Many first-time buyers crack the Vancouver housing market with financial help from relatives, but at least one condo project is seeing even closer family ties.
Shaadi Faris, vice-president of Intergulf Development Group, says it's common for downsizing parents to help their children with down payments, but he was surprised to see them buy condos in the same development.
First-time buyers invested in the smaller units in Intergulf's Empire at QE Park project, while the parents, or aunt and uncle, purchased larger condos, Faris said.
"So we have multi-generational families in the same building," he told The Huffington Post B.C. in an interview. "That's the first time we've seen that."
The developer conducted an online survey this summer and found that 71 per cent of Gen Y Vancouverites are looking to buy a home over the next two years. More than one in four would consider purchasing with their parents in order to enter the city's hot market.
A report earlier this year found that baby boomers are coming into almost $1 trillion in inheritance.
Those same clients are also downsizing — but they don't want to be shoe-horned into small spaces.
In fact, demand for three-bedroom condos was so high that Intergulf combined 30 one bedroom and den units to create 15 larger spaces at its Empire at QE Park.
"Buyers are getting savvier," said Faris. "They care more about how efficient is the unit, more than how big it is. They don't want wasted space."
Intergulf has responded to that demand by substantially upping the number of floor plans that buyers can choose from (more than 50 at Empire and 35 at Kits 360). That variety comes from maximizing different parts of a building — taking into consideration curves on an end unit, for example — and avoiding typically boxy spaces.
Faris is reluctant to label multi-generational purchases in the same building an actual trend, but said he wouldn't be surprised to see it happening more often as developers try to meet the changing needs of first-time buyers and downsizers.