People are shifting how they live in their homes — Jayman is responding

Designing thoughtful density with significant outdoor spaces, energy efficiency and liveability are all on the radar.

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Expect the Alberta housing market to stay strong through 2024 and into 2025, say those in the know at the award-winning Alberta-based new homebuilding company Jayman Built.

“In-migration into Alberta is so strong. Buyers are identifying Edmonton and Calgary as being very attractive in terms of purchasing a home. People are able to work remotely, and in many cases, they don’t even change jobs. They can sell their home in Toronto or Vancouver and buy a home in Edmonton or Calgary and put money in their pocket,” says Dave Hooge, COO at Jayman Built.

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He says that the other piece that is driving the market is the rental vacancy rate, which is very low. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. forecasts vacancy rates will drop to 1.1 per cent this year and one per cent in 2025, while rents continue to rise.

“All of a sudden it makes much more sense to buy, rather than rent,” says Hooge.

Jayman Built builds both single-family and multi-family homes across the province in Calgary, Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Leduc and St. Albert, including apartment-style condominiums, townhomes, starter homes, move-up homes and some estate product.

Over the years, it has earned tremendous success and accolades for both its multi-family designs and its single-family product, as well as for its interior design prowess and marketing. In the past two months, it has won Builder of the Year-Single Family, Large Volume at the Canadian Home Builders’ Association-Edmonton Region Awards and picked up the same title at the Building Industry and Land Development Calgary Region Awards, and, just recently, it picked up the Design Excellence Award at the 2024 CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence held in Saint John, N.B., on May 10, tying with another Calgary company, Douglas Homes. The two companies beat out hundreds of entries from across the country.

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“It’s always nice to win. Our team is so committed to excellence and it takes a lot of work to get there. I think it really shows that we take pride in what we do and it is very rewarding for our team when they are recognized by their industry peers for all of their hard work,” says Hooge.

He says that the company’s secret to success is multi-fold, starting with a corporate culture that focuses on innovation and leadership in industry.

“There are many demographics that are buying our products and each one is looking for something different in a home. We continue to dive into that to ensure that we meet their needs and desires,” says Hooge.

To achieve this, the team at Jayman Built travels the globe sussing out leading-edge ideas in design and construction.

Affordability and lifestyle are also big pieces of the puzzle.

“Affordability right now is critical. We want to make sure that people can buy what they need or want for their families,” says Hooge, noting that “many Calgarians are leaving the city and buying in Edmonton, where home prices are $180,000 to $200,000 less.”

When it comes to lifestyle, choice of community is core.

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“We strive to be in communities that provide the best lifestyles, whether that’s a lake community like Mahogany, on the west side with easy access to the mountains or in urban villages with walkability, like Westman Village,” says Hooge.

Stephanie Myers, vice-president, single-family at Jayman Built, notes that over the past five years there has been a shift in how people are living in their homes.

“We continue to see the need for home office space with more people working remotely, the volume of multi-generational households has increased, and the affordability factor has people more cognisant of the space that they need,” she says.

That translates to a diverse portfolio of home offerings in both the multi-family and the single-family sphere, with opportunities for secondary suites and with core efficiencies standard. Outdoor living space is also becoming high on the must-have list for buyers. In response, Jayman is introducing a new 2,400-square-foot model, launching next month in Legacy.

“It incorporates a large outdoor balcony on the third floor, providing a private space for entertaining, dining, reading and enjoying all the weather patterns that we get to experience in Calgary every day,” says Myers.

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At the recent BILDCR Awards, Jayman picked up top wins for its Les Jardins Apartments’ A Suite (Best Apartment Style $251,000-$350,999) and for the Streams of Lake Mahogany, winning for Reflection Springs No. 301 in the category Best Apartment Style $451,000 and Over.

Christopher Johnston, Jayman Built’s vice-president of multi-family, says that demand for multi-family product is “approaching all-time highs in the Calgary market and we expect this to continue for the foreseeable future as affordability continues to drive migration from other urban centres.”

He chalks up demand for Jayman’s multi-family product to liveability.

“We set ourselves apart by ensuring thoughtful density. We strive for balance between the number of units on a project and significant outdoor space,” he says. Personalization (the styleMagic centre picked up Best Design Centre/Show Room at CHBA-Edmonton Region Awards), thoughtful design with good use of space, EV charging stations and in-unit heating and air-conditioning systems are some other stand-out features.

Jayman Built takes pride in its commitment to sustainability — another core element that elevates the company. It was the first and the founding member of Built Green Canada in 2005. Since then, it has taken energy efficiency and sustainability to next-level parameters.

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“What we noticed was that if buyers were given the choice of upgrade packages including those that included visual features and those that included energy performance options, they would always choose the visual features. But, they wanted the energy efficient features; they just wanted them to come standard,” says Hooge.

In response, the company ramped up its offerings and in 2016 rolled out Jayman’s Core Performance, a set of energy efficient inclusions that are standard on all Jayman Built homes, including 10 solar panels, tankless hot water heater, dimpled membrane foundation wrap, a 96 per cent high-efficiency furnace with a Merv 13 filter and ultra-violet air purification system, triple-pane windows, and an active heat recovery ventilator. Hooge says that these standard specs create homes that are 33 per cent more energy efficient than the current building code mandates, “translating to a 50 per cent savings in energy costs.” Buyers also have the option of adding additional sustainable features (through four levels), taking homes all the way to fully net zero certified.

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All Jayman Built homes also feature a voice-controlled smart home package as standard.

And, in keeping with the company’s mandate for innovation, new ventures are on the horizon, including ramping up the company’s development arm — Jayman Living. It currently has two communities in Cochrane: Riversong and Precedence. But, come 2025, the new community of Nostalgia in Calgary’s deep south is launching.

“It’s going to be a head-turner,” says Hooge. “It’s an exciting master-planned community. The city has never seen anything like it — everything from the architecture to the energy efficiency to the amenities.”

Next on the docket will be Prairie Song, launching in the northwest in 2026.

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