May 30, 2011
Why Condos are Gaining Popularity in Major Canadian Cities
Affordability and Healthy Living Play into Homebuyer’s Buying Decisions
Recent surveys have shown that prospective home purchasers in major urban areas, such as Calgary and Montreal, are selecting the route of the condo. TD Canada Trust found that Montrealers are the most condo-interested group; 42 per cent of the residents surveyed citing cost and affordability as the major impetus for their condo-oriented position.
Condos were the more popular choice among the under 35 group, and those wishing to cut out a daily commute to the jobsite by living closer to downtown. However the majority of those Montrealers already living in condos, or 55 per cent, say they plan to move within six years.
In Calgary, 24 per cent of those who recently moved into a condo, or are currently thinking about it, cited their reason as a ‘downsize for retirement’.
Not surprising that Calgarians are thinking deeper about home costs; the Canadian Bankers Association recently reported that homeowners in Alberta are twice as likely to struggle to make mortgage payments than homeowners residing elsewhere in Canada. The report showed that delinquency rates are up to 0.83 per cent, from 0.17 per cent in 2007, the highest they have been since 1990.
CAAMP polls also convey that over 60 per cent of Canadians believe mortgage rates will rise in the next year.
Clearly urban Canadians are taking caution and re-examining their financials to see if a condo better suits their budgets. They also appear concerned with how friendly those living spaces are toward the environment.
Tridel, Canada’s largest condo developer, has mandated their determination to “develop condominium residences that meet the needs of today’s homeowners while safeguarding the well-being of future generations by focusing on environmentally sustainable building design and performance in construction, property management and corporate stewardship”.
Tridel states that buying green saves money, conserves energy, and promotes healthy living all while enjoying the other chief benefits condo living affords: “home ownership without the hassles of maintenance, repairs and security concerns”. The builder’s green projects include windmills, solar paneling and hybrid generators.
The Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an independent ‘Green Building Rating System’ which recognizes and certifies products that encourage and accelerate the global green building direction. TheRedPin.com, a website that allows Toronto condo shoppers to submit an address or MLS listing to receive its green rating, now includes LEEDs on its pages. The CaGBC says that already more than 30 per cent of Toronto and the Greater Area’s condo buildings are being built green.
In Airdrie, AB, Beattie Homes/Merge built the Courtyards of King’s Heights green-approved to provide homes that save money by reducing energy consumption.
Criteria examined in determining the greenness of a condo building include:
- sustainable site development
- water efficiency
- energy efficiency
- materials selected
- indoor environmental quality
- innovation and design process
Wondering if you can afford the condo fees associated with the green living style and proximity to city centre? Try entering your forecasted monthly budget into a mortgage affordability calculator. Keep in mind that if you intend to move within five years to a larger detached residence, you could be better off in renting a while longer.
Article provided by CanEquity.com