Every time that I pick up a national newspaper, there are articles about the trend of people purchasing condominiums rather than detached houses. In general, people don’t seem to talk about that here in Collingwood and on the surface, it doesn’t seem like that trend is taking hold here. But wait. Is it?
I know that in my own real estate practice, condos now represent about 50% of my sales each year compared to a tiny percentage even 10 years ago. You know I love stats and the challenge of digging deep to find the nuggets. I did that this morning and, Eureka!
Rather than looking at all condo sales in the area, I decided to look instead at the type of condos people may be more likely to buy to live in on a full-time basis rather than the many sold in our area for part-time and recreational use. My criteria was to look specifically at condos sold on our local MLS® that had 2 or more bedrooms, were over 900 square feet and located in Collingwood. Then I did the exact same comparison for houses. The results are stunning.
The number of condo units sold in this category increased by a whopping 15.4% between 2013 and 2014 compared to an overall increase in the number of single family homes in the same category of just 2.8%.
So there you have it. The trend to buying condos rather than single family homes is finally taking hold in the Collingwood market. This isn’t surprising when you consider the main reasons why people buy condominium units to live in full-time in the first place:
- Prices for single family homes are unattainable for many first time buyers
- Investors due to both pricing and lack of worry about property management concerns
- Retirees who appreciate turn-key living and security if they are travellers/snowbirds
- People who are looking for a specific amenity they cannot afford otherwise such as a waterfront location, private recreational facilities and marinas
All of these factors and conditions currently exist in our local market. What is interesting is that condo prices of older units have not been appreciating due to the ongoing supply of “new” stock. Those numbers are beginning to decline and it is quite possible that condo corporations who maintain their complexes to a current standard will begin to see price appreciation in the coming years.