The single household is the fastest-growing category in Canada’s housing market, and single women represent a significant portion of these real estate purchases, reports Metro News. According to the Toronto Star “single women now account for 20% of Toronto home sales and 30% of condo sales.” Many of these women, like myself, are Millennials, now earning salaries and moving out of student housing or their parents’ basements into more permanent homes.
Developers have been hard at work stocking their condos with amenities to attract this generation of homebuyers. Today’s condo market is saturated with developers advertising luxury swimming pools, games rooms, theatres, and state-of-the-art fitness centres. Though these amenities have become the norm, they don’t always stand out to a generation of Millennials that value creativity, advocate for the environment, and expect innovation. As a single woman from this demographic, I can say that when it comes to purchasing a condo, a sauna or catering kitchen won’t necessarily win me over.
So what’s important to this generation of Millennial women dominating the condo market? Below I’ve compiled a list of amenities that would be sure to win me over while shopping for my next home.
The Yard at Daniels Waterfront
While living alone, it’s easy to become isolated or feel disconnected, so it’s important that I feel like I’m still part of a larger community. This means that the streetscape I walk out onto every day shouldn’t be a vapid wasteland of commuters running to and from work, but a thriving pedestrian space with cafes, patios, and shops (it’s an added bonus if these cafes are local institutions rather than your standard chains). Spaces and shops where I can interact with people, sit and have a coffee with friends, or shop for everyday essentials are especially important to me, and something I actively look for when searching for a space to call home.
Daniels Waterfront is a great example of a condominium community that understands the importance of a vibrant community and streetscape. Daniels’ latest master-plan features a pedestrian-only cobblestone corridor lined with shops and cafes, as well as an outdoor waterfront space ideal for festivals and music performances. Many condos are focused on exclusive rooftop amenities, but Daniels Waterfront is setting the bar for street-level community space.
Outdoor reflecting pool at Harmony Village
I really enjoy spending time outdoors but no matter how many plants I cram onto my balcony it just can’t compare to a park. Studies have shown that greenspace is effective in reducing stress and improving mental health and work performance. It’s important that developers stake out some portion of their property for park space, a leash-free zone, or a garden, especially in neighbourhoods that lack publicly accessible greenspace.
Greenspace doesn’t have to be limited to the exterior. Not only are they attractive to buyers who value the calming effects of nature, but they also serve as a biofilter, removing toxins and purifying the air.
Geothermal at Harmony Village
Environmentally Sustainable Measures
For me, being environmentally sustainable is more important than a luxury spa, tanning booths, or a film screening room. According to a study conducted by Forbes, 75% of Millennials polled said that it’s either fairly or very important that a company gives back to society instead of just making a profit. LEED Certification is becoming increasingly important to homebuyers across the board and features like ENERGY STAR appliances, rainwater recycling for irrigation systems, better waste removal, low-water consuming fixtures, and energy efficient lighting are becoming the norm in condo development.
I admire developers like City Core, whose Harmony Village Sheppard features a geothermal heating system and is actively reducing dependence on cars by providing bicycle storage, electric car charging stations, and car rentals on site. Their investment in sustainable architecture is helping to make environmentally sustainable condominium construction the norm rather than the exception.
Bike Service Station
As a single woman living in the city I rely mostly on public transportation or my bicycle to get around. I’m not transporting a family, so a car and it’s accompanying expenses aren’t necessary just yet. Having good bike storage is important to me, and having somewhere to service my bike would be even better.
A condominium with a bike servicing station would appeal to Millennials who are beginning to invest almost as much money in their bicycles as former generations would in a car! A dedicated space for bike repairs could include a stand, some tools, a good pump with a variety of valves, and a sink to wash the grease away before hitting the road. This would eliminate the need to lug my bicycle pump and tool kit up and down the elevator every time I want to do some quick maintenance before a ride.
Yoga room rendering at East United
Fitness is a big part of my life, but making time for it between work, grocery shopping, and socializing can be difficult. A condo that uses its fitness spaces to host fitness classes is helpful for young professionals trying to maintain a balanced lifestyle.
Having yoga, pilates, or kickboxing classes in the condo cuts down on transportation time to and from the studio and also means that I don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn or lug my gym clothes and yoga mat to work with me after class.
Rooftop Vegetable Garden
A condo’s rooftop is often reserved for luxury wading pools and sundecks. However, it could really attract the Millennial crowd by appealing to their renewed interest in nutrition and DIY culture. Installing a rooftop greenhouse or shared vegetable garden would be great for those who are longing to work that green thumb but lack the space to do so.
Music Practice Rooms/Artist Studios
One drawback of living in a condo is the lack of space for creative activities such as painting or jamming with friends. Speaking from experience, it’s especially difficult for drummers to practice in a condo space as many don’t have the floorspace for a drum kit and there are noise rules. Condos that have reserved spaces specifically for musicians to jam with friends or visual artists to work on their craft would definitely appeal to the Millennial crowd.
I like the look of East United Condos by Andiel Homes, SigNature Communities, and Berkshire Axis, which features a private jamming space to play with your friends. The room can also be opened up to the Party Room so residents can “throw your own intimate show.”
What amenities would you like to see in a new condo? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!
Feature image: Fitness room at Alter by Tridel