Canada's Condominium Magazine
The shift to urban condo preference may be partially driven by economics and availability — as detached home prices tend to be out of reach for many today — but the real shift in buying intention is driven by lifestyle preference — according to data from Statistics Canada. Although detailed data will be released in October of this year, the current release of data shows this clear trend already.
The surge in interest is driven by a combination of younger first-time buyers looking to reduce commute times (and stay close the social scene), and down-sizers opting to cash out of their larger homes now that their kids are gone. The preference for condos is amongst urban-preference buyers, who value proximately to work and play above space and a private garden.
30 percent of Toronto dwellers live in high rises
Toronto now has the highest percentage of five-story plus dwellings in Canada at nearly 30 per cent — and growing fast. By comparison, Canada’s second-hottest real estate market in Vancouver follows with only 16.7 percent high rise dwellers. As lives become busier, there is a growing preference away from any lifestyle that includes snow-shovelling, lawn cutting and long commuting; the economics of price weighs into the equation, today, as a secondary factor.
The advantages to high-rise living: amenities, locations and affordable luxury. Via Bloor by Tridel:
Availability remains an issue, as this class of buyer is typically looking for the larger two-bedroom condo in an accessible location close to transit. Many available condos on the market downtown are smaller, or in less desirable locations.
High-density vertical communities for families
This is not a singles, or childless couples phenomenon. The new data indicates that more families with new children are considering the detached home option. In Toronto, where already 30 per cent of households live in high-rises, it has become more socially acceptable to raise families in vertical communities. Toronto even commissioned a study help plan vertical community living in the city. [See this earlier feature in Condo.ca>>]
This shift towards a denser urban lifestyle has created a strong surge in the growing condo market. A variety of factors are considered when making home-buying, and for every person or family the reason is different.
Growing families need vertical space
Believe it or not, a growing number of families are shifting toward condominiums in an effort to meet their family’s particular needs. While it may be more traditional for a growing family to seek larger accommodations, the lifestyle changes that come with parenthood tend to cause many people to refocus their priorities and seek lodging that allows them to spend more time together as a family, while saving money for their child’s future. Condos are nearly perfect in this aspect.
There’s lots to love in urban condo apartments:
They are smaller and more affordable, which allows families to save more money than they would have if they were to purchase a house. The centralized location allows families to explore their cities together. Parents can spend their free time with one another and their children, rather than spending that valuable time performing maintenance and landscaping tasks. They can walk to the park and libraries, go shopping, visit with friends who live in the same building, and more.
Long ago, condos were considered “starter options” — just until you had kids or saved enough money. Now, with the shift of lifestyle preferences, condo developers responded in the last two decades with community choices that make condominiums the “go-to-option” for urban-oriented families.