When more than 2,000 buyers crammed into a Surrey sales site April 18 they may have ended debate about the future of tiny condos in Metro Vancouver’s white-hot housing market.
Buyers had lined up from four in the morning for a chance to buy a 316-square-foot micro-sized condo for $93,900. That single loss leader sold to an Edmonton investor minutes after the noon opening of the Evolve sales office. But, within 90 minutes, 300 of the 406 tower condos had sold, including nearly all of the 35 micro suites, at prices from around $134,000.

“Buyers swarmed the buying counter in a frenzy that hasn’t been seen in recent years,” said Bill Morrison, president of Platinum Project Marketing.

Evolve is a 35-storey tower by Westone Properties and the second of six condominium towers planned for the West Village, a development near the central Surrey SkyTrain station that will eventually house more than 2,800 people.

Evolve’s startling sales success may silence concerns about the future of micro-sized condos in Metro Vancouver.
Just a block from Evolve, Reliance Properties of Vancouver will open a sales office May 15 for Prime on the Plaza, a 37-storey tower where 200 of the 361 condos will be micro units of around 304 square feet.

These condos, which include built-in, fold-down beds that convert to a dining table, will start from $139,900, said Jon Stovell, head of acquisitions and development for Reliance.

Reliance has already launched Tower D in Vancouver’s West End, with rental condos as small as 320 square feet.

Reliance planned on going as small as 175 square feet, but was stymied by a City of Vancouver regulation that requires that a condominium must be at least 390 square feet, Stovell said.

While developers tout the tiny condos as a solution for young first-time buyers, the majority of sales are to investors, Stovell confirmed.

“A typical scenario is a parent buys a unit to use while their children are going to university and then it ends up as a rental unit,” he said.

Reliance tested the market with the completion of the Burns Block renovation in downtown Vancouver in 2012, a rental project with apartments as small as 270 square feet. These now rent for around $4 per square foot, Stovell said, which, is above the Metro Vancouver average for condominium rentals, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

“Small condos can be a great investment,” Stovell said.

– O’Brien, F. (2015, April 22). Business Vancouver.

We are now entering the stage of up-and-coming millennials vying for the position of the huge population of baby boomers, who are beginning to use the words retirement plan more often than usual.


“This past year marked the first time that millennials became the largest generation in the Canadian workforce. According to Statistics Canada, millennials account for 36.8 per cent of the workforce, with Gen X at 33.9 per cent, and Baby Boomers at 31.1 per cent.” (Canadian Real Estate Wealth, 2015)


As the younger generation gains access to a larger cash flow, they are able to participate more actively in the investment market. This generation is now as large or larger than the boomer generation for total population. This level of buying power will have major implications to the type of financial products that live or die in the future.


As an up-and-coming community, Spruce Grove is a huge attraction for young families and people looking to live in a strong community, away from the busy city. Jobs are of no shortage for people either. With an abundance of jobs throughout Spruce Grove, Acheson, Stony Plain, and other surrounding areas, the short commute to Edmonton is not necessarily mandatory.


“So far millennials don’t appear to be pushing for flips and quick cash but instead are focused on stable buy-and-hold opportunities. The next generation of real estate investors wants a long-term investment that will provide stable returns in exchange for low levels of risk.” (Canadian Real Estate Wealth, 2015) With this stance on long-term investments, comes the benefit of return on a new building vs. an older one. It goes without saying that the newer building will hold its’ value for much longer than one that has already been worn in.


As the millennial generation continue to enter the investment market, Spruce Grove and the developments within it, will quickly become ideal targets for stable and longterm investments.

Hi everyone,

As the Sales Assistant for The Nest, one of my favourite things about my job is helping people realize that they are capable of having more than they have ever thought possible. One of our most recent buyers is the perfect example of this.

This individual was living in a house with three other roommates, paying $750.00 rent towards someone else’s mortgage. He contacted us looking for a space of his own, and to save some money on rent. Throughout our conversation he explained that he would love to own a place of his own, but just didn’t think that was possible. After speaking with our mortgage broker, with just over a $5000.00 deposit, this buyer ended up with a mortgage payment of $460.02/month and became a first time property owner.

Here is a word from our most recent buyer mentioned above:

“For the last seven years I have been a renter in our country’s rising economy. With the increases to living costs it has made life very difficult. My father has rented his whole life and I have seen first hand the toll it takes, moving almost seasonally as the price of rent went up and all the expenses that go with it. I then got to experience this on my own. Life has been very hard for me moving almost five times in one year, which was until I found the nest. Finally my life has been simplified with cost effective ownership. I am completely ecstatic I have been so fortunate to meet the people involved with the Nest. I look forward to moving into my own home this fall. Finally the perpetual quest to find housing is over for me and at a cheaper cost then rent, and it’s all thanks to the people at the Nest. Thank you.”

There are plenty of reasons why people choose to pay rent, but if you wish to own a property instead, why not explore that option?

Madison Bourgeois
Sales & Marketing Assistant