Vancouverites see value in buying a condo

by Brian Morton, Vancouver Sun

If you’re a young adult looking for a condo, it might be best to approach your parents and just ask for one.

That’s one of the findings of TD Canada Trust’s Condo Poll, which shows Vancouverites not only see condos as a source of long-term income, but that 13 per cent — tied with Montreal for the highest in the country — would consider buying one for their adult children either to own or use.

“The number-one point [in this survey] is that Vancouverites believe condos provide good, affordable accommodation,” said Barry Rathburn, B.C. mobile mortgage specialist for TD Canada Trust, in an interview Wednesday. “It’s also interesting that 47 per cent of Vancouverites would invest in a condo, [mainly] for rental income. That’s the highest in the country.”

The high number of Vancouverites who would buy a condo for their children speaks to the fact that a lot of people in Vancouver have an urban lifestyle “that includes condo living,” Rathburn said.

A large number of parents now help their kids buy their first homes, perhaps with a down payment, so he said he wasn’t surprised by the survey findings.

“A certain segment would buy a condo in a major city so [their children] can attend a university. Afterwards, they could rent it out or sell it.”

According to the poll, Vancouverites continue to see the value in buying a condo, either for their own home or for their children.

The most common reason Vancouverites gave for buying a condo is affordability, with 45 per cent of residents citing that reason, compared to 24 per cent nationwide.

The two other top reasons were less maintenance (21 per cent) and wanting to downsize from a house (15 per cent).

However, respondents in Vancouver were also the most likely in the country to say that if they had more money, they would buy a house over a condo (53 per cent).

As well, Vancouverites are the most likely to consider raising a family in a condo (42 per cent versus 36 per cent nationally).

Rathburn said he’s seeing an increasing number of so-called snowbirds and other travellers who buy a condo for the summer and spend winter elsewhere.

The survey found that 66 per cent of Vancouverites would spend no more than $400,000 for a two-bedroom condo, although Vancouverites are also the most willing to pay more than $400,000 (31 per cent versus 15 per cent nationally). However, just eight per cent of Vancouver residents would pay more than $400 a month in condo fees.

The condo poll was conducted from April 14-20 in five large Canadian urban centres, with about 200 interviews in each centre.

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