Condo buyers in Canada’s major cities are now factoring in energy efficiency and environmentally friendly amenities when choosing condominiums, according to the recent results of TD Canada Trust’s annual condo survey, conducted by Ipsos Reid.


The online survey asked respondents to rate the importance of a number of amenities that might factor into their decision to buy a condominium. It was conducted between this past March 1 and March 5, among 725 adults aged 18 and older living in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and Halifax.


•90 per cent indicate that an environmentally friendly, energy-efficient building is either very important (45 per cent) or somewhat important (45 per cent) to their choice. Only nine per cent say it is not really important and one per cent say it is not at all important.


When asked about factors that would dissuade them from buying a particular condo, the leading reason is no parking (79%), followed by insufficient building security (67%).


A lack of energy efficiency is also high on the list, with 63 per cent saying it would influence their decision.

•Proximity to public transit factored in as a high priority as well (80%), with 45 per cent saying that it is very important or and 35 per cent saying somewhat important.

“As green choices save them money, Canadians will increasingly look for energy efficient features and ready access to public transit when shopping for a condo,” says Joan Dal Bianco, vice-president of real estate secured lending.

•The most important amenity is good building security (96 per cent) with 71 per cent saying it is very important. More women (77%) than men (63%) say it is very important. The importance of good building security also increases with age.

•Other key choice factors are an attractive design and proximity to theatres, restaurants and shopping. The least important determinant in choosing a condo is having most residents in the same age range. Only half say it is very important (13%) or somewhat important (37%).

Cost is King

•Affordability factors highly in Canadians’ decision to buy a condo. In terms of pricing, $400,000 for a two-bedroom condominium seems to be the tipping point, with 86 per cent of respondents saying they would only pay less than this amount. One-third (35%) would pay less than $200,000, just over half (51%) would be willing to pay from $200,000 to $399,000, six per cent would pay from $400,000 to $600,000, while only one per cent would pay more than $600,000.

•According to another recent study, the average condo price in 2006 in Montreal was $169,899, Toronto $239,816, Calgary $262,456 and Vancouver $289,344, with the average of the four cities being $240,378.

•Findings regarding condo fees track closely to pricing preferences. When asked the maximum they would be willing to pay in monthly fees for any condo, 86 per cent say less than $400 and only 13 per cent say more. The breakouts are: less than $200, 41%; $200 to less than $400, 45%; $400 to less than $600, 10%; more than $600, three per cent.