Vancouver

One Bedroom or Two? There's a Clear Winner.

By
REW.ca
August 4, 2011






For first-time home buyers, size versus price can be a big question. Do you buy a condo with two bedrooms at a price that might stretch you a bit, or do you choose a one-bedroom and have money left over for a life?

Resale studies show it's better to buy a two-bedroom condominium than a one-bedroom unit. Larger units are more flexible and easier to rent, and they offer higher appreciation.

A survey done by one developer found that, over a three-year period, the average home value of new one-bedroom condos increased by 24 per cent, while two-bedrooms increased by 31 per cent.

A similar study by RealNet, which tracks Canadian real estate facts, confirms this price appreciation, though the study analyzed homes sold prices over a two-year period. RealNet president, George Carras, explains: "What you'll see is an overall trend in the greater price increase on two-bedrooms. There's a 17 per cent increase for one-bedrooms and a 22 per cent increase for two-bedroom suites -- that's a 5 per cent difference, but it can mean thousands of dollars in extra investment return."

Carras says the advantages to pushing your finances for that initial purchase far outweigh the disadvantages: "From a value perspective, you can't deny that the two-bedroom unit is a better investment." He adds that sometimes a two bedroom gives you the kind of square footage that a one bedroom gave you many years ago, because condos are shrinking.

Buyers should also be aware that a two-bedroom condo can often be purchased in Chilliwack or the Fraser Valley for less than a one-bedroom in Greater Vancouver. For instance, a 1,000 square foot two-bedroom suite in Surrey can cost less than a 600 square foot one bedroom in Vancouver.

A July survey by MPC Intelligence Inc. of Vancouver found that the typical price for a new wood-frame condominium in South Surrey/White Rock is from $320 per square foot to $340 per square foot. This compares to more than $550 per square foot in Vancouver for new wood-frame condominiums. For new townhomes, the average price in South Surrey/White Rock is from $250 to $270 per square foot -- less than half the price of similar product in either Vancouver or Richmond.

A local Real Estate Agent in the more affordable areas can help you find the room you want at a price you can afford.


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