The Toronto Condo Market Remains Strong
The current state of disorder we find ourselves in has made us all want to do some crystal ball gazing. There have been countless articles announcing prophecies of our pandemic-afflicted future. When the world is in chaos, understanding where we are headed gives us a sense of control; it’s good for business and our own personal well-being to be prepared. In the real estate industry, there have been many people speculating whether COVID-19 has wounded the condo market in Toronto. Many have noted that condo listings in downtown Toronto have soared recently. In September, the volume of listings was 215 per cent higher than the year earlier. Some have also suggested that the pandemic has intensified the trend of people leaving the city for more affordable living in the suburbs. However, with regard to Toronto’s condo market, the former problem is temporary and the latter is largely inconsequential. The answer to both these concerns is immigration.
Toronto is now the fastest growing city and metropolitan area in North America. In 2019, the City of Toronto’s population grew by 45,742 and Toronto’s CMA took on 127,575 new residents. Toronto’s growth is mainly driven by immigration. Notably, in 2019 Toronto received almost three times as much population growth from immigration as New York City. Toronto has assumed New York’s position as the multicultural haven for those searching for a new home. In fact, New York’s population is decreasing almost at the same rate that Toronto’s is rising. And to aid Canada’s recovery from COVID-19, the federal government plans to welcome over 1.2 million new immigrants over the next three years. Immigration helps sustain the labor force, spurs economic growth, and supports the productivity of essential services. Currently, immigration has slowed significantly; but an upcoming flood of new Torontonians is approaching and will doubtless cause a marked rise in demand in the Toronto condo market. Investors who held onto their properties through the pandemic will benefit from the surge in rent prices.
As Canada’s largest city, Toronto is a thriving and transforming urban centre. The city is receiving substantial investment in public infrastructure and transit to support the quickly growing population. Union Station has recently undergone a major redevelopment. The waterfront revitalization project aims to transform the lands around Lake Ontario into successful neighbourhoods, parks, and destinations that boost economic vitality and encourage civic connection. This initiative is the largest urban renewal project currently underway in North America. Then there is Ontario Line, a rapid transit line that will run from the Ontario Science Centre in the northeast to Ontario Place in the southwest. Ontario Line will alleviate crowding, make travelling simpler, and unify communities. Moreover, the towering cranes rising on the Toronto skyline are indisputable markers of economic strength. Toronto is presently home to the greatest number of construction cranes in North America and is about to take Chicago’s position as the city with the second most skyscrapers on the continent. Toronto currently ranks third for tall buildings of at least 150 meters with 67; but with 31 more under construction and 59 proposed, it will surpass Chicago, which has 126 skyscrapers with another 19 under construction or proposed. Toronto’s neighbourhoods are swiftly becoming more livable, its infrastructure more advanced, and its industries more globally impactful; in other words, Toronto’s value is only going up.
Toronto is a tremendous cultural engine, bristling with commerce, technology, invention, creativity, and entertainment and its opportunities and affluence are drawing people from all over the world. In relation to other major cities in North America, Toronto places exceptionally high. Toronto is the fourth-largest city, the second-largest financial centre, and the third-largest tech sector on the continent. Toronto is an important city. And people want to live in important cities. In times like these, we want to predict the future immediately, but we must do so prudently. So how do we foretell what is to come with prescience and care? We step back from the minor aberrations in the data and look at the big picture. And the wider view tells us that Toronto is a rapidly evolving metropolis with a rapidly growing population. For the foreseeable future, good homes in Toronto will be in high demand.