CMHC statistics show that one-person households are on the rise in Canada, and that by the 2020s will be the single biggest type of household. Women represent a significant percentage of this trend. As of 2011, the most recent year for available data, 65 per cent of condo owners living alone were women – and that percentage rises to 76 for women 55 years of age and over.
At Baker Real Estate Incorporated, we regularly see evidence of this trend. One-bedroom suites are selling like hotcakes, and I would guess that approximately 25 to 30 per cent of our sales for our clients are to female buyers. Some of these women are savvy investors who recognize a tremendous return-on-investment opportunity; others are purchasers who intend to live in the suites they buy because they appreciate the community and security aspects of condominium living.
They come from all ages and walks of life, from first-time buyers wanting to get into the market and start building equity, to seasoned professionals who see the value in living close to where they work, to widowed women who live alone. Even today’s compact suites offer spacious living because of their efficient layouts. In addition, people need less space in a condo because of the wonderful amenities included in the building. When you have a large fitness centre only an elevator-ride away, you can use your personal space for things other than exercise equipment.
Women also appreciate the immediate community that comes along with living in a condo. Amenities are gorgeous spaces for interacting with neighbours, and the Concierge provides screening for visitors and “eyes on the street.” Modern features such as monitored cameras in the underground parking garage, enter phone and in-suite security systems also add a level of security. Plus, in a condo, there is always someone close by when you need help.
Last, but not least, condos offer that glorious sense of freedom when travelling. Just lock the door and leave, knowing that your “baggage” does not have to include worry about maintenance and upkeep. For professional women who travel regularly, this is very important. Women are really coming into our own in the world, and I say viva the condo!