Condos remain affordable options for first-time buyers – economist

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While persistent increases in Canada’s housing costs have placed a significant fraction of homes out of reach of the average consumer, first-time buyers can still go for a relatively viable alternative, according to a prominent expert.
Dominion Lending Centres chief economist Sherry Cooper said that condo prices have not seen the sharp spikes in growth observed in other real estate types.
“There are differences in the housing market depending on the sector and the region. For example, condo prices in Toronto are rising at single-digit rates. Part of that is because there has been a dramatic increase in construction, so that the supply of condos is increasing very sharply,” Cooper said in an analysis posted on Saanich News.
“We are in a sweet spot in demand for housing right now because in Canada, the growth in the number of first-time buyers — roughly aged 25 to 35 — is at a relatively high level. It’s stronger than what we have seen since the baby boomers came of age,” the economist stated, adding that this segment accounts for fully 30 per cent of new home sales.
Apart from low interest rates, parent-assisted purchases are contributing to the increased volume of young buyers in the condo sector.
“What’s different is that it now takes two incomes to buy a home rather than one, as it was way back when, and also your first home may well be a condo and it may well be far from the city centre and it may well be quite small,” Cooper explained.

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