Rents: $828 ↑
Halifax Leads Atlantic Canada into New Apartment Construction Boom
Twenty years ago, Atlantic Canada was seen as an economically troubled part of Canada. Its resource economies were weak, and it lagged behind the rest of the country in job creation and growth.
Since then, the region has risen to become one of the nation’s economic leaders. The manufacturing jobs the region has lost have been replaced by jobs able to withstand the economic pressures that caused the downturn in the first place. The development of Hibernia oil, the growth of other commodity sectors, and an influx of high-tech jobs have reduced unemployment and create opportunities for growth in many centres, and the apartment market has responded in kind. The population of major centres such as Moncton, St. John and Fredericton in New Brunswick, Charlottetown in Prince Edward Island and St. John’s in Newfoundland have all increased in the past decade, and at least 1,379 units have been added to the universe or will be added in the near future. Everywhere, average rents are rising.
While the rest of Atlantic Canada is showing strength in new apartment construction, the marketplace in and around the city of Halifax has topped these gains. As the region’s largest centre, Halifax’s economy is leading Atlantic Canada in growth. Halifax is a provincial capital, a centre for military operations on Canada’s east coast as well as the financial centre for Atlantic Canada with expanding investment banking and ICT sectors. This combined with being a major health care centre has given Halifax a base of jobs that has allowed it to avoid the worst of the 2008 recession. Unemployment is down, and the local population is rising. Halifax’s vacancy rates have remained steady, and average rents are increasing. Of all the major centres in Atlantic Canada, Halifax had the highest median after-tax household income.
The growing and diversifying economy has produced a growing demand for high-end, condominium-style apartments. This trend has been boosted by demographic changes that have produced a large number of empty-nesters looking to downsize from their single-family homes.
Halifax’s apartment market has responded with considerable growth. In many ways, it is a mirror to Vancouver’s real estate market. Whereas the bulk of Vancouver’s high-rise construction has been in condominium stock, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation estimate that as many as 90% of new construction starts in Halifax over the past few years have been for rental accommodation over condominium housing. The heated market has raised land prices, giving developers a strong incentive to build concrete buildings, maximizing height and density.
Halifax represents a larger apartment universe than the rest of Atlantic Canada combined. This activity has not been limited just to Halifax city proper but has benefitted Dartmouth across the harbour.
While Halifax’s strong economic growth has largely been the result of a diversifying economy, one of the city’s core businesses has also received a considerable boost. Halifax beat out competitors from British Columbia and Quebec for a $25 billion shipbuilding contract from the federal government. The Irvine shipbuilding contract is expected to support 8,500 jobs per year and should bolster the local economy, as well as the economy of all of Atlantic Canada, for years to come.
Although Halifax is home to six well-established universities and colleges with a total student population of over 30,000, student housing has not been part of the construction boom in Halifax in the past decade (and most students could not afford the rents being charged by most of the new apartments that have been built). Student housing has had a greater influence on some of the new construction taking place in Charlottetown, Fredericton, Moncton, Saint John and St. John’s.
Atlantic Canada has much to offer developers in new construction. This is especially the case in Halifax where the economy is strong and diverse and looks to remain so for the foreseeable future.
WHILE THE REST OF ATLANTIC CANADA IS SHOWING STRENGTH IN NEW APARTMENT CONSTRUCTION, THE MARKETPLACE IN AND AROUND THE CITY OF HALIFAX HAS TOPPED THESE GAINS.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation estimates that as many as 90% of new construction starts in Halifax over the past few years have been for rental accommodation over condominium housing.
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Global Director Buildings
Mansoor Kazerouni is an Architect with over 27 years of experience and a significant portfolio of projects completed or underway across Canada, the United States, the UAE, Jordan and India. These include high density high-rise residential buildings, hotels, office, retail, institutional, and complex urban mixed-use developments. A number of these projects have been nominated for and received Urban Design and Architectural Design awards.
Mr. Kazerouni is the Global Director of Architecture at IBI Group, leading a team of over 1,400 Architects, designers and Engineers located in 60 offices worldwide.
Mr. Kazerouni has been a guest lecturer on the subject of architecture and mixed-use design at universities, conferences and various panels. He has also been interviewed on the subject by newspapers, architectural publications, television and other media.
Mr. Kazerouni's abilities and expertise in his field have been recognized by his appointment to the City of Mississauga's Urban Design Advisory Panel, the City of Markham’s Urban Design Advisory Panel and the City of Vaughan's Urban Design Advisory Panel. He is also a past Advisory Board Member of the Urban Land Institute, a member of the Ontario Association of Architects, the Alberta Association of Architects, the Nova Scotia Association of Architects, the Architects Licensing Board of Newfoundland and Labrador, and a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. He has testified as an expert witness at the Ontario Municipal Board and at Arbitration Hearings related to development sites.
Darryl McCullough CCIM SEC
Broker - Royal LePage Lakes of Muskoka Realty Inc., Brokerage
President - Crescent Equity Management Inc.
Since 1972, I have been given the opportunity to interact with seasoned partners and clients in structuring and organizing both simple and complex real estate transactions involving acquisition, disposition, finance, and consulting in Canada and throughout the United States. It has trained me to bring a unique, personal client-centered approach to each assignment, from simple to complex transactions and the diverse clientele who own them.
In 1984 I received the Certified Commercial Investment Member, CCIM, designation (www.ccim.com); an internationally recognized identity confirming amortized knowledge in the disciplines of investment, development etc.
Another prominent membership I thankfully am able to continue holding is with the U.S. based Society of Exchanges Counselors (www.secounselors.com). This organization shares my belief in pursuing and demonstrating problem solving techniques in the real estate industry based on proven principles of integrity, professionalism, and accountability. Through this organization I continue to dedicate myself to what is true in the discipline of real estate problem solving.
Technology coupled with a learned research and analytical skill set now allows me to carry out these functions with selected projects from my adopted Muskoka home.
I continue to maintain an ever changing “student” learning status not only related to the physical asset, but equal or more importantly, drawing out corporate/personal situations and objectives and then knitting together ultimate benefit packages based on creative solutions via time honoured formulas.