I remember when they first started to build condos in Toronto, the suites were at least 2000 square feet, and that was because you basically owned a quarter of a floor. Many people wanted to live in a condo because they could have the space of a single family home, without the responsibilites. Now if you want a condo, you are lucky if you can get 900 square feet, and that would be considered big.
Back in the day the penthouse suite was huge. Owning a penthouse was prestigious, a suite only the wealthy could afford. Now the penthouse means top floor, and nothing more. Today if you buy a penthouse suite, you are paying for the view and not the square footage. If you want the square footage, you have to buy at least two suites side by side, and discuss the changes with the builder, which will cost extra money not only for the two suites, but for the changes as well. So, you still need to have money if you want lots of square footage on the penthouse floor.
With the massive growth of the condominiums, you would think that they would be built to house families, especially those who cannot afford a single family home. This doesn’t seem to be the case. A typical condo is between 600-800 square feet with one bedroom or, one bedroom plus a den or, two bedrooms at most. Most of these suites contain one bathroom, or an ensuite with a powder room, meaning the kids would have to shower in their parents bathroom. A family of four could barely live comfortably in a suite that size.
I am starting to think that condos are geared to entice investors. Investors don’t really care about size because they are not planning on living there. They are buying to rent out the suite or to eventually sell to make money. So who is thinking about the families who can only afford a condominium? Families who want to get into the real estate market, but can’t find a condo big enough to live without bumping into each other. I would say nobody.
I do know that the smaller condos sell much quicker than the larger ones, so of course that is what a builder is going to produce. It’s more lucrative to cram as many people as possible into a building then to build a bigger and more comfortable living space.
In my mind condos have become glorified apartments, but in most cases with less space then even the old rental apartments. They make a wonderful first home and of course they are a great investment. It’s just too bad that many families don’t take advantage of them due to limited living space. I am not for one minute saying that there is not a great need for smaller units, and maybe more so than larger ones, but shouldn’t there be at least a few more suites that could accommodate a family? I would love to hear your opinions on this subject.