Demand Soars for Ever-Larger Homes in the Sky

It’s a fact: in Canada’s urban centres, room to build is dwindling, especially in the scarce-as-hen’s-teeth detached housing sector. That’s why high-rise condo towers continue to be the face of new residential building. When we build up, not out, we’re able to provide more shelter for more people while using less of a footprint. But there’s a problem.

Up until now, condos have been viewed as the perfect living solution for young, single professionals or empty nesters looking for less space. But what happens when those young professionals start families, and require more room? The ubiquitous one-bedroom unit no longer cuts it.

Larger units in demand

The need for condo units that can accommodate families is growing, and condo developers are responding. As the Financial Post reports, two-bedroom-plus-den units made up 29 per cent of sales in the second quarter of 2016, up from 18 per cent in 2011. In the article, Shaun Hildebrand, senior vice president at research company Urbanation, notes: “New condos have seen rising demand, which is leading developers to shift strategies and include more two-bedroom and three-bedroom units.”

If these bigger units are built in higher numbers, they could be the most sought-after form of housing in Canada’s biggest cities, partly due to the recently implemented “stress test” that has made it more difficult for first-time buyers to access the financing they need to purchase. With detached housing far out of reach for most of these buyers, three-bedroom homes in the sky could be the new normal.