Canada now “a condo nation”
January 23, 2018
It may seem absurd in a nation with the world’s second-largest land mass but condominiums have become the fastest-growing housing choice for many Canadians.
More than 1.9 million Canadians lived in a condo in 2016, representing 13.3 per cent of the population, according to Statistics Canada’s census data. That is up by 1.2 per cent from the last census in 2011. With condo sales at record highs over the past two years, it is estimated that more than two million Canadians now call a condo home.
In Vancouver more than 30 per cent of the population lives in condos, the highest percentage in Canada. Condos are home to 21.8 per cent of Calgarians, followed by Kelowna and Toronto, both of which have more than 20 per cent of residents living in a condominium.
And demand for condos is driving price increases higher than that for detached housing, according to a recent report by Royal LePage.
In 2017, median condominium prices soared 14.3 per cent year-over-year to $420,800, the fastest growth pace across all property types. By comparison, the median price of single-family homes climbed 7.1 per cent to $522,900.
“Canada is now a condo nation, like other advanced economies around the world,” said Phil Soper, Royal LePage president and chief executive, in the report.
Even with a faster pace of price growth, condos are still more affordable than single-family homes, which is the main reason for their explosive popularity Soper said.
“To prospective homeowners in our largest cities, condominiums represent the last bastion of affordability,” Mr. Soper said.
In Toronto, as an example, the median price for a condo apartment is $850,900, while a detached house sells for a median of $1.26 million.