Rise of the Waterloo Region Condo

Cliff Rego
Published on August 17, 2017

Rise of the Waterloo Region Condo

According to a recent CMHC report, Canadian home construction is on pace for its best year since 2008–2009.

The stats not only suggest that builders are confident in the future of the Canadian real estate market, they show what kinds of homes they believe will be in highest demand.

From CMHC:

Multiple urban starts increased by 10.4 per cent to 141,950 while single-detached urban starts fell by 3.9 per cent to 64,172 (seasonally adjusted).

“Multiple Urban” = Condos, Apartments, Townhouses.

With home prices projected to continue their ascent (potentially 7–10% or more in Waterloo Region in 2018), condos are likely to become that much more attractive to a wide array of buyers.

But it’s not just affordability driving this shift. Here are 5 other reasons why the condo market will likely be the fastest growing segment of the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge real estate market for years to come:

Aging Population. With baby boomers becoming empty nesters, a 3,000 square foot home and the maintenance that comes with it is simply not practical. Also, since the average condo is much less expensive than a large, single detached home, they provide a lower-cost living option that frees up home equity that can be used for travel and entertainment.

Single Female Households. This is the largest growing segment of homeowners in Canada. Not only does having a single income typically lend oneself to seek more affordable options, there is a demand in this market for security — a feature built into many high-rise condos.

Congestion. Commuting is not for the faint of heart. Even with transit infrastructure improvements, 401 congestion is here to stay. This is why buyers will continue to seek urban living options closer to work where they save hours a day and the stress of perpetual gridlock.

Urban Lifestyle. The benefits of living downtown go beyond a shortened commute. Restaurants, night life, coffee shops, entertainment, parks — all within walking distance. And, as Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge’s urban areas become more densely populated, more businesses will open to provide local residents with even more options. It’s already happening.

Low-Maintenance Lifestyle. Whether you’re 24 or 64, the condo lifestyle is a huge timesaver: no lawns to mow, no windows or roofs to replace, no snow to shovel — no headaches, no hassles. Just move in and enjoy.

While the stats in the CMHC report show confidence in the Canadian real estate market as a whole, the acceleration of condo, apartment, and townhouse starts is a glimpse into the shifting preference among buyers for the urban condo lifestyle.

This is why you’re not just seeing more condo developments in Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge overall – you’re seeing developments like The Gaslight District where condos, restaurants, shopping, and entertainment are completely integrated, providing a true live/work/play environment.

The “rise of the condo” in our region will not only be exciting for urban residents who will benefit from continued downtown growth and, in turn, a more vibrant living environment, it will present Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge real estate investors with an investment avenue that is expected to see substantial long-term growth.


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