With single women now accounting for 20 per cent of all real estate purchases – and well over 30 per cent of condos – investors may have to spend more to win those well-heeled buyers.
It's likely worth it, say analysts: Most women buyers want to see a unit before they buy, so they’re much less likely to buy a pre-build, making them the perfect target market for condo investors.
But they have to love what they see.
Their significant buying power and exacting standards have helped drive the move to granite and stainless steel designer kitchens, better bathroom storage and even lighting — especially over the makeup mirror, according to Jim Ritchie, president of Canada’s biggest condo builder, Tridel.
From fixtures and fitting to location, here’s a list of the top four things condo investors have to consider in order to clinch the deal with single women buyers and, indeed, renters.
Here’s what women want:
Security: Security cameras and good lighting are big pluses, but the real draw card is a concierge. Single women like knowing that those who come and go from the building are monitored and that someone is watching security cameras as they head to the car.
Don’t forget that many women will be checking out crime stats in the area so no matter how nice the building, if you’re in a seedy location, it could be stuck with that investment unit.
Convenience: Look at “walk scores” for the location to see if there are amenities within a five-to-10-minute walk. Women want to be able to grab a coffee without having to jump in the car.
Many downtown-dwellers choose not to own a car, and single women are no different, so convenient public transport is also crucial.
Details: Women are looking for durable, appealing finishes, and homes that won’t need any renovations or extensive maintenance, Realtors say.
Even small inconsistencies in plaster or finishes can be enough to turn a single woman away.
They often have specific preferences for layout and view. Consulting with a real estate agent can help you find out what the most popular layouts are.
Little extras: Lighting over the bathroom mirror, practical closet space, high quality kitchen finishes – it might cost a bit more than the builder’s special, but when you’re planning the details of your investment condo, it’s important to recognize what are the selling points for almost a third of potential buyers.
And the good news? What appeals to single women is likely to appeal to couples and other buyers, too, so you’re not likely to regret taking these steps to finding and planning your investment property.
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