Stacked Townhouses: Townhouses’ Interesting Twin

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The city of Vancouver zoning bylaw defines “Stacked Townhouses” as: “Stacked townhouses are stacked on top of each other, each with its own front door and private outdoor space.”

They look like this:

0508 1
(Source: MLS)

We rarely see these type of townhouse constructions in Richmond.

However, they have long been popular in our neighbouring cities like Vancouver, Surrey, and Burnaby.

On the East Coast in Greater Toronto Area, stacked townhouses are gaining tons of popularity as the fast-rising housing cost forces buyers to look into different purchase options.

For a lot of people, stacked townhouse is the last compromise before they finally give in to apartment living.

Where can You Find Stacked Townhouses?

As of today, there are only 15 active stacked townhouse listings on the market, with a median price of $519,900, and average days on market (DOM) of 72 days.

0508 2
(Source: MLS)

What are the Benefits of Stacked Townhouses?

  1. Outdoor Space Exclusive to yourself
    • One of the biggest attraction of a townhouse
  2. Affordability
    • In theory, developers can build more housing units compared to a townhouse site with the same lot size (a.k.a. more sellable square footage), thus, their land acquisition costs are lower. This allows developers to sell stacked townhouses at a lower price point.
  3. Private entrance & porch with front and back windows
    • Another huge advantage over apartment living
  4. Central parking
    • Central parking where surveillance is easier to implement, just like apartments.
  5. Lower strata fee than apartment
    • Strata fees are typically higher than townhouses, but lower than apartments. Good news for those we do not like paying the typical fees of $0.35-$0.40/SQFT in apartments units.

What are the Downsides of Stacked Townhouses?

  1. Stairs
    • They can eat up a good amount of in-door area
    • Not ideal for seniors
  2. Sound proof and privacy
    • There will be someone above or below you.
    • You and your neighbours’ living space and bedrooms are usually very close together, sometimes only separated by a thin wall.

Yes, with the stacked townhouses, you lose a lot of the desirable features of a typical townhouse.

With that said, it still offers a lot of the advantages that apartment living can’t match.

In a time when some townhouses are closing in on the $1 million mark, stacked townhouses can be a very viable option for some families.

I would imagine that the developers are giving it some serious thoughts on introducing Stacked Townhouses to Richmond, as for many home buyers, they are the next-best-thing to buying a townhouse!

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