If you listen to the conventional wisdom from the real estate industry you should get into the market as soon as possible so you can start climbing that property ladder. Get into a condo early, then trade up in a few years to a starter house, and trade up again a few years later.
Of course you can guess the primary reason the industry gives this advice: more transactions means more commissions. A better idea is to minimize your transactions and minimize transaction costs when one is unavoidable.
While the market was in the downturn between 2010 and 2014, the property ladder was completely broken. Condos were dropping in value faster than detached houses. Most people sitting on a condo in that time would have noticed that the rung above them on the ladder was moving ever further away.
In today’s hot market it’s debatable whether it makes more sense to jump in sooner or wait until you can afford something that you can stay in for the long term. What’s not debatable is that condos are on the whole not appreciating at the same rate as detached houses.
One way to look at this is to see how many median condos you would have to trade in for a median single family home over time in Victoria.
I imagine if we compared them with a repeat sale index the trend towards detached homes out-appreciating condos would be even stronger.