The boom in building residential rental units in Langford could be short-lived, says a developer with a lot of experience in that field.
Malcolm Hall, owner of Lifestyle Ventures, said he believes the major factor for the amount of residential rental units currently under construction is interest rates. A Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation mortgage right now is at 3.25 per cent interest, noted Hall, who has built about 650 rental units in a variety of locations in Langford since the late 1980s.
“If that went up a couple of percentage points it wouldn’t work for building apartments. We’re at a brief moment in history where it makes sense to build apartments,” he said. “Right now, as long as you have the money to build an apartment, it makes sense.”
Matthew Baldwin, director of planning for the City of Langford, said there are a number of factors to consider. “Part of it is being driven by market demand,” he said. “Langford Council has also long supported the development of residential housing through a number of incentives.”
According to statistics compiled by Langford’s planning department, 1,027 occupancy permits or rental apartment units have been issued since 2011, and building permits authorizing construction of 1,158 have been issued and are active.
Another 784 units are in the pre-building permit review process, or have been issued planning approvals but have not been issued a building permit yet.