Pat Baker for Metro Dreamhomes
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One of the most intriguing aspects of marketing new condominiums is watching trends as demographics change over the years.
The Toronto market today is multi-generational, and we’re seeing developers respond by designing a variety of suite styles and sizes to accommodate different needs and wants. On one end of the size continuum, we have first-time buyers who would rather own a 400- or 500-sq.-ft. condominium than rent an apartment. But farther along that scale are others who want the condominium lifestyle and a lot of elbow room.
The large-suite market is definitely a force in the condominium market nowadays. Condos in sizes from 1,500 to 3,500 sq. ft. and more are far more popular today than they were 20 years ago. One group looking for higher square footage is comprised of people who live in substantial homes and want to move to a more compact space. Compact for them, however, means no attic or basement, and not as many bedrooms. They still want size and grandeur — something with a lovely house feel to it. These are people who would not have considered leaving their big homes a decade ago. Now, however, they’re empty nesters who want to travel more and enjoy the freedom of simply shutting the door and leaving without worrying about lawn maintenance or snow clearing. Many of them purchase a place in Florida and live in a condo here for part of the year.
Another segment of the large-suite market is families. Many of these buyers come from countries where families living in an apartment is a common lifestyle choice. Add to that the fact that Toronto is considered a safe city that offers excellent schools, lush parks, public transportation and a wealth of cultural, entertainment and recreational amenities, and the environment is conducive to raising children. These purchasers want to live in the midst of urban conveniences and reap the benefits of no-maintenance living. But they need more room, and they’re discovering that a 2,000-sq.-ft. condo suite offers more usable space than a 2,000-sq.-ft., two- or three-storey home.
It’s all in the layout. In most suites, there is no space lost to hallways and stairs. Open-concept designs with open kitchens, dens, family rooms and even some with lofts provide ample space for comfortable living. Building amenities can extend the living space with opportunities for swimming, working out, viewing movies on the big screen and the like.
The fact is, condominium living can accommodate just about any lifestyle — and if a big suite is what you want, you’ll find an exciting selection in Toronto.
Pat Baker is CEO of Baker Real Estate Corporation, one of the world’s most respected and successful condominium sales and marketing firms. Through an international network of top-performing associates in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe (including Dublin), the company works with many of Toronto’s prestigious developers to represents the city’s hottest-selling projects. Visit www.baker-re.com to find out more about the city’s most important condominium projects.