Calgary Office

Cardel Homes’ Pinnacle 2 floor plan nest fulfils the needs of these newcomers to Calgary.

Cardel Homes Alpine Park

Dmytro and Jana Babat with Gigi, a seven-month labradoodle, are excited to move into their new home by Cardel Homes in Alpine Park. Photo by Christina Ryan /Postmedia

Striking a balance between modern and traditional design, one of Cardel Homes’ newest creations, the Pinnacle 2, immediately caught the eye of first-time homebuyers Dmytro and Jana Babat.

“It’s such a spacious home and we just loved how it looked,” says Dmytro, who was sold the moment he crossed the threshold of the Pinnacle 2 show home in the southwest community of Alpine Park.

“It has a really big office on the main floor with lots of windows and lots of light and that was it. I saw that and I knew,” he says.

The couple owns and runs a moving company — Paramount Movers — and they work from home, so a well-defined and functional floor plan was a must for them.

The Pinnacle 2 is a revised version of Cardel’s popular Pinnacle model, designed to accommodate zero lot line homesites. The 2,233-square-foot, three-bedroom, 2½ bathroom, two-storey home offers plenty of room to personalize with loads of floor plan options, including adding a fourth bedroom with walk-in closet and ensuite.

Jana’s favourite area is the main floor open-concept living space with its large great room and dining room leading to the outside patio. “It’s just so big and light and airy,” she says.

The kitchen was also a big plus. The couple loves to entertain and cook and with a large pantry to stock up on favourites and a nine-foot island for preparing feasts, having friends over is easy and enjoyable.

The home demonstrates excellent use of space and is sophisticated in its design. An attached rear double garage carves out a secluded and sheltered outdoor area, perfect for hosting outdoor dinner parties or just lounging with the family.

The extra bedrooms will allow the couple’s extended family, who are all in Ukraine and Czechia (formerly known as the Czech Republic), to come and visit.

“Now it’s going to be really easy to have them come over and stay,” says Dmytro. “We haven’t been able to do that.”

The recent newlyweds — they were married last year — had been renting a one-bedroom apartment downtown in Calgary close to the river, but knew that they wanted to start a family.

So, last summer they approached a mortgage broker and snared pre-approval.

“For us that was the most important step. We could then go forward because we knew what our budget was going to be,” says Dmytro.

They knew that they wanted a new build home, one large enough to accommodate a growing family in a community that was family-centric, and close to the mountains and to amenities.

“We never considered a used property because we wanted to have the ability to choose what we wanted in design,” says Dmytro.

They began their search by touring a few communities on both sides of the river, including Cranston and Mahogany in the SE and Rockland Park in the northwest. When they drove into the community of Alpine Park in Calgary’s southwest, they “just knew it was the one.”

“It’s on a hill with beautiful views and it’s close to the mountains and with Stoney Trail right there. Everything is so close,” says Dmytro.

For Jana, the community’s mature trees, plenty of green space, playgrounds (there’s one across the street from their new home) and walking trails were big draws.

“It’s so beautiful. It actually has grown fruit trees. It’s so unusual for a new community,” says Jana, who moved to Calgary from Czechia two years ago.

The community’s developer, Dream Developments, ensured that all of the detailing was in place early on, including planting semi-mature trees along the boulevards and throughout the community. Dream worked with international landscape architecture firm, Civitas, which also redesigned St. Patrick’s Island in Calgary.

The inspiration for the almost 600-acre community involved staying authentic to what Calgary offers, from easy access to plenty of wilderness — Kananaskis is just 30 minutes away — to great restaurants and close proximity to the cultural and sporting events in the city’s downtown core.

“We like to get to the mountains at least once a week,” says Dmytro, noting that they are avid outdoor enthusiasts. “We love it all: paddleboarding, hiking, canoeing.”

Architecture that connects to the streetscape with generous use of front porches, as well as green space design with interactive barbecue areas, picnic areas, community gardens and a common firepit are designed to draw people together and create community.

“We were really drawn to the architecture with the front porch and the garage in the back. You just feel that new families are here and it’s going to look beautiful,” says Dmytro.

At the heart of the community is the village centre, which will be comprised of a high street brimming with shops and services and where enhanced event programming will take place, like markets and festivals.

Once the couple toured the Pinnacle 2, and chatted with the sales team at Cardel Homes, who presented all of the options and were “amazing,” they gave themselves 24 hours to think about it.

“But it really only took us a quick conversation to decide,” says Jana with a laugh. The next day they signed the paperwork.

The couple is excited to take possession at the end of May and are slowly buying new furniture. And recently, the first addition to their family arrived — Gigi, a Labradoodle puppy.

“We stop by to look at our new house once a week, just to see what is happening and to introduce Gigi to the community,” says Jana. “It’s really starting to feel like home.”


HOME: The Pinnacle 2.

BUILDER: Cardel Homes.

COMMUNITY: Alpine Park in Calgary’s southwest.

Developer: Dream Developments.

PRICE: The home is priced in the high $700,000s, including lot and GST.

LOCATION: The show home is located at 21 Treeline Manor S.W. in Alpine Park.

VIEWING: Viewing times are Mondays through Thursdays from 2 to 8 p.m. and weekends from noon to 5 p.m. It is closed Fridays.


Andrea Cox – The Calgary Herald

Discover luxury living with new showhomes and prime lots within a perfect blend of nature and convenience.

Cardel Homes - Shawnee Park Cascade 2

Would you like to live in an award-winning Calgary community that has everything you need and more? Check out Shawnee Park, the picturesque neighbourhood alongside Fish Creek Provincial Park.

If you’re looking for a new home, you’re in luck. Cardel Homes has just unveiled four exquisite, fully furnished showhomes. As one resident aptly puts it, this is “a community that truly needs to be seen to be appreciated.” The showhomes highlight the captivating selection of homes in Shawnee Park and provide a unique opportunity to experience a lifestyle that combines accessible amenities and beautiful natural surroundings.

Explore the Cascade 2, the top-selling Grafton, and two all-new designs, the Hawthorne and the Bristol, each boasting a triple-car garage. With Cardel’s unwavering dedication to superior craftsmanship and innovative design, these homes stand as a testament to Cardel’s legacy of building outstanding homes and communities for over 50 years.

In addition to the breathtaking showhomes, you’ll find some of Shawnee Park’s most desirable lots in Phase 10. These park-backing sites offer stunning views of the newly completed West Park, which spans nearly 10 acres and features a playground, sports courts, walkways, picnic areas and even a wetland environmental reserve.

That’s not all. For those in search of right-sized, single-level living, the bungalow villas are an appealing option. More than 1,500 square feet, these thoughtfully designed homes showcase a spacious primary bedroom, a main floor office, and a soaring vaulted ceiling in the great room and dining area. Villas come with premium specifications, including Hardie board siding, aggregate driveways, full-yard landscaping with irrigation and finished decks.

But, Shawnee Park is not just about the homes; it’s also about the lifestyle. An infill development in the established part of the city’s southwest, it is surrounded by a greenbelt and has numerous parks and paths. An impressive 25 per cent of the area is dedicated to greenspace filled with over 3,000 trees. And Fish Creek Park is only a short walk away, where the opportunities to enjoy nature are limitless. Escape into one of North America’s largest urban forests while still being in the heart of the city.

Not only is Shawnee Park beautiful, but it is also convenient. Located near major roads and public transit, such as James McKevitt Road, MacLeod Trail, Tsuut’ina Trail and the Fish Creek-Lacombe LRT, you can easily commute anywhere in the city. Plus, there’s no wait for amenities to be built. From coffee shops and restaurants to grocery stores, shopping centres, daycares and schools, everything is readily available and nearby.

Visit these remarkable show homes today and secure one of the best lots in Shawnee Park. Find your dream home in this unparalleled Calgary community.

Avenue Magazine

50 years of building homes and still going strong.

Ryan Ockey President and CEO of Cardel Homes - 50th Anniversary

Cardel Homes is celebrating 50 years of homebuilding excellence, a milestone that has seen this locally founded and family-run company triumph through several economic cycles, a three-year long world-wide pandemic, a handful of devastating recessions and the largest flood that the city of Calgary and southern Alberta have seen since 1932. It’s grown from one hand-built custom home into a multi-national entity with 400 employees and annual sales of $550 million.

“It’s almost surreal. The years pass and you just really don’t think about it. It’s gone very quickly,” says Cardel’s co-founder Caryl Ockey. She and her husband, Del, started the company in 1974. Its genesis was organic and began with an idea and plenty of passion.

“At the time we were both school teachers, but we had the summers off and we thought it would be a great thing to build a home and sell it,” recalls Caryl, who is now retired, but who ran Cardel’s design studios and took the lead on show home interior design across North America. Cardel was one of the first Calgary builders to open an integrated design studio, back in 1991.

The couple, who at the time, had three young children, Ryan, Damon and Carlee, had been living in Willow Park and loved the neighbourhood. They tried to find a 50-foot lot in a new community to build on, but they had all been scooped up by builders.

“The only lots that we could find were on Willow Park Golf Course and they were $25,000, which was a lot of money at that time,” says Del, adding that in the early 1970s a 50-foot lot usually ran around $4,000 to $5,000 dollars.

Needless to say, the couple took a chance, bought the estate lot and built a 2,800-square-foot home with an attached double car garage (a new-fangled idea for the time).

“It was a really big stretch and we did most of the work ourselves. It took us the whole summer and more. Our son Ryan, who was 11 at the time, even got on the roof with Caryl and hammered in the shakes,” says Del, a junior and senior high school teacher with a strong background in the industrial arts — he put himself through university working as a carpenter in the summers.

But before the family had even finished the project — they ended up moving in and living in the home — Del was approached by a potential client.

“He came up to me and asked if I could build a house for him in Lake Bonavista. I said: ‘Sure, I’ll contract it out and supervise it, but I don’t have time to do the labour on it because I am teaching.’ That house ended up being huge — 5,600 square feet with a built-in basketball and squash court in the basement. And then, just as we were finishing that house, someone else approached us.”

Within a few months, the couple had five custom homes on the go.

“Del was just running around all of the time. A decision had to be made and it was a tough one. He’d been teaching school for 11 years and was at the top of his pay grade,” says Caryl, who has a passion for art and interior design who by this time, had taken over managing the administrative side of the business.

In the fall of 1974, only 14 months after they had begun to build the home on Willow Park Golf Course, Del quit teaching and Cardel Homes was born (the name is a play on Caryl and Del).

Since then, the company has survived several recessions, including as Del puts it, “the years of the dollar deal.” He is referring to the 1981-82 Calgary recession, where home values had plummeted to rock bottom and people were just walking away, selling their homes for $1.

But with ingenuity, unwavering vision and plenty of old-fashioned hard work, Cardel Homes not only survived, but thrived, expanding over the years into several new marketplaces, including Ottawa, Florida and Colorado.

Del and Caryl are now retired and enjoying the fruits of their labour — they just spent the last 18 months working on a humanitarian mission in Hungary. Their sons Ryan and Damon, who have been involved in Cardel Homes since the late 1980s, are now deeply invested in the company — Ryan is CEO and Damon is the Chief Marketing Officer. Their daughter, Carlee, was running Cardel’s interior design segment, but is currently working on other projects.

Ryan, who has his MBA from Queens University, credits the company’s successes to its ability to shift gears.

“Alberta’s economy can be highly cyclical and tough to manage.” He notes that expanding outside of Calgary and into Ontario, Florida and Colorado has really helped to mitigate the economic unpredictability and uncertainty.

“Right now, Calgary is only 20 per cent of our business; 80 per cent comes from other locations.”

Expanding into the multi-family sphere in 2008 with the launch of Cardel Lifestyles was also a key move and differentiator. Cardel Lifestyles, a partnership with Tim Logel, has recently rebranded as Logel Homes, but still retains its joint venture partnership structure.

Also in 2008, it built its new head offices in Quarry Park — 100,000 square feet of space — with the entire first floor dedicated to a 10,000-square-foot design studio and a 20,000-square-foot theatre and banquet space that is open for community use at no cost. The theatre is but a small part of Cardel’s hearty and under-the-radar giving back initiatives — the company gives back 10 per cent of its profits to the communities in which it builds and develops.

Design was also a big part of the company’s mantra with Caryl heading up the department and the team. In fact, Cardel was one of the first, if not, the first builder in Calgary to open its own integrated design studio, so that clients didn’t have to run around from supplier to supplier carrying samples. It flung open the doors of its first design studio (over 1,000 square feet on Forge Road) in 1991.

Another big corporate evolution was the move into land development. Cardel Homes eased into land development 20 years ago, first in partnership with Stepper Homes, developing Panorama Hills in the northwest and then, the Summit of Montreux on Calgary’s westside.

In 2014, it branched out on its own, launching its first solo land development project with Shawnee Park, a 52-acre parcel of land and the former Shawnee Slopes Golf Course. The development will, on final build-out, be home to 500 families. Phase 9 has just been released, which includes greenbelt lots and bungalow villa designs.

Cardel’s most recent endeavour, the community of Silverton located at the confluence of 194th Avenue and Macleod Trail with the Priddis Wetlands directly adjacent to the east and the established community of Silverado to the west, has just launched. It boasts an urban-inspired vibe, trendy, modern-vintage architecture and plenty of tree-lined streets. The initial builder group is comprised of Logel Homes, Cardel Homes and Genesis Builders.

Going forward, Ryan says that Cardel Homes is positive on Alberta. “We see a bright future. It’s a great place to live. We’ll be building homes here for decades to come.”

Andrea Cox,
For The Calgary Herald

If you are considering building an estate level home, I would encourage you to learn more about what we currently have to offer in Shawnee Park. Specifically, I would recommend you review what our Cascade 2 model is all about. Shawnee Park is likely the only community in Calgary that offers this kind of home and location, truly nothing else like it in the city. Additionally, for the month of December, you can save 50% on a developed basement (1 sale only) as well as savings through our buy direct program.

Starting under $1m at the $990’s, the Cascade 2 is a triple car garage 2,493 sq ft model, loaded with exciting design features, including a 2-story open to above family room with large window wall, gourmet double island kitchen, main floor home office with views to the greenbelt, all designed to offer a truly unique and outstanding south back yard with park amenity views.

Cascade2 Shawnee Park Cardel Homes

Many people are not aware that something like this exists in the city and that’s because it usually doesn’t. Our team at Cardel is very confident with this model and we have already designated it to be built as a showhome in our upcoming parade. We all understand the current market conditions, however, the Cascade 2 is a smart real estate investment. The supply of triple garage homes will always be in short supply and there is nothing else that compares to this location. We have experienced exceptional success in this market, not only because buyers select these homes for three cars, but because of the added valuable storage space it provides, which only further adds to the resale market value.

Cascade2 Main Floor Shawnee Park Cardel Homes
Cascade2 Second Floor Shawnee Park Cardel Homes

We currently have a Cascade model along the greenbelt at framing stage. I would love to tour you through this model to get a better idea of the floorplan. I am currently booking appointments for private showings.

Surrounded by greenbelt
Airial photo of Shawnee park main street and north greenbelt

Please reach out to learn more about this incredible opportunity in SW Calgary and take advantage of our December incentives for the Cascade 2.

Contact Nic Hutchison, New Home Consultant

*Special offers and incentives subject to change without notice.

Cardel Homes, Genesis Builders and Logel Homes are the first builder group, offering single-family homes, duplexes and street towns.

Vision for Silverton is to build 'an active, vibrant community'

Silverton is a new community in southwest Calgary, now under development by Cardel Homes. Photo by Supplied /Postmedia

Cardel Homes has launched a new suburban community south of Stoney Trail.

Cardel is wearing both home builder and developer hats for the 175-acre neighbourhood it’s calling Silverton, a mashup of “silver” and “town” and a nod to the adjacent community of Silverado. The development will take up vacant land north of 194 Ave S.W., between Sheriff King St. S.W. and the city owned Priddis Wetlands parallel to Macleod Trail.

Silverton’s design expands on Calgary’s popular urban-suburban motif, whereby new communities with safe tree-lined trees on the quieter outskirts are laden with the convenience, connectivity and energy of an established urban core.

“We started working on Silverton back in 2013 putting together parcels from various landowners,” says Cardel regional president, Mike Selinger. “Not too many people were aware that we’re developing it until we posted the sign. Now that the development is underway, we’re getting a lot of questions about it.”

“Our vision is to have an active, vibrant community here. It’s going to be denser and will encourage walkability. The key component to the neighbourhood is going to be the LRT Station at the mid-point between Stoney and 194th Avenue. We’re creating something with the right kind of character that will blend well with the future transit-oriented nature of this neighbourhood,” he says.

Cardel Homes, Genesis Builders and Logel Homes are the first builder group, offering single-family homes, duplexes and street towns. Selinger says at final build out there will be 1,600 lower density homes plus 1,000 apartment units. There will be a strong commercial component along Sheriff King Street.

Cardel’s architectural vision for Silverton is Modern Vintage.

“We’re after some character here. Our company is a designer brand and we’re after something new. A vintage architectural statement modernized for today with colour schemes that might be darker with an aged kind of look. Standardized Hardie Board instead of vinyl siding and strong curb appeal,” Selinger says.

The community’s first show homes will be situated on the south end of Silverton and are expected to be ready Spring 2023.

In advance of home sales, interested buyers can register at

Cindy Stephen
For The Calgary Herald

I’m sure most, if not all of you, are aware of the factors impacting the current real estate market conditions in Calgary, those being persistent inflation, increased interest rates, and the expectation of the economy entering into a recession. These factors usually result in a pause in demand, as buyers choose to wait and see what happens before making a real estate purchasing decision. The team at Cardel understands that as we have seen many different market conditions over our 50 year history as a home building company. I wanted to reach out to clarify how we will be managing our new home sales during this period. Let’s look at pricing and product design.

First, let’s discuss pricing. Cardel prices their homes based on three components. These components usually vary to some extent each month. First, the cost base, then the projected level of demand, and lastly, the supply within the marketplace. The cost base has stabilized somewhat vs. what we have been experiencing for the last couple of years. However, we firmly believe, that components related to land development, construction materials, and skilled labor will continue to rise in cost for the foreseeable future. Therefore, our ability to pass on cost reductions to buyers is very limited. Even though the demand has dropped due to the economic factors discussed, we anticipate that the Calgary region will experience a continued population increase, expanded economic growth, and relatively attractive prices vs. larger markets such as Toronto and Vancouver. Calgary was recently recognized as the 3rd most livable city in the world, by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual ranking of the world’s most livable cities.

Many of us are not surprised by this because we know that Calgary is a great place to live. The supply in the resale market is tighter in some areas vs. others but there is no indication of the market being drastically over-supplied at this point. All said, we will be holding our prices at their current levels but we will be offering some sales incentives on a limited month to month basis, so look for future communication from Cardel going forward on those opportunities.

Next, let’s take a look at product design. Market conditions are beyond the control of Cardel. However, product design is within our control. Cardel is known as a very innovative new home product designer. Even though market conditions may cause buyers to wait and see what other buyers do, we will continue to enhance our product design offering to provide exceptional value to those buyers ready to move forward. Below is a summary of some of the unique product design options available with Cardel today:

  • Authentic single family character homes, including a double garage, and landscaped yards, starting in the low $600’s, in a premium location. These homes are extremely low in supply within Calgary, at this price.
  • Multi-generational family floorplans that offer main floor bedrooms and secondary suite options, covering a variety of different price points. These homes address larger family needs and offer extended future rental investment options. We expect this trend to continue long into the future.
  • Traditional homes that offer the valuable separate home office, which we agree is a trend that is here for the long term.
  • Large, single family estate homes, offering both double and triple garage options, in premium locations, starting under $1M. $1M doesn’t buy you what it used to, but we have opportunities that will impress you at very competitive prices. In addition, the supply of triple garage homes will always be in short supply. We have experienced exceptional success in this market. Not because buyers select these homes for three cars, but because of the added valuable storage space and added resale market value.
  • Innovative single family bungalow models, in premium locations, positioned to respect affordability, yet are big on style and don’t become labelled as “just another commodity home” within the marketplace.

Market cycles always change and it’s always challenging to time a new home purchase perfectly. We understand that you may want to wait before you decide on the purchase of a new home but I would encourage you to reach out to our sales team to learn more about what Cardel has to offer. Our customer referral rate is currently over 90% so we know we are doing something right. We look forward to providing continued communication to those considering Cardel for a new home purchase. We will do our best to provide valuable information to help you with your decision.

Thank you.

First show homes now open by Calbridge Homes, Cardel Homes, Genesis Builders and Homes by Dream

Alpine Park embodies New Urbanism design, Calgary-style: first show homes now open

Dream Unlimited launches the new community of Alpine Park with its first show homes opening.
Photo by Don Molyneaux /Postmedia

Principles belonging to the New Urbanism movement helped drive plans for a new community in a scenic end of Calgary’s southwest.

Alpine Park by Dream Unlimited, which formally launched its first seven of 13 show homes recently, is expected to eventually be home to more than 12,000 residents.

Five years ago, Dream first connected with Calthorpe Associations (acquired by HDR in 2019) founded by Peter Calthorpe, which completed the concept master plan for Alpine Park.

Winner of awards such as the J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development, Calthorpe is a renowned leader in New Urbanism and is one of the founders and first board members of Congress for the New Urbanism.

“Calthorpe and his team were involved in some of the most iconic, forward-looking new urbanist developments across North America that Dream was excited to evolve and bring to a Calgary context,” says Michael Tandara, Dream’s director, marketing Western Canada Development.

“Communities like Central Park (formerly Stapleton) in Denver, or Daybreak in Salt Lake City were hugely aspirational for us, so it made sense to seek out the same talent,” he adds. “Of course, it also helped that Peter Calthorpe was an influential figure in the movement, and considered one of the ‘fathers’ of new urbanism itself.”

An alternative to single-use, low-density development, principles of New Urbanism may be reflected in various scales and forms of development. At the neighbourhood level, one of its characteristics focuses on the pedestrian.

“It looks at trying to put people first versus the vehicle,” says Tara Steell, general manager of Dream’s Calgary Land division. “It’s a way to have people interact and get that neighbourhood connection.”

“Great cities across North America have welcomed new urbanist developments into their community fabric, like Austin, Salt Lake City or Denver, and to have a community of this scale and calibre in our own backyard is exciting as a Calgarian.”

Among Alpine Park’s features considered in line with New Urbanism are architecture with front porches, wide paths set back from the street, innovative green court park systems, and extensive tree planting effort and protection of existing environmental tree stands.

“All of our streets have sidewalks on both sides with the treed boulevard,” says Steell. “Not only does it make it a nicer, walkable environment, but it puts space between the car and the pedestrian, which we thought was really important.”

Lit pathways through the parks are also in place to help pedestrians enjoy the fresh air year-round, day and night.

“Even on those darker winter nights, the lights will come on at (4 p.m.) so we can be outside and enjoy the space,” Steel says.

Stage 2 of Alpine Park will be home to a Village Centre and naturalized stormwater wetland.

Steell calls the Village Centre the community’s “amenity core,” and supports the developer’s vision for a “complete community.”

“It will include things like grocery, pharmacy, all of your daily needs will be shopped for or accessed from there,” she adds. Curated restaurants and a coffee shop will be part of the mix, as well.

The community will have six major parks that are all connected. “The idea is for people to go out, play and find that next park,” says Steell.

Alpine Park’s builder group features Calbridge Homes, Cardel Homes, Genesis Builders and Homes by Dream.

Its home styles include single-family homes with rear laned and street-oriented garage configurations with lot widths starting at 42 feet, and 26- to 32-foot wide court homes with rear-attached garages or rear detached garages that can fit up to three vehicles.

There are also laned single-family homes, typically ranging 20 to 22 feet wide, and townhomes.

All home forms share the same porch-oriented, socially connected design principals, says the developer.

The court homes may be street-oriented or face a park.

“Within that park space are things like fireplaces, picnic tables and opportunities to connect with your neighbours or your guests,” says Steell.

Dream bought its first piece of land in this section of the city in the late 1990s and has been gradually adding to its accumulation for the 261-hectare (646-acre) community since.

The pending ring road is one of the factors that captured the developer’s interest in the segment of the city. Equally important is its proximity to both urban amenities and natural beauty.

“This area is so close to downtown — 20 to 25 minutes,” Steell says. “You’re off to Kananaskis in 30 minutes. It’s kind of the best of both worlds.

“You’re close to those things that excite you about Calgary,” she adds.

New Ward 13 Coun. Dan McLean agrees. He attended an evening celebrating the launch of the community.

“This is a very exciting development,” he said. “I love the effort that was made to utilize this unique landscape.”

McLean noted the community’s desirable proximity to the mountains, emphasized the importance of the housing choice it provides, and added, “I’m certain that Alpine Park will become one of the most desirable communities in our city.”

For more information, visit

Josh Skapin,
For The Calgary Herald

Your pulse on the Shawnee Park market as of March 1, 2021.

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
Transformative Travel: I look at how travel can change lives.