- Three-quarters of condo buyers say monthly fees are a small price to
pay to enjoy the convenience and amenities of condos, according to
annual TD Canada Trust Condo Poll -
TORONTO, April 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Attracted to the urban lifestyle,
three-quarters of Canadian condo buyers say condo fees are worth the
extra monthly expense to enjoy the benefits of living in a condominium.
The TD Canada Trust 2012 Condo Poll surveyed urban Canadians who
recently bought or intend to buy a condo and found they are drawn to
condos because they require less maintenance (60%), are more affordable
(45%), and offer more amenities (25%) than a house.
"Managing your housing expenses is about prioritizing your needs and
budgeting accordingly. It's clear that the convenience of condo living
is important to many Canadians, and they are willing to pay the monthly
fees that come with owning a condo," says Farhaneh Haque, Director of
Mortgage Advice, TD Canada Trust.
The poll found that one-third of condo buyers (35%) are willing to pay
up to $200 per month in condo fees, 44% would pay up to $400 and 17%
would pay up to $800. Across all cities, Torontonians are willing to
pay the highest fees; 38% are willing to pay more than $400 and 16%
more than $600. Conversely, the majority of Montreal residents (59%)
wouldn't pay more than $200 per month in condo fees.
Even though they've set these limits, many condo buyers understand that
monthly fees can increase at any time and have a plan: 29% have a
buffer built into their current budget and 34% say they could cut back
in other areas in the event of an increase.
"The possibility of a fee increase can be a little unnerving," says
Haque. "While there's no way to 'lock-in' to a monthly fee like you can
with a mortgage, you can prepare for a fee increase by building a
buffer into your monthly housing budget, as some Canadians have wisely
done. That way if fees go up, it won't be a major shock to your cash
flow. If they don't increase, you have extra money to put aside in
savings or towards your mortgage. You can also explore flexible
mortgage options that allow you to pay more towards your mortgage when
you can, then, upon an approved application, ease off on payments when
you need to. This can be a useful feature in the first few months of
transition to a fee increase."
Top features Canadians look for in condos
According to the poll, condo buyers think the most important features
when deciding on a condo to buy are:
Good building security (94%) and low condo fees (94%)
Energy-efficient building features (92%) and attractive interior design
A balcony (90%)
Parking for their car (87%)
Close to public transit (84%)
Women are more likely than men to look for a building with a balcony
(92% versus 87% of men) and environmentally-friendly features (86%
versus 79% of men), while men are more likely to say finding a brand
new condo - not a resale (56% versus 46% of women) - is important to
Condos as stepping stone to home ownership
Many condo buyers see condos as an affordable alternative to renting:
29% say owning a condo is cheaper than paying rent. But, one-quarter
(24%) say paying condo fees still feels like paying rent so they are
saving up to buy another place where they won't pay monthly fees.
"Purchasing a condo allows you to build equity rather than continuing to
pay rent as you save for a house," says Haque. "At the same time, it's
important you talk to a mortgage expert, because it's not just a
straight comparison of your monthly rent and some utilities to a
monthly mortgage payment and condo fees."
Condos as investments
Almost one-third of condo buyers (32%) say the main reason for their
condo purchase is that it is a good investment. Recent housing
forecasts do not seem to have fazed most Canadians. Only one-third
(34%) of the general Canadian population say recent forecasts have made
them less likely to buy a condo.
"Recent housing forecasts have predicted that an over-supply of condos
will cause a drop in prices. How this affects your decision to purchase
a condo comes down to your goals at that time," says Haque. "If you are
buying a condo and see it as a source of rental income that you'll move
into when you are ready to downsize, this drop in value will likely not
have a big effect. On the other hand, if you see a condo purchase as a
way to build equity as you save up to buy a home, you need to consider
the potential effect of a decreased price when you sell on the money
you will have towards a down payment on a house."
Of those who are buying condos that will not be their primary residence,
46% think they are a good investment to buy and sell at a profit when
prices have gone up. But - that is not the only way Canadians see a
condo purchase as an investment. Almost an equal number (42%) see them
as a long-term source of rental income and 38% see them as a source of
rental income for now that they will move into later when they are
ready to downsize.
TD hosts an online community for homebuyers at www.tdcanadatrust.com/homeownership. The online community allows home buyers to learn from each other's
experiences, share stories on a wide range of home financing topics and
pose questions to TD expert, Farhaneh Haque, Director of Mortgage
About the TD Canada Trust Condo Poll
TD Bank Group commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct a
custom, online survey of 1,453 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, in
Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. Among those Canadians
surveyed, 801 bought a condo in the past 24 months or are considering
buying one in the next 24 months. Responses were collected between
January 23- February 2, 2012.
About TD Canada Trust
TD Canada Trust offers personal and business banking to more than 11.5
million customers. We provide a wide range of products and services
from chequing and savings accounts, to credit cards, mortgages and
business banking, to credit protection and travel medical insurance, as
well as advice on managing everyday finances. TD Canada Trust makes
banking comfortable with award-winning service and convenience through
24/7 mobile, internet, telephone and ATM banking, as well as in over
1,100 branches, with convenient hours to serve customers better. For
more information, please visit: www.tdcanadatrust.com. TD Canada Trust is the Canadian retail bank of TD Bank Group, the
sixth largest bank in North America.
SOURCE TD Canada Trust
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