|I wish to impress upon the reader that The Condo Bible, besides providing the most essential knowledge about the condominium ownership arrangement – its benefits, pitfalls and shortcomings – carries also a message of social consciousness that I hope may bring public awareness to the existing problems associated with the condominium industry on a whole.
The urban landscape has gone through profound changes in the last 30 years. Condominium housing has emerged as a major habitat, accounting for about 50 percent of housing start-ups, a trend that will continue in the future due to scarcity of land and people’s changing life-styles.
However, the rampant building of condominiums created an economic climate of massive speculation, fuelled by low mortgage interest rates. This is causing unreasonable – and in reality, artificial – appreciation of values. Governments’ and developers’ primary goal to keep building and selling is continuing to entice traditional renters into buying for the sake of encouraging consumer spending.
Consumer spending is the driving force of any economy. But to keep it going at all costs is irresponsible and highly unfair. Such ill designed policies by governments and developers lure financially weak consumers into positions of liabilities inherent with condominium ownership, leading to serious economic hardship.
The environment of record low stagnant wages, coupled by the ever increasing prices of condos and other forms of real estate, cannot support reckless buying-spree agendas to keep the economy going indefinitely. Eventually, the oversupply and inability to carry on with financial obligations causes the market to crash. It happened before, not too long ago, when the economic boomerang caused by the same irresponsible policies led to hardship on a massive scale. For as long as such policies continue, those hardships are bound to happen again.
I want to caution consumers that under its present governance, there are very serious faults and weaknesses – both within condo boards and outside legislative regulations – that must be urgently addressed by our society and its leaders. Implementing measures to regulate a responsible supply and demand of condominiums is an absolute priority if condo units are to stand a fair chance of remaining a viable real estate product in the future.
I invite you to read my book to learn more about these issues and discover what may be in store for condos in the not-so-distant future.