Shoebox Condos…the “new wave?”…

Are you lined up to invest (either as an end user OR as an investor) in one of these “cute as a button” micro condos that are being built today?

As the result of one of my tweets catching the eye of a journalist, I was contacted and just finished an interview with CTV National News. The questions circled around whether I thought this trend would “stick” as a viable form of housing in Toronto. While we don’t have enough supply yet to assess what the true demand is…I did look at sales and rentals in the downtown core over the past year for units under 500 sq’. It was pretty revealing…

  • 283 of these “tight quartered” units sold and there are currently 86 units available on MLS.
  • More revealing….763 of these lilliputian spaces were leased last year in the downtown core alone, and just over 100 units are available for lease currently. YOU do the math!

While my crystal ball is not scientific, my instinct is pretty reliable and so I think this trend will convert to mainstream real estate in the long haul. Why?

  • Prices will be entry level (250K to $350K) allowing first timers a starting position in the market.
  • These cool ergonomic spaces are targeting young professionals, students, first timers, and people who may live outside the city but need a pied-à-terre… all “smart sizers”…people who don’t spend all day in the unit but rather use it as a place to shower, shave and sleep.
  • It seems investors are very attracted to this product as well…an ideal vehicle for renting out. It seems that people are willing to pay well above the average rental of $2.60/sq’ in order to have a location downtown close to all amenities.

These units, on average, are no bigger than 2 parking spots placed side by side…and speaking of parking? No need. 76% of the residents in the Queen/University area, for example, (where Smart House is currently being developed) walk to work. And the interiors are VERY “smart”…murphy beds close up to reveal display walls and seating for living space. A desk for 2 converts to a dining table for 6. The micro wave is also a convection oven. It reminds me of what a residential ‘space capsule’ designed by NASA would look like for long stays in space.

So what do you think? Would you like to pick up a few? I can help you invest in the future! Just call/tweet/facebook/email. My office is always open!

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