Condo market HEATING UP !!!!!!!

Condominiums have become a hot sector of the Canadian real estate market, particularly as an option for first-time homebuyers spooked by high prices for single-family homes, says a report released Monday.

Affordability, lifestyle, investment opportunities and urban renewal efforts are among the reasons condo sales have spiked over the last year in some Canadian markets

« The lifestyle has also gained a foothold with younger, hipper audiences as the definition of home ownership evolves with the changing demographic, » . « Dreams of the small home with a white picket fence are being replaced by the funky loft apartment in proximity to shops, restaurants and entertainment. »

Price comparisons showed the average price for condominiums had risen 12.9 per cent to $252,641 over the last year, but was still more than $100,000 cheaper than the average price of $366,587 for a single-family home.

Gregory Klump, chief economist for the Canadian Real Estate Association, said condo sales are becoming a bigger share of more expensive housing markets across the country, such as Toronto , Vancouver and MONTREAL.

« (Condos) have been accounting for a greater percentage over time of all sales activity, » Klump said. « Condo units are an affordable alternative to single-detached home ownership. »

The report said other factors driving the condo market include urban redevelopment that favours intensification over urban sprawl, empty nesters seeking low-maintenance retirement properties and investors hoping to sell when prices appreciate.

The « vast majority » of newly built condominiums in Toronto/Montreal are purchased by long-term investors from Asia and the Middle East, who will often rent them out until they find their desired sales price.

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