…we see what condos are selling for in red-hot Sydney, Australia!
But the following example combines the two biggest problems in Toronto real estate: rising prices, and shrinking unit size.
A few years back, I lamented that condos in new-construction were getting smaller and smaller, and pointed to all the 300-square-foot units at “Art Shoppe.”
But last month, a 150 square foot condo smashed records in Sydney, Australia, so maybe we’re not the only ones with a real estate “problem”…
Two years, and like 25-30% ago!
All joking aside, time flies, but the trends remain the same: rising prices and shrinking condo sizes.
The blog I’m referring to was titled, “Living Inside A Box,” and I even found a great picture of a guy literally living inside a box, to go along with the blog.
In the post, I showed off floor plans for the new “Art Shoppe Condos” at Yonge & Eglinton, which with their 325, 336, 379, 424, 478, 510, 521, 558, 590, 607, 689, 697, 756, 809, and 882 square foot models, the developer clearly showed how condo sizes were rapidly shrinking.
And FYI – those models from 590 square feet and up were 2-bedrooms.
The condos are shrinking in size, of course, because developers are building for investors, and not for end users.
Investors buy more pre-construction condos than end users do, after all.
Have you ever been inside a 325 square foot condo?
They’re obviously quite small, and not that functional, but in Toronto the functionality is far worse, since developers just build a smaller version of a larger condo, rather than implementing innovative, space-saving features.
Have you ever seen the TV show “Tiny House” on HGTV? I’m embarrassed to say that I have, but only because my wife watches it, and she can do whatever she wants without judgment since she’s mother to a newborn…
On the show, they constantly display novel, space-saving solutions, with hidden, retractable, fold-out, tuck-away, recessed, below-grade, or built-in features.
How the hell else can you live in such a small space?
Toronto seems like the one place where tiny houses, or in this case, condos, don’t really get the Innovation Award.
And at an average of $930/sqft for the units at the Art Shoppe, who the hell is buying there anyways?
On Thursday, I filmed a Pick5 segment on the average price per square foot of downtown, 2-bed, 2-bath condos, which I suggested was around $650 to $700.
That sure puts the $930/sqft at Art Shoppe into perspective, but that’s a topic for another day…
The condo I wanted to talk about today isn’t in downtown Toronto, or even in midtown like Art Shoppe.
It’s a little bit further than that.
It’s in Sydney, Australia.
We often make comparisons to New York or London, but we rarely venture into another hot market, which at the moment, is absolutely red-hot.
In December, a micro-condo of only 150 square feet was sold for a whopping $350,000.
The Aussie dollar is almost even with the Canadian dollar, so call it a wash for discussion purposes.
Here’s the floor plan:
It’s in metres, like any good member of the Commonwealth. Shame on us Canadians for using square feet…
Here are some photos of the unit, in all its glory:
There’s nothing quite like being able to sit on your toilet, and chop veggies on your kitchen counter, is there?
I’m not sure if you guys did the math on this one yet, but that’s actually the bigger story here.
Sure, a 150 square foot condo is small, but we’ve seen smaller.
Recall that ridiculous 78 square foot condo in Manhattan from back in 2011-12:
But that’s a novelty that makes for a weird video.
This condo in Sydney actually sold, and sold for a lot.
$2,333 per square foot.
That’s more than TRIPLE the average price per square foot in downtown Toronto these days.
So as is the theme every time we turn on CNN these days, remember, “It could always be worse.”
We may find ourselves in a red-hot Toronto market, and prices may have appreciated massively in 2016, but a quick Internet search will show you dozens of cities around the world where people would kill to pay only $700 per square foot.
Oh – and to live in a condo as big as 325 square feet? That’s just a dream to many of them…