'There isn't just one type of first-time home buyer'

Logel Homes named BILDCR Awards’ Builder of the Year-Multi-family Large Volume.

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Within a competitive marketplace homebuilders have to constantly be refining their approach. Just ask the team at Logel Homes, a Calgary-based multi-family home builder who recently earned the coveted title of Builder of the Year Multi-family Large Volume at the Building Industry and Land Development Association Calgary Region (BILDCR) Awards, which were held in April at the Telus Convention Centre.

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“Our goal is to get better and better with each home, with each building and project. We are all about continuous improvement,” says Tim Logel, Logel Homes’ founder, chairman and CEO, who has more than four decades of experience in the home building industry.

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Tim spearheaded the winning multi-family concept back in the late 1990s with a 24-unit townhome project in Canmore. The company’s genesis was in response to an untapped niche: right-sizers and first-time home buyers, first under the umbrella of Cardel Lifestyles and then later as a rebrand to Logel Homes in 2017.

Today, he co-leads the company alongside his two sons — Brayden Logel, who has recently taken over the reigns as president, and Kevin Logel, who runs the construction side of the business. Tim’s brother Brad Logel orchestrates the sales team.

There’s no doubt that the company has tapped into a winning combination with its fresh and innovative designs that include large kitchens and many customizable options. Currently more than 14 floor plans are offered, with apartment-style condominium designs ranging from 472 square feet to 1,298 sq.-ft. Two-storey townhome designs span 1,268 sq.-ft. up to 1.649 sq.-ft., many with two-car garages.

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“We quickly realized that there isn’t just one type of first-time buyer. People are looking for different things and have different needs. Downsizers make up a big percentage of our purchasers, as well, and they like to bring forward features that they are used to in a single-family home. Our offerings help to bridge that gap and make it more comfortable and exciting,” says Tim, adding that it is really all about giving the homebuyers plenty of choices.

Its multi-family projects also offer sustainable options from separate heat recovery ventilator systems providing fresh, filtered air in each home to solar panels on each project, cutting energy costs and honing in on the goal of net zero.

In addition to earning one of six grand awards, Logel Homes also walked the stage at the BILDCR gala with awards for Sales Team of the Year Multi-Family and for Best Brochure for its Sage Walk Condos and Towns, while it also captured two category wins for Best New Multi-Family Design — The Cohen 3ES (901 sq. ft. to 1,200 sq. ft.) and The Nicholl 2 (651 sq. ft. to 900 sq. ft.), both located in the Seton West Phase 2 project.

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“It’s really a thrill for Brayden and I and my son Kevin to see our team be recognized. We are really passionate about what we do,” says Tim.

The company’s president, Brayden, says that the company’s success really hinges on its strategy to attract buyers who are going to live in the homes, not on attracting investors. He explains that the foundation of success springboards from several pillars — notably quality, innovation and customer experience.

“We are really putting value into the market — the locations of our developments are considered best-in-class with walkability to grocery stores, restaurants, shops and pathways,” Brayden says, noting that winning the Grand Award of Builder of the Year Multi-Family Large Volume for the fourth year in a row is a testament to the team’s continued focus on innovation and customer experience.

“It’s important to recognize that the BILD awards recognize a number of different criteria for the Grand Award — volume, customer service, show home images, floor plans, marketing, sustainability and safety are all factored in to that win and that’s why it is so important to us.”

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In Calgary, multi-family homes are garnering a growing portion of the market share. According to recent resale figures by the Calgary Real Estate Board, the demand for lower-priced homes has supported the growth of apartment-style properties with sales in March reaching 814 units, contributing to the first quarter’s record-high sales of 1,940 units. That’s nearly 31 per cent higher than last year. With 355 units available, inventory levels for townhomes were 12 per cent below last year’s numbers and 53 per cent below long-term trends for March.

“We continue to see record low numbers of inventory. If you are looking for a suburban condo in Calgary right now, there is less than one month supply in all suburban quadrants. The same goes for townhomes, which would indicate an extreme shortage,” adds Brayden.

His father, Tim, concurs. “To put that in perspective: For many years we saw six or seven months of supply, so to get less than a month with record in-migration, it’s a very strong positive market. It’s really tough to keep up with the demand.”

That said, the company is forecasting sales of 600 homes in 2024, up from 485 in 2023 and from just over 200 in 2022. In fact, the company has seen so much growth that it has grown from 30 employees to over 90 in just three years.

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Logel Homes currently has nine projects throughout the city on the go: two in Sage Hill (Sage Walk Phases 1 and 2), one in Sage Hill Crest (Sage Walk Towns, a collection of 52, two-storey, four-bedroom townhomes with double car attached garages and views of the Sage Hill environmental reserve), two in Sage Walk Bridge (a collection of condominium and townhome offerings adjacent to multiple green spaces and walking paths also with views of the Sage Hill environmental reserve), a collection of condominiums in Mahogany, two in Seton West (Phase 1 and 2 condominiums) and one in Silverton (51 street townhomes — three bedroom designs with optional detached garage, near wetlands, shopping and restaurants).

But its latest endeavour, Altitude at Three Sisters Mountain Village, is one that is close to founder, Tim Logel’s heart. It’s a collection of 228 condominiums across four buildings, along with 22 townhomes. The goal is to bring choice and affordability to the Canmore market, which Logel says is “struggling for affordable housing.”

“We’re really excited about the Canmore project — that’s how we began in the business in 1999 with 24 townhomes in Canmore — we’ve kind of come full circle,” he says with a laugh.

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