Ten-year study reveals surprising stats

by Justin da Rosa20 Feb 2015
A new study, 10 years in the making, will help agents better advise clients who are interested in purchasing one of the most popular property types.
 
Agents now have a better sense of how to advise condo-buying clients about the truths and myths of condo fees, according to Condos.ca, which has published a study on the true costs of Toronto condo maintenance fees.
 
“The study confirmed a number of long-held beliefs about condo maintenance fees such as the more amenities, the higher the fees, but the ‘worst offenders’ were not the obvious ones–pools, for example, only affected fees on average by $0.03 per square foot,” the report states. “It revealed a number of other surprises including the true cost of parking and the fact that older doesn’t necessarily mean more expensive when it comes to maintenance.”
 
To arrive at its conclusions, Condos.ca collected every MLS sale and reported maintenance fees for every condo building in Toronto over the past 10 years. The company claims the result of the study has helped them create a maintenance fee database for over 660 buildings in Toronto and nearly 900 throughout the GTA.
 
One surprising finding from the study was that older buildings don’t typically have higher maintenance fees per square foot, despite this being a widely-held belief among buyers and industry professionals.
 
“The myth was likely established because the absolute numbers are often higher with older buildings because units tend to be larger,” the study reveals. “Very few buildings have flat fees for maintenance–fees increase in correlation to unit size–and that is likely what’s driving the belief that older condos are more expensive than newer condos. From a total monthly expenditures standpoint that’s often true but not on a price per square footage basis which is the only way to objectively compare buildings.”
 
Click here to access an infograph about the study.
 

COMMENTS

  • by Helene Kerr 2/20/2015 12:49:39 PM

    I would very much like to look at the info graphic attached to this article, but when I click on the link, it brings up a view that is too tiny to read. Trying to zoom in on the info graphic doesn't work either (I am using a Safari browser). If you could please look into this, it would be appreciated.

  • by REP Editor 2/20/2015 1:03:42 PM

    Hi Helene,

    The link has been updated; you should be able to see a larger version of the infograph.

    Thanks,
    REP team

  • by EddieN 2/20/2015 2:38:15 PM

    As general stats, there is nothing new or particularly interesting in this article. In fact, the information can be, and will be, interpreted incorrectly. The numbers mean absolutely nothing if along with the maintenance fees you do not consider amenities, what the maintenance fees include (energy and security costs), and most notably the reserve fund, law suits and special assessments. Many buildings, particularly the old ones, have very low maintenance fees. They are low because the owners don't want to pay into the reserve fund and keep maintenance fees to a bare minimum. This means there are no funds available to upgrade systems, renovate nor conduct emergency repairs. Then there is the other extreme - board members and property managers getting kick-backs for renovations that are not necessary. I personally know of condos where parking lot gets repaved every other year when there was nothing wrong with it. Or how about a 200 sq ft storage room getting repainted to a tune of $1500? Information and statistics are great, but to be considered a true professional, do your homework, know your buildings and work to be the best. Do not rely on articles and stats that do not give you a true picture, and always keep in mind that there are no laws to force the condo boards to act one way or another.

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