Wednesday, March 27, 2013

More multifamily housing in the Township being created

When people in Metro Vancouver think about housing development in the Township of Langley, they are likely to conjure up images of endless acres of single-family housing. Fortunately this image is wrong with most new resident units in the Township consisting of townhouses, row-house, and apartments known collectively as multifamily.

Single-family Dwelling Units Created - 2007 to 2012

Multifamily Dwelling Units Created - 2007 to 2012

I was looking over the statistics for residential units added to the Township in 2012, and it seems that there is a downward trend for single family housing units and an upward trend for multifamily housing units. In 2011, there were 626 multifamily housing units created and 696 single-family housing units created. In 2012, there were 545 multifamily housing units created and 530 single-family housing units created. While the number of single-family housing units may seem high, that number includes secondary suites as well. When you adjust for secondary suites, only 447 single-family housing units were created in 2011 and 335 in 2012.

2013 is also shaping up to be a year with more multifamily units being created than single-family units. At the end of February, 101 multifamily units were created while 35 single-family units with 26 secondary suites were created.

While people in the Township aren’t living in glass towers, there has certainly been an increase of residential density in the community. This is good news as increasing density will allow for higher-quality public services like increased transit, and more local shopping opportunities within the community. I actually have to wonder if the single-family house without a secondary suite is a thing of the past in the Township of Langley.

1 comment:

Brad Richert said...

It is not how dense you make it, but how you make it dense.
-Jonathan Barnett, urban designer

Density can be great when done well, but horrific when there are none of the benefits density is suppose to bring (ie. lower taxes, more schools, better infrastructure, pedestrian neighbourhoods, etc.).

The Township only uses density as a cash cow - all input, no output. So before we start congratulating ourselves, take a look at all the empty condos. Just based on what is on the MLS (not including the hundreds of new condos not on the service, but available for sale), attached homes in Langley have held at a 11% sales to listing ratio in 2013. Even this low number was skewed because new condo sales across the Township spiked in February due to the HST rebate expiry taking effect.

If you bought a new condo in Langley in 2008 for $300,000, you might be able to sell it for $230,000. Might. And its getting worse. Langley's developers are just now figuring this out and are trying to get around high density zoning plans because nothing is selling.

So we can keep building them, but we're killing equity and the typical buyer of these units (24-35 years) cannot upgrade because of it and can't raise families in 600 sq.ft. Not sustainable.