OTTAWA -- Condos are increasingly becoming urban Canadians' residence of choice, as the lure of low maintenance and affordability boosts the number of potential buyers, says TD Canada Trust.
Forty-eight per cent of city-dwelling Canadians said they would consider buying a condominium as their primary residence, up significantly from the 39 per cent recorded just a year ago, Canada Trust said is its condo poll survey of 1,200 online interviews.
"While affordability is still the main driver for many first-timers, the condo market offers so many options and amenities -- including highly energy-efficient buildings -- that it is commanding the attention of a much wider range of potential buyers," says Joan Dal Bianco of Canada Trust's real-estate division.
Less maintenance than a house was a key factor for 34 per cent of respondents, while 23 per cent said affordability is the main reason.
Energy efficiency is also a growing attraction for buyers, 96 per cent of whom said it would be a top factor, equalled in popularity only by good building security.
Low condo fees were another top priority for 94 per cent of those polled. Almost half of respondents said they were willing to pay no more than $400 a month in fees and 36 per cent said they would pay no more than $200.
Nationally, 52 per cent said they want to spend less than $400,000 to buy a two-bedroom condo, and 28 per cent said they want to spend less than $200,000.
All of which reveals a large gap between people's expectations and the prices they'll encounter when they go shopping.
"There are still places where you can a $150,000 condo," Dal Bianco said, adding that "in the large major cities, in particular Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, chances of finding something under $200,000 are pretty slim."
A new condo is not top of mind for those polled. Fully 45 per cent said "new" was the least-important factor.