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Steel | Professional Services

November 12, 2012

Surrey condos will be smallest in Canada

British Columbia's Lower Mainland will soon be the home of Canada's smallest condo, in an effort to keep housing prices affordable.

“Real estate prices in the Lower Mainland are among the richest in North America. In cities like New York, Tokyo and Paris they found a solution — build smaller but build closer to amenities. We wanted to build suites that renters could afford to purchase — today,” said Charan Sethi, president of developer Tien Sher.

Tien Sher’s latest project, Balance, is a four-storey building in Surrey, B.C. with 56 suites, including the country’s smallest condo at just 290 square feet.

Sixty per cent of the Balance suites are 305 square feet or smaller.

All micro suites will contain five stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors and a balcony.

The largest suite in the complex is a one bedroom at 653 square feet.

Tien Sher has already built more than 420 homes in Surrey City Centre’s Gateway District through their Quattro developments first three buildings.

Balance will be located across the street from Quattro3.

While prices are not finalized, Sethi indicates that the profit margin is “very tight” on this project to keep the homes affordable. These homes will be the best prices in the Lower Mainland.

“With mortgage-amortization periods capped at 25 years, coupled with the high cost of developable land in the Lower Mainland, micro suites are a sensible and cost-effective option for single people looking to purchase their first home,” said Peter Simpson, president and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association.

“This is an idea I expect to see emulated throughout the region in the years ahead.”

Surrey City Council will need to pass this project through three reviews this fall and then Tien Sher is expected to begin sales in January 2013.

Young professionals, retail employees, single parents are among the anticipated buyers.

“Balance is unique. No suite comes with a parking stall, but they are available for purchase. A 2012 parking study we commissioned showed most purchasers will forego car ownership and its associated costs, in favor of an affordable home purchase,” said Sethi.

“Balance homeowners’ transportation options include bus, Skytrain and a car-share vehicle onsite. Who needs a car with such a short walk to municipal amenities, shopping and services?”

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