Condominiums or more commonly known as “Condos” have attracted different people over the years. In the 1980’s and 90’s condos were generally larger and marketed more towards buyers with children. As the years progressed, condos became the choice of a younger generation and the unit sizes became smaller. Fast forward to today, condos still appeal to a younger generation, but marketing is once again targeting families and now, older generations are looking at condos as the home of choice.
With all these different demographics living in one “vertical community”, condos need to ensure that they meet the needs of all its tenants.
Downsizers or Empty Nesters
These individuals may be professionals or retirees looking to unlock equity. Valuing great design, high quality and functionality, they are also looking for space to entertain. As this group ages, living independently becomes very important. Condos that include services such as a doctor, dentist, pharmacy, hairdresser, convenience store allows them to retain their independence. Specific price points can also attract this group. In 2017, the popular Waldon Pond Towers complex at 25 Austin Drive located in Markham had an average selling price of $649,556. This price was very appealing for this demographic.
Couples, Young Families, Mature Families
When looking for a new home, these individuals are driven by location, value, size and functionality of layout. Three-bedroom units are preferred, but more affordable two or two+ bedroom units can also be very suitable. The idea of a condo is great because of the cost of housing and the overall work-life balance it provides. Amenities play a large factor in deciding which condo to consider purchasing. Common rooms that can be easily repurposed for birthday parties, messy school projects or even music practices are a plus. Having ground floor bathrooms and foyers that be used as casual meeting areas are great for older kids. For parents, proximity to transit, schools, community centres and parks play a very important role in the decision-making process.
First-Time Buyers, Millennials
Size is less of an issue with this group as it is largely made up of single or young couples/families who are educated and have good jobs but limited savings. This indicates that price point becomes an important feature when looking for that first home. Along with price, this group values the usefulness of the amenities, overall aesthetics and technology, such as smart wiring, wireless compatibility and multiples outlets for charging. Location remains a top priority as millennials enjoy being out in the community and opting not to have a vehicle, which means that the condo needs to be transit accessible and have a high walk score.
There are three communities where condos are prevalent in York Region: Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan. In December 2017, all three communities saw their average sale price increase year over year. Markham increased 13% ($468,977); Richmond Hill increased 16% ($469,908); Vaughan increased 11% ($519,167).
The idea of owning a home changed when the market was raging out of control. The “Canadian Dream” of home ownership is beginning to look a lot different. For most people, condos might be their first choice when looking at owning real estate. Prices still remain very reasonable for any demographic who wish to purchase a condo, but for how long? As more individuals look at condos as the optimal choice this will increase demand and possibly increase overall price. If you are considering a condo purchase now is the time!