Vertical living in condos
Young buyers willing to raise family in condos, but want green features
Sheila Brady, The Ottawa Citizen
Rising housing prices in Vancouver and Toronto are prompting more Canadians to buy condos, with some younger buyers predicting they would be willing to raise a family in these vertical neighbourhoods, according to a survey for TD Canada Trust.
Nine out of 10 respondents to the on-line survey also rated green or environmentally friendly and energy efficient buildings very important when deciding to buy, according to the annual condo survey conducted by Ipsos Reid for TD Canada Trust which was released earlier this week.
Eighty per cent also indicated proximity to public transportation was also key when deciding where to buy, says the online survey which polled 725 adults 18 and older living in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and Halifax between March 1 and March 5.
Ottawa was not part of the survey, but would likely have a similar response to Montreal, says Joan Dal Bianco, vice president, Real Estate Secured Lending for TD Canada Trust.
Condos are a more popular housing choice in Vancouver and Toronto because of high housing prices and the high price of land, says Dal Bianco, adding a majority of respondents did not want to spend more than $400,000 for a condo.
Between 15 and 20 per cent of all new homes sold across Ottawa are condos, traditionally appealing to baby boomers trading their family homes for an urban address and for young professionals buying their first home.
Toronto condos are also getting bigger, meaning they provide better housing options to raise a family, says the banker, adding it is now not a given that couples automatically sell their condo and move to the suburbs when they start a family.
High prices are a contributing factor, but there is also a desire to stay in the urban core.
“More people are now more comfortable living in the city with children. There is the convenience of living close to work, she says.
The proportion who would consider raising a family in a condominium has increased significantly to 30 per cent from 20 per cent a year ago,.
The green issue is also becoming increasingly important because people are more aware, there is a government focus and more media attention, says Dal Bianco.
Surprisingly, it was older respondents who valued the green factor higher, she says, adding boomers realized the energy savings when going green.
In Toronto, Minto is building energy-efficient condos and in Ottawa, Windmill and the Westeinde family is behind construction of the Currents, an eco-condo on Wellington Street that will also be the new home of the Great Canadian Theatre Company.
The TD is also considering launching green financing, giving preferential rates to buyers of eco homes, says Dal Bianco. “Stay tuned. There could possibly be a program announced in the spring. It is a busy period.”