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REAL ES­TATE ROUND­TABLE

Lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion is the short an­swer. Th­ese mar­kets have held up rel­a­tively well to mar­ket in­flu­ences, in large part due to their close prox­im­ity to the city’s core. If you look back, th­ese are the ar­eas that first ex­pe­ri­enced tight mar­ket con­di­tions, low in­ven­tory lev­els and bid­ding wars. Ar­eas like Oak­wood Vaughan also of­fer up some of the most af­ford­able sin­gle-de­tached homes in the cen­tral core, in and around $1 mil­lion.

Ar­eas like York Mills, Sun­ny­brook, Bri­dle Path have seen sales drop ap­prox­i­mately 32 per cent year-over-year (239 ver­sus 349), but it’s im­por­tant to note that the av­er­age price in this com­mu­nity has climbed 28 per cent year-to-date and cur­rently sits at $3,104,428 — that’s the high­est av­er­age price in the GTA’s 60 plus neigh­bour­hoods.

This area has also been a favourite with for­eign buy­ers and that’s had an im­pact on the mar­ket as well.

First, this is a level of de­tail that I must re­fer to my real es­tate col­leagues. From a city plan­ning per­spec­tive, more broadly, we know that neigh­bour­hoods near tran­sit and walk­a­ble main streets are more re­silient in terms of how they hold their value in gen­eral. Ar­eas that ap­peal to end users, as op­posed to in­vestors, will on the whole prove to be more sta­ble neigh­bour­hoods.

It would be prob­lem­atic to draw long-term con­clu­sions from what I view as short-term anom­alies. Rather, how Toronto grows — such as whether we make the tran­sit in­vest­ments re­quired to sup­port a rapidly den­si­fy­ing city — will de­ter­mine which neigh­bour­hoods thrive.

Great neigh­bour­hoods with a short­age of prop­erty will con­tinue to boom. Other less de­sir­able neigh­bour­hoods that have a larger po­ten­tial sup­ply of prop­erty may not see the same in­creases. For in­stance, both neigh­bour­hoods of For­est Hill and Casa Loma are very small in terms of the num­ber of homes they con­tain. They are also very de­sir­able places to live due to their prox­im­ity to the city and the ex­cel­lent na­ture of the homes.

GLUCK­STEIN:

I think there are peo­ple com­ing from other ar­eas of the city who want to be closer to the down­town core, in a walk­a­ble neigh­bour­hood close to shops and restau­rants, while still

KEESMAAT:

Con­dos, par­tic­u­larly those in de­sir­able lo­ca­tions with walk­a­ble ac­cess to tran­sit and ameni­ties, re­main a de­sir­able hous­ing choice. In com­par­i­son to low-rise hous­ing op­tions, they pro­vide lower cost ac­cess to some of Toronto’s most de­sir­able neigh­bour­hoods. Many fam­i­lies are now mak­ing the con­scious choice to live in con­dos, es­chew­ing the bur­den of a long com­mute re­quired to find a com­pa­ra­bly priced low-rise al­ter­na­tive. While this does not mean con­dos are im­mune to a price cor­rec­tion, I do be­lieve that this form of hous­ing is here to stay as Toronto con­tin­ues to tran­si­tion into a denser city.

I also hope that the great work my team has been ad­vanc­ing re­lated to de­sign­ing neigh­bour­hoods and con­dos as a first choice for fam­i­lies is en­cour­ag­ing more in­ter­est. This sum­mer has seen the launch of some spec­tac­u­lar new parks — Grange, Ber­czy and Tril­lium. In­vest­ing in public space is mak­ing the propo­si­tion of condo liv­ing even more de­sir­able, as a new gen­er­a­tion trades back­yards for a more ur­ban ap­proach to ev­ery­day life.

Whereas in the past con­dos were viewed pri­mar­ily a s starter homes, as the char­ac­ter of our city shifts, the role con­dos play in the hous­ing mar­ket is shift­ing too.

CO­HEN:

For many first-time buy­ers in the Greater Toronto Area, con­do­mini­ums rep­re­sent the first step in home own­er­ship. The ur­ban life­style is es­pe­cially pop­u­lar with younger pur­chasers, many of whom are at­tracted to af­ford­able units within the down­town core that are close to work and play. De­mand, how­ever, is not lim­ited to first-time buy­ers. Empty nesters and re­tirees are drawn to units in the cen­tre core that are within walk­ing dis­tance of shops and restau­rants. Fam­i­lies are drawn to con­do­minium town­homes and apart­ments in more sub­ur­ban set­tings. Con­do­mini­ums al­low new Cana­di­ans to re­al­ize home own­er­ship at an af­ford­able price point. In­vestors also fac­tor into the mix, given that va­cancy rates in the city hover at ap­prox­i­mately 1.3 per cent (ac­cord­ing to the Canada Mort­gage and Hous­ing Cor­po­ra­tion). With de­mand com­ing from so many dif­fer­ent seg­ments of the mar­ket, it’s not

KEESMAAT: LAMB:

CO­HEN:

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