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Blog by Kevin Wong

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Most Vancouver Condo Buyers Prefer A House, Survey Says

Most Vancouverites who recently purchased or plan to buy a condo say they'd prefer a house if they had more money.

That's the finding of the TD Canada Trust Condo Poll, which found that 64 per cent of Vancouverites, versus 46 per cent of Canadians, cited affordability of condos is a big attraction.

That was also true for respondents nationally under 35, with 62 per cent liking the affordability of condos, versus 46 per cent of other age groups.

According to the poll, which was released Tuesday, Vancouverites were also more likely than those surveyed in other cities to consider buying a condo with a friend to make it more affordable.

However, condos are also more likely to be seen by Vancouver residents as a stepping stone, with many planning to move up to a house in the future.

According to the survey, half of Vancouver respondents expect to live in their condo for three years or less (18 per cent) or four to six years (32 per cent).

Nationally, 22 per cent of those under 35 said they don't plan to spend more than three years in a condo, while 45 per cent plan to move after four to six years.

However, it was a different story with those over 50, who say condos fit into their plans to downsize their home. As well, 31 per cent of those over 50 nationally said they don't plan to move again from their condo and 53 per cent plan to spend more than $10,000 on upgrades (compared to just 15 per cent under 35).

"Moving to a smaller, less expensive home can free up money to allow pre-retirees to make some upgrades and enjoy a bit more luxury in their space," Barry Rathburn, TD Canada Trust's manager, residential mortgages, said in a statement.

"It's especially important for those who are selling their home to downsize as part of their retirement strategy to make a budget for any upgrades and stick to it."

The poll found that 98 per cent of Vancouver residents named good building security as the most important feature to look for in a condominium.

As well, 96 per cent said low condo fees was the second most popular feature, with 84 per cent saying they would not pay more than $400 a month n condo fees.

Energy efficient buildings also ranked high.

The online survey of 806 people in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal was conducted from March 25 to April 11 by Environics Research Group.

Respondents had either bought a condo in the past 24 months, intend to buy a condo in the next 24 months, or considered a condo when shopping for a home.