Step aside, humble duplex: Row housing is on the rise and changing the look of Calgary infill living.
In 2014, the City of Calgary began approving changes in the land use designation of larger (corner) lots on busy through roads in some inner city communities. Since that time, corner lots have been re-zoned at a torrid pace, from previous land use designation of RC-2 (2 Dwellings at 45% lot coverage) to the new designation of RC-G (4 Row House Dwellings at 60% lot coverage). RC-G also allows for a higher maximum height of a dwelling. As a result of this zoning change, Calgary's inner city "infill" communities have seen a dramatic shift in the way corner lots have been redeveloped in the past 12 months.
Row houses support the City of Calgary's mantra of increasing density in established communities while appealing to potential homebuyers by hitting a lower price point. As a result of this appeal, the market has seen significant increase in sale prices for these corner lots as developers snap them up with the intention of re-zoning.
Calgary's Inner City RC-2 Communities that have seen corner lot re-zoning take place:
NW- Sunnyside, West Hillhurst, Hillhurst, Parkdale, Montgomery, Banff Trail, Capitol Hill, Tuxedo, Highland Park
SW-Altadore, South Calgary, Richmond, Killarney, Shaganappi, Bankview, Rosscarrock, Spruce Cliff
SE- Inglewood, Ramsay
NE- Winston Heights
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What is the Impact?
For current owners of undeveloped corner lots in RC-2 communities, the market value of your property may be significantly higher than you know. In some cases, it could be 25-30% more than your City assessed value. A recent sale of a corner lot at 1940 Bowness Road NW in the community of West Hillhurst came in at $760,000, a whopping $153,000 over the assessed value. The purchaser bought this property with the intention of building 4 row homes rather than the 'traditional' 2 infills. The purchaser has already started the re-zoning process with the city.
On the flip side, owners of homes located beside an undeveloped corner lot in RC-2 communities may see a slight decline in market value with the influx of RC-G dwellings. Although visually appealing, the increased lot coverage and height guidelines that come with these row housing developments may lead to a reduction in privacy and sun exposure to adjacent properties.
Row housing can change the look and feel a of a neighbourhood. Just like the dwellings of many European cities or the Brownstones of New York, when done right, row housing can add a charming coziness to the community. Additionally, these row houses are presenting potential buyers with the unique opportunity to purchase homes in established communities that may have been previously unaffordable.
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RE/MAX Real Estate (Central)