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May 31, 2021

Canadians in market to buy condos

CondoWell we're movin' on up. To the east side. To a deluxe apartment in the sky.

The Jeffersons lived the high life, and according to a new report from BMO Bank of Montreal one-third of Canadian homebuyers are looking to purchase a condominium in the next five years.

But what is it that is attracting buyers to the condo lifestyle?

Frances Hinojosa, Mortgage Expert, BMO Bank of Montreal, says, "For many first-time buyers, particularly in high-priced markets like Toronto and Vancouver, condos represent an affordable stepping stone into the housing market.

"On the other side of the spectrum, many in the baby boomer demographic may be looking to downsize from the family home -- leading some to consider the condo market as well."

Convenience and maintenance-free living also attract people to the condo lifestyle.

For those who do not want the ongoing maintenance such as mowing the lawn, shovelling the driveway and outdoor repairs that typically come with home ownership, condo living makes perfect sense.

By major Canadian city, 31 per cent of prospective buyers in Toronto plan to purchase a condo by 2018 which is up by 11 points; in Vancouver, the intent to buy a condo has dropped by five points to 28 per cent; in Calgary it has risen by eight points to 33 per cent; and in Montreal, 24 per cent have indicated they will be purchasing a condo within the next five years.

Sal Guatieri, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets, adds, "Condos remain an affordable alternative to the pricey detached market in some major cities. For example, a typical Toronto condo today requires just 22 per cent of a median family's income to service; Vancouver condos - while more expensive - are still affordable at 28 per cent of income.

"Downsizing baby boomers and upsizing - from the parents' basement - echo boomers are likely to support the condo market in the coming decade."

Condo or detached home? Whichever suits your lifestyle and your pocketbook is the right housing choice for you.

By Donna Donaldson, MSN Money

Would you choose condo living over buying a detached home? Why or why not?




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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...