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Affordability is Key for Vancouver Condo Buyers, says TD Canada Trust Condo Poll
- Four-in-ten Vancouverites are attracted to lower cost of condos vs. houses, whereas rest of Canada are attracted to less maintenance - Vancouverites most likely to consider raising a family in a condo - More than half would consider buying a condo solely for investment purposes. - Top amenities are security and energy efficiency; lowest is "owning a brand new condo" VANCOUVER, May 7 /CNW/ - For Vancouverites, financial considerations are the main factors to consider when they look at the condominium market. When asked the main reason they would buy a condo, 40% say it is affordability. For Canadians living in other major cities, "less maintenance" is their main reason for choosing condo living. Across Canada, condo popularity is steadily increasing. Almost half of urban Canadians (48%) indicate they would consider buying a condo as their primary residence, up from 39% in 2007. The findings are part of the 2008 TD Canada Trust Condo Poll conducted by Angus Reid Strategies that looks at the attitudes of urban Canadians towards condo ownership. A total of 1200 online interviews were conducted between March 20 and 25 with Angus Reid Forum panelists who indicated they are likely to consider purchasing a condominium as a primary residence. The sample consisted of 200 interviews in each of Greater Vancouver, Calgary, the Greater Toronto Area, the Montreal Metropolitan Community, Halifax and Ottawa. "Affordability is driving the condo boom in Vancouver," says Joan Dal Bianco, Vice President, Real Estate Secured Lending. "Vancouverites may be willing to pay more for a condo due to market realities, but they know what they want: good security, an energy-efficient building and a parking spot." Royal Lepage's "Survey of Canadian House Prices" indicates that in the first three months of 2008, the average price of a standard condominium in Vancouver was $455,750, or 12.9% higher than the same period in 2007. The year-over-year change from 2006 to 2007 for the same period was 14.3%. "There may be good news on the price front for Vancouver condo buyers," continues Dal Bianco. "With economists predicting improved affordability in Canadian housing markets this year and next, this should make condos more affordable for Vancouverites entering the market for the first time." Vancouverites are the most likely urbanites in Canada to consider owning a condo purely for investment reasons rather than as a primary residence. 52% say they would consider doing so. The six-city total response to this question is 38%. So far, however, few Vancouverites - and few Canadians anywhere - own condos that are strictly investments. 5% of Vancouverites own investment condos and the six-city total is 7%. Calgarians, at 10%, have the highest ownership of condos as pure investments; Montrealers, at 3%, the lowest. Key Findings: - Vancouver residents are the most likely among urban Canadians to pay between $400,000 and $600,000 for a two-bedroom condo. Almost a quarter (24%) would pay this amount. The six-city total is 13%. - In Vancouver, 14% indicate $200,000 as the maximum they will pay for a two-bedroom condo. The six-city total is 28%. - Perhaps tapped out by the high prices they pay for condos, Vancouverites are sticky on monthly condo fees. 46% don't want to pay more than $200, the same percentage don't want to pay more than $400 and only 6% would pay between $400 and $600. By comparison, 21% of Torontonians are willing to pay between $400 and $600. - Reflecting the high costs of housing in the city, Vancouver residents are more willing to raise a family in a condominium than residents in other cities. Almost half (48%) indicate they would consider it, significantly higher than the 34% of Vancouverites who said they would consider it in 2007. - Good building security (99%) is the most important amenity for Vancouver residents. - An energy-efficient building, at 96%, is next. It has also moved up a notch in importance since last year's poll. In 2007, 93% of Vancouverites cited energy efficiency, placing it third in terms of important amenities. - At 39%, owning a brand new condo is the least important amenity. - No parking (76%) and insufficient building security (74%) are "show- stoppers" for Vancouverites considering buying a particular condo. These findings are similar to other cities. - Like residents of all six major cities, most Vancouverites are looking to spend at least five years living in a new condo. 32% would spend six to ten years, and 27% would spend three to five years. All poll results that are presented on a total basis for the six cities are weighted averages to reflect the populations of the individual cities. The margin of error for the Vancouver poll is +/-6.9%, 19 times out of 20. For the total sample of six cities, the margin of error is +/-2.9%, 19 times out of 20. About TD Bank Financial Group The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the seventh largest bank in North America by branches and serves approximately 17 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking through TD Commerce Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading on-line financial services firms, with more than 5.5 million on-line customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$435 billion in assets as of January 31, 2008. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges under the symbol "TD", as well as on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The TD Economics Special Report can be found at http://www.td.com/economics/special/ca0408_housing.pdf
For further information: Kelly Hechler, Media Relations, Corporate and Public Affairs, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 982-2469
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