TORONTO – PWC’s 36th edition of the annual Emerging Trends in Real Estate report is predicting another strong year for Canadian real estate investment opportunities – particularly in major markets’ downtown core areas, where urbanization is playing a key role in reshaping urban neighbourhoods.
The study, released October 22, was developed with the help of the non-profit Urban Land Institute, as well as input from more than 1,400 respondents spanning all sectors of the property industry – from bankers and mortgage specialists, to developers, investors, and real estate service providers.
As younger home buyers seek to shorten their commute by buying homes close to the core, the study’s respondents acknowledged a growing focus on urbanization and intensification – in essence, the formation of medium- or high-density “live, work, play” communities.
In response to increased demand from buyers, residential developers have begun to collaborate more frequently with commercial ones to incorporate retail and other services into residential communities.
“People want to live mid-downtown,” one interviewee told the study’s authors. “The subway/transit corridor is golden for developers.”
Toronto among Hottest Local Markets for 2015
Toronto earned the third spot in the annual study’s ranking of “Markets to Watch in 2015” – a selection based on “potential for 2015 commercial investment, development, and the strength of the housing market.”
Citing a “strong and stable” condo market – as well as a rejuvenated core that continues to attract not only home buyers, but businesses and retail – the study predicts that much of 2015’s real estate market growth will come from high sales activity in high-rise communities downtown. However, the survey also cites “industry watchers” who predict that the young professionals buying homes downtown may someday wish to purchase larger, more affordable properties outside of the core.
Toronto’s Urban Condos Continue Hot Streak: TREB
The urbanization trends outlined in PWC’s study were certainly reflected in the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB)’s most recent Condo Report. Released October 2017, the report examined 2014’s third business quarter – during which the board recorded an impressive 12.9 per cent year-over-year increase in condominium apartment sales.
TREB president Paul Etherington noted that affordability is a key factor in the increasing popularity of Toronto’s condominium communities.
“Condominium apartments represent an affordable home ownership option for first-time buyers,” noted Etherington, adding that condo completions in the city have been at record levels over the past two years.
“There have been enough buyers to keep market conditions balanced, with the average selling price increasing at an above-inflation pace.”