Calgary sees increased demand for basement suites amidst housing crisis
Posted Nov 7, 2023 02:37:58 PM.
Last Updated Nov 7, 2023 02:38:03 PM.
With rising inflation and higher mortgage payments, Calgary sees a growing demand for houses with secondary suites and walk out basements.
“Typically used to be only intercity but now we are seeing it right to the brand new suburbs, where the developers and builders are also creating homes with that in mind,” said Remax Mountain View realtor Shauna Yawney.
In the third quarter of 2023, the City is reporting an 80 percent increase in the construction of secondary suites, and one Calgary basement construction company says their business has almost quadrupled since last year.
“Last year we did about 10 basement suites. This year, we’re currently have completed 40 basement suites. By the end of the year it will be around 60,” said Mark Graham, general manager of Basement Builders Calgary. “It’s a little bit of everything, probably closer to 75 per cent of people that are actually looking for revenue property. And then 25% of families that are going to either have their parents move in or their kids move into their basement.”
The city says in new communities, applications for secondary suites are up by 114 per cent while in established communities, 351 secondary suite building permit applications were received, an increase of 33 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2022.
Yawney is not surprised with these numbers.
“There are more people than I have seen in my 15-plus years in real estate looking for a property with a suite or to create a suite that will allow them to supplement their mortgage with inflation continuing to rise here,” she said. “Even though Calgary is one of the most affordable cities across Canada, it’s still in high demand.”
With a cost of at least $80,000, a legal basement suite takes more than three months to build in existing homes.
But Yawney says, this new demand has dictated new patterns in home building.
“Builders and developers have listened to what consumers want,” she said. “And in most communities, in all quadrants of the city and surrounding communities, the builders are preparing properties with sweet ready to move in live separately in the basement for people coming in wanting again to supplement that income.”