optimizing space, the finished basement has another bedroom and full bathroom. One of the Grafton’s biggest attractions is its lower cost per square foot. Emphasizing function, while still considering style, makes this plan very efficient and competitively priced.

With only ten lots suitable for this floorplan in the development currently, this is a limited opportunity as future lots will not be available for another two years. Experience the Grafton model home opening in Shawnee Park in November 2020 and see why it is so unforgettable!

Chris and Marla Lofgren love Shawnee Park’s proximity to Fish Creek Provincial Park, the Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club and Calgary’s inner city. CHRISTINA RYAN

When Chris Lofgren first heard that Cardel Homes was transforming Shawnee Slopes into a beautiful new residential community, he made a mental note.

“I thought, that’s a place where I could definitely buy a home some day,” says Chris, a born and raised Canyon Meadows kid.

“I like the property, the proximity to Fish Creek Provincial Park and that it’s in the south, but not too far out.”He and his wife, Marla, spent a few years living “far out” on an acreage in Priddis, but with three busy children the driving back and forth into Calgary was tiresome. So, six years ago they moved “far in” to inner-city Marda Loop, purchasing a home with more than 4,000 square feet of developed space over three storeys.

“It’s a great house, but our oldest daughter is in university, another is graduating next year and our son will be finishing Grade 9 — it’s a good time to think about downsizing a little bit,” Chris says.

The quest for a smaller home was the perfect excuse to revisit Shawnee Slopes, now called Shawnee Park, on the south side of Fish Creek Park, west of Macleod Trail. With just 490 single-family home sites in the infill neighbourhood, Shawnee Park is a unique, intimate neighbourhood. It was the 2018 BILD Calgary Community of the Year and was also awarded the2018 Best Show Home Parade of the Year.

Chris and Marla liked the show homes, all two-storey models, but found that Cardel also had existing plans for a bungalow — the Cambria Court — a plan they felt made the most sense for their family and gave them the “biggest bang for their buck”.

“We purchased it off paper, but there was one under construction, so we could walk through it and get a sense of how big it was,” Chris says.

The Cambria Court has a rear-attached garage and a side courtyard. It’s large for a bungalow,with 1,577 square feet on the main floor and another 1,100 square feet of developed basement. There are two front-facing bedrooms and two full bathrooms on the main floor with a mudroom and laundry area between the kitchen and the garage. Two more bedrooms and another four-piece bathroom are downstairs with enough space for a 12-foot by 10-foot rec room and ample storage in the mechanical room.

Chris says his new home will be ready in June 2020. He and Marla haven’t chosen their interiors yet, but have several upgrades in mind.

“We plan to spend some extra money in the kitchen and in the master ensuite, and I’m going to make a sports bar in the basement — that’s on my wish list,” he says.

Jon Mortier, Cardel area sales manager, says the Cambria Court was a popular model for the builder in Quarry Park and it’s beginning to catch the interest of new home buyers in Shawnee Park. The base price is just shy of $700,000 he says, including the full basement development.

“We’re always open to doing revisions to our standard floor plans, if someone wants a large master on the main floor and additional bedrooms in the basement,” he notes.

While momentum is building for bungalows, two-storey homes remain the most popular choice in Shawnee Park.

“The Selkirk 2 is our best seller and the Savin is next,” Mortier says, adding that there are several two-storey quick possession homes currently available.

A new park will be ready by summer’s end, new pavement has been laid and building is about to begin in Phase 7 of Shawnee Park, where buyers can find larger lots with south-facing backyards.

“This is a very small, sophisticated, quaint community. All your amenities are here already — it doesn’t get any better than that,” Mortier says.

Chris is excited that his vision of living in Shawnee Park is coming to fruition and that he can remain in the south end of Calgary. His insurance and financial service firm is in nearby Oakridge and he can quickly jump on Highway 22X west to Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club where he is a member.

“Downsizing was a piece of the reason why we’re relocating. We like going for walks and bike rides, so having Fish Creek nearby was a big thing.”

Cindy Stephen,
For The Calgary Herald

Shaping Shawnee Park Cardel Homes

WITH RICHARD BUKAREWICZ A .T.VICE PRESIDENT OF ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN, CARDEL HOMES

A community as charming and distinguished as Shawnee Park warrants an equally compelling selection of home designs. To get a first-hand take on what inspired this maturing community’s unique architecture and overall vision, we spoke with Richard Bukarewicz, Vice President of Architecture and Design, who has been designing homes for Cardel since 1992.

What inspired the home design in Shawnee Park? “The goal was to select archi-tectural styles to compliment the mature, treed landscape of the site. We took inspirational, west-coast styles from Washington and Oregon and further fine-tuned them for the authentic, timeless look we were after for Shawnee Park.”

What features make homes unique in this neighbourhood?“It’s the attention to detail in style, scale, colour selection and land-scaping. If the architecture lacksthe right amount of detail to achieve an authentic style, is out of scale,or has a weak colour or landscaping scheme, the curb appeal usually suffers. Overall, Shawnee Park is designed to be a beautiful neigh-bourhood and we haven’t sacrificed attention-to-detail in our home design or landscaping aspects.I think that is a big reason it won BILD awards for both Communityof the Year and Showhome Parade of the Year.”

What types of homes are available?“The Shawnee Park product line is dynamic. We’ve done our homework and understand that buyers are looking for exciting, modern designs at various price levels and I think each Shawnee Park home-style offers something unique. Our bungalow solutions, for example, are designed with courtyard and front or rear-attached garage options. These homes come with maintenance-free decks and require minimal landscaping. Our Essentials series offer south-facing backyards that back onto a bufferand are great for buyers looking to get a quality home at a more afford-able price in an upscale neighbour-hood. We also have a wide variety of two-storey models that come with personalization options like vaulted ceilings with beautiful, wooden beams or double-island kitchens.

When it comes to design, what sets Cardel apart from its competitors?“We take the initiative to look at design differently. There are always a lot of cool things you can do with design, but they don’t always function properly for the home-owner. Our design team is very experienced and focused on space planning, function and style that works. We gather a large amount of information from the four cities we work in, which gives us a broader understanding of what’s important to people. We then use that experi-ence to make good design deci-sions. For example, we designed the Miro 2 kitchen to take advantage of the outdoor living space views. Customers love it.”

What new designs or features can buyers expect to see in this community?“We’ve introduced triple-cargarage plans in Shawnee Park with a variety of front-attached and rear-attached designs. With the density laws in Calgary, these types of lots are becoming more and more rare making this a great opportunity for buyers who are looking to build a larger home that is functional and affordable. We will also be introducing a variety of innovative, multi-generational options to future phases in Shawnee Park which have been growing in demand.”

Shawnee Park City Wide Possibilities Cardel Homes

FROM ALBERTA’S LARGEST URBAN FOREST TO CALGARY’S CORE.

Not only does Shawnee Park bolster an impressively close proximity to nature, it also offers direct access to life’s necessities—a major perk when it comes to choosing your home’s location. Luckily, for residents of Shawnee Park, this thriving new community offers both.

Located close to James McKevitt Road and MacLeod Trail, Shawnee Park is ideally situated in the southwest, surrounded by a variety of established amenities. Unlike most new communities, everything you need is readily available and conveniently close. From coffee shops and restaurants to grocery stores, shopping centres, daycares and schools, all the essentials plus the nice-to-haves are ready and waiting for you.

Easy access to the rest of the city is also available. Shawnee Park is only a five-minute stroll to the Fish Creek-Lacombe LRT station lending itself to an abun-dance of city-wide possibilities. With a direct link to downtown, commuters can travel to the core of the city within twenty minutes or, better yet, get home from work within twenty minutes, traffic-free.

Whether you’re looking to reconnect with nature or get lost in the urban lights, Shawnee Park is the perfect hub for city-wide possibilities. Through a deliberate blend of accessible conveniences, natural surroundings and exceptional homes, this community has it all, and you can too.

COVID-19 Cardel Homes Update