The recent TD Canada Trust online survey conducted in March with adults from Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Halifax produced some interesting results that validate what I and other condominium marketers have been saying for years. In general, purchasers choose condos because they want less maintenance, more compact living spaces, a downtown location, an affordable alternative to low-rise housing, and a wise financial investment.
The Toronto consensus (41 per cent) was that less maintenance is the overwhelming main reason for considering a condo. Giving up snow shovelling, lawn mowing and other upkeep is definitely one of the biggest benefits of condo living. Although this aspect is often related to empty-nesters and retirees, in fact, purchasers of all ages tell us that is what’s important to them. What used to be an empty-nester market now includes the spectrum of buyers, from singles and move-ups to retirees. Busy young professionals, for example, work long hours. They’re starving for leisure time, and they don’t want to spend what little they get on keeping up a home.
The survey mentions empty-nesters in relation to downsizing living spaces, but again, that can apply to younger buyers as well, who opt for fewer square feet and more affordability. With land shortages and environmentally protected land in the GTA, single homes are out of the financial reach of many people who want to own a home.
Condos also offer more convenience, part of which is living downtown. An urban locale enables condo suite owners to cut down on traffic and commuting time. We hear this time and time again — buyers will compromise on suite size to eliminate travel time so they have extra time to enjoy the amenities in their building. Downtown living also means public transportation is convenient. Many purchasers downsize from two cars to one, and some find owning a car not necessary at all.
The good investment aspect of the survey is understandable, too. When you compare Toronto with other North American cities and look at average prices, we still offer the best bargains right here. Because there is so much competition among developers, our condominiums include innovative suite designs, upscale finishes and impressive amenities like party rooms and state-of-the-art fitness facilities that are bright and inviting.
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Linda Mitchell is vice-president of marketing, high-rise for Monarch Corporation. In 2005, Linda was presented with the coveted OHBA SAMMY (Sales and Marketing Member of the Year) award.