London News & Search
London’s home-building scene is heating up as the city works with builders to meet growing demand for new homes.
The city’s planning and environment committee will be asked by staff to give the green light to nearly 500 homes in four proposed developments between Sunningdale Road in the north and Colonel Talbot Road in the south.
To put the number in perspective, the city issued permits for 355 homes in 2016 and 733 the year before.
The committee also will be asked to approve a fifth development — a five-storey apartment with 51 units.
“A lot of it is driven by demand, we want to work as closely with the development community as we can,” said Lou Pompilii, manager of development planning for the city.
“There is motivation for both sides.”
Builders are keen to meet the demand for new homes fuelled by a surging resale market that is showing signs of cooling.
With the price of resale homes rising and supply dwindling, homebuyers are turning to new homes.
And builders are responding.
In the first six months of the year, the London area was on pace for a record year in home starts.
There were just over 1,700 starts in the London-St. Thomas market, putting the record 3,674 starts in 2006 in reach.
The city has issued permits for about 700 new single-family homes to date in 2017 and the number could reach 1,000 by the end of the year, Pompilii said.
The boom in new home building has been driven by builders and developers who see the demand and can’t meet it, and pressure has been mounting for the city to speed approvals, said Mike Carter, executive director of the London Construction Association.
“The city has been working very hard” to improve its approval process, he said. “There has been an awful lot of work to be more efficient and more effective. It has been a concern on an ongoing basis.”
If the 479 homes are approved Monday, and then get the green light at council, some permits may be issued by year end and others early in 2018.
“My position is that building is the future and building is optimism. The more building there is, it reflects more optimism,” Carter said.
Supply of permit-ready lots has dwindled in recent years and there have been cases when builders temporarily shut down because there weren’t any lots on which to build, said Peder Madsen, president of the London Home Builders’ Association.
“There have been builders sold out until next summer. It is unprecedented,” he said.
“I know the city is doing the best they can. There have been major improvements” to speed the process, Madsen said. “It’s a big push now to deal with inspections and permits. We need lots to keep the prosperity coming.”
The proposals to be discussed by the committee Monday represent a wide range of building across the city. They are:
• 1331 Hyde Park Rd.: The second and final phase of the Bieren Westfield subdivision by Kenmore Homes consists of 97 single detached lots on the south side of Coronation Drive, north of the Canadian Pacific Railway on the east side of Hyde Park Road.
• 1284 and 1388 Sunningdale Rd. W.: The first phase of the Fox Hollow North Kent Developments subdivision is for 69 single detached lots.
• 995 Fanshawe Park Rd. W.: The proposed 111 single detached lots by Landea Development Inc. will have access from the extension of Tokala Trail, Medway Park Drive and Silverfox Drive.
• 3493 Col. Talbot Rd.: The first phase of the Silverleaf subdivision is 108 single-family lots, on the south side of Pack Road, west of Col. Talbot Road. The site is approximately 40.5 hectares.
• 1355 Commissioners Rd. W.: Village West Developments is proposing a five-storey apartment building with 51 residential units.
The Monday meeting and council approval are the final steps before building permits can be issued, Pompilii added,
“This will help free up demand. A lot of these sites have been in the works for years and the market demand is there now.”
London News & Search