Halifax’s red-hot multi-unit residential housing boom If you were asked to rank Canada’s fastest growing cities, Halifax might not immediately come to mind. However, as of June 2019, the city had 4,483 apartment units under construction. When adjusting for relative size, Halifax has more rental housing units under construction than the Greater Toronto Area! Several factors are spurring Halifax’s strong economy and growing population, which are driving high rental demand. The province’s overall unemployment rate is steadily declining, which has contributed to record-low levels of unemployment. After a period of stagnation, Nova Scotia’s population has grown for the last three years, mostly due to strong international and neutral interprovincial migration (rather than a net outflow). Most of that population growth has occurred within Halifax, as many people have moved from rural and small-town Nova Scotia to its capital city for employment and urban amenities. Halifax is also experiencing a relatively low and falling vacancy rate, dropping to 1.6% in 2018. Rental demand has outstripped the supply coming online for the last three years. Fortunately, Halifax is also seeing a surge of new multi-unit rental housing developments, which will help to meet the needs of young professionals moving to the city for employment, as well as older people wanting to move closer to family and take advantage of more readily available health care amenities. Time will tell whether the future growth in rental demand will be enough to absorb the new rental supply coming online in Halifax, or whether vacancy rates will rise again to more balanced levels. The three following residential rental housing developments are part of the recent surge in Halifax’s growth.
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Maple by Southwest Properties This 300-unit building, completed in April 2017, is located at 1583 Hollis Street in Halifax’s downtown core. It was the first new high-rise building built in Halifax in more than 20 years. At the time of its construction, it was also the largest multi-unit residential building in downtown Halifax. In 2018, the building won Rental Development of the Year at the CFAA Rental Housing Awards. Features and amenities include: • 24-hour concierge service • Well designed and efficient suites with harbour and city views • Indoor swimming pool and hot tub • Fitness centre • Terrace overlooking the harbour • Resident party room with full lounge • Kitchen, sit-up counter and dining table • Billiard room • Resident social events • Original artwork • Great downtown location
The Alexander by Killam Apartment REIT
The Dillon by Mosaik Properties
This 239unit building, completed in October 2018, is located at 5121 Bishop Street in downtown Halifax, on historic Brewery Square. The property includes one storey of commercial space. The building offers indoor access to Alexander Keith’s Brewery Market, as well as scenic views of the Halifax Harbour.
This recently completed 39-unit building is located at 1619 Sackville Street on the corner of Market and Sackville. The builder and designer collaborated to include beautiful design elements and amenities to the units. The five-storey glass tower, which is located above the former building’s restored 1800s exterior, provides most tenants with breathtaking views.
Features and amenities include: • Concierge service • Common room • Café • Gym • Custom courier lockers • Underground parking • Well-equipped fitness room • Spacious lobby • Large landscaped terrace and BBQ area
Features and amenities include: • Smart-living layouts • Stainless steel appliances • Chic interior design finishes • Private balconies • Floor-to-ceiling windows • Rooftop gym • Terraced green space • Concrete construction • Quieter urban living By David Gargaro, with Jeremy Newman
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RHB, RHB Magazine, Halifax, Housing boom