Toronto needs more family-sized condos, young professionals want Toronto to get denser, 10-storey condo tower cancelled and Trump’s policies make the tech companies choose Canada over US – the latest GTA real estate news picked for you by Torontoism team.
The Globe and Mail: Toronto faces shortage of family-friendly condos: report
The GTA’s condo boom is failing to produce enough larger, family-friendly units to accommodate a coming wave of millennials due to hit prime child-bearing age, a new report warns. A study by Ryerson University’s City Building Institute and Urbanation says that only 41 per cent of condominiums under construction or in preconstruction in the GTA have at least two bedrooms.
The problem is, the millennials, who were doing just fine in their single-bedroom condos are now reaching the age when they start having children and looking to up-size. To make things worse, the downsizing baby-boomers will add even more demand in this tight condo market.
Earlier this year, the City of Toronto produced a series of proposed design guidelines to better accommodate children in the city’s “vertical communities.” Although the city’s efforts did have some effects, they were not enough to fix the situation. The problem is, the city said we need more three-bedroom condos, but they didn’t say how big the condos should be.
The average price in October was up 2.3 per cent year-over-year and slightly up from September 2017. The detached homes were the only segment that saw lower prices year-over-year (1.1 per cent), whereas the prices for condos surged by 20.9 per cent compared to October 2016.
There was a sharp decline in sales by 26.7 per cent in October 2017 compared to last year as the sales amounted 7,118. However, as it was highlighted in the TREB report, the sales were up by 12 per cent compared to the previous month.
Richard Silver of Torontoism advises the sellers to adjust their expectations. The prices may be up a little from October 2016 but it are down 20 per cent since April 2017. “Please remember that our last market correction in the GTA took 5 years and also if you are selling to buy, then buying in the same market has great advantages,” said Silver.
The cancellation of a ten-storey The Museum FLTS condo development that has thrown would-be owners back into an increasingly competitive condo market and has raised concerns about the tighter regulations and more protection for buyers of pre-construction projects.
In Toronto, 23 condominium projects have been cancelled since 2012 — five of them in the last year, according to Urbanation. However, Urbanation’s director of research, Pauline Lierman noted that some of the 2017 cancellations are already purchased by another developer and will move forward in a comparable form.
Councillor Josh Matlow, who tabled a motion at city hall in 2013 calling on the province to prohibit developers from advertising condos that haven’t received all the necessary permits and approvals, is calling for more clarity to convey to the buyer the project is conditional. There must also be more disclosure when a project does go belly up about what happened, he said.
Toronto needs additional larger condos, more laneway homes and more duplexes, according to a board of trade survey. Eighty-seven per cent of respondents to the business group’s study say that all areas of the city need to make room for denser housing such as bigger condos, townhouses, laneway homes and granny suites.
As the survey shows, the majority of young professionals are so-called YIMBY’s (Yes In My Backyard). The skyscrapers don’t bother them and the sentimental value of some low-rise old building is less important than the practical benefit of adding more housing supply. The millennials are also for mixed use: they want to live, work and play in the same spot. What is also important, is the diversity of condo supply: there is a surplus of one-bedroom units compared to larger two-bedroom or three-bedroom condos.
One year after Trump’s election, a striking rise in scrutiny for tech-worker visa applications could benefit Toronto. Figures released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) show that an April review of the H-1B non-immigrant visa program, heavily used by tech companies for overseas workers, has seen requests for evidence spike 44 per cent.
The tech companies are looking for easier access to work visas and more immigrant-friendly environment like Toronto. Real-estate group CBRE reported this summer that Toronto gained 22,500 new tech jobs last year — almost double the number achieved by San Francisco. The University of Toronto, focused on new tech spaces like artificial intelligence, saw international student applications increase by over 25 per cent for 2017’s fall semester. The time will show what Trump’s policies will bring to the Canadian economy and the real estate market.