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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Condominium housing in metropolitan Vancouver Roberts, Ronald Sydney

Abstract

The objectives of this study were to obtain up-to-date statistics on the quantitative aspects of condominium development in Metropolitan Vancouver; to obtain a social profile of all condominium purchasers;' to obtain information on purchasers' reasons for buying condominiums rather than single-family houses, and their criteria for selecting a particular condominium development; to assess the extent of satisfaction expressed by condominium purchasers; to examine the past behaviour of condominium resale prices; and to obtain information on the conversion of rental apartments to condominiums. Information on the quantitative aspects of condominium development was obtained by examining records of condominium registrations in the Vancouver and New Westminster Land Registry Offices. This information was of interest in itself, and also provided the basis for a survey of condominium owners conducted to obtain information on the purchasers of condominium units. Ten per cent of the residents in each condominium project larger than nine units were surveyed to obtain data on purchasers' characteristics, their reasons for puchase, and the extent of purchaser satisfaction. Information on condominium resale prices was obtained by examining records of units sold through the Multiple Listing Service of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, and quantitative information on apartment conversion was obtained through a real estate consulting firm. The quantitative growth of condominium development was found to have been extremely rapid, with the annual increase in number of units registered averaging about 175 per cent between 1968 and 1971. Obviously such a growth rate could not be long sustained, and 1972 saw only 10 per cent more units registered than in 1971, but the high overall growth rate is indicative of substantial public acceptance of this new form of housing. The results of the purchaser survey are far too voluminous to be summarized here, but two general observations should be noted. The first is that there are substantial differences between purchasers of town house condominium units and purchasers of apartment type units. Apartment purchasers were found to be generally older, had fewer dependent children, more often considered their unit to be a permenent home, and placed different emphasis on the criteria for selecting a condominium. The second notable finding was the high degree of satisfaction expressed by condominium residents. Over 93 per cent indicated moderate or extreme satisfaction, and 86 per cent said that, based on their experience with condominium living, they would still have purchased their unit. Examination of condominium resale prices revealed that they had been quite static over much of the brief history of condominium development. However, a readily observable upward trend began in the latter half of 1972 and strengthened in 1973, which refutes earlier indications of a relatively slow rate of appreciation of condominiums. Some difficulty was encountered in obtaining information on apartment conversions, and essentially only the numbers involved were obtained. Since the City of Vancouver has at least temporarily frozen all conversions, the requirement for further research on this aspect of condominium development will depend on the resolution of the current political situation. Given the public acceptance of the condominium concept indicated by the rapid growth of condominium development, the degree of satisfaction expressed by condominium residents, and the recent strength observed in condominium resale prices, it is concluded that condominiums will continue to form an increasingly important segment of the Metropolitan Vancouver housing market.

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