So-called micro-suites in the Balance development in Surrey are being billed as the smallest condos in Canada.

So-called micro-suites in the Balance development in Surrey are being billed as the smallest condos in Canada.

Canada’s smallest condos selling well in Whalley

‘Micro suites’ as small as 297 square feet of living space

Targeting those that would otherwise be unable to enter the housing market, Charan Sethi claims to have found a niche market.

The president of the Tien Shier Group is more than satisfied with sales so far at the Balance housing project in Whalley, a development that boasts the smallest condominiums available for purchase in Canada.

A little more than half of the 56 units have been sold, and with registration continuing on the project’s website, selling all the so-called  “micro suites” is likely, he said.

“It went very good, we’re super happy,” said Sethi of Saturday’s grand opening. “Even better, we’re getting one new registration (online) every 45 minutes.

“It’s been one of my best experiences in this business.”

The four-storey structure, to be built by the Tien Sher Group of Companies at 108 Avenue and Grosvenor Road, and to be completed by the summer of 2014, will feature apartments as small as 297 square feet. Prices are as low as $109,900 – affordable for those earning just $17 an hour, after a $6,000 down payment.

“We had a huge number of people looking to buy (in other projects),” said Sethi. “But they couldn’t afford the prices, because they didn’t have enough for a down payment or because of their income level. So we started working backward, looking at what they could afford. What we came up with is not a lot of space, but still a very nice home.”

Sethi said most buyers on the weekend were “first-time buyers, people who don’t own a home and are paying rent.

“There was one young guy, he was only 21, and he bought a unit. I thought he was just a boy.”

The success of Balance has convinced Sethi there is a market for the micro suites.

“I will do another one like this,” he said. “This one was 60 per cent small units, but I won’t do as many small suites. We have land in Whalley, and will start planning the next one once this one is done.”

Surrey North Delta Leader