14 Feb Entertainment District, Luxury Units Dominate Toronto Condo Market
There are 4,431 condos for sale there at an average price of $919 per squ. ft., according to a sweeping survey of Toronto real estate by online development hub BuzzBuzzHome.
But cost-conscious buyers will pay less — an average of $650 per squ. ft. — by venturing a little farther east to Moss Park, which is being rebranded as Toronto’s “Garden District,” or the area near King St. east of Bathurst St., known as the fashion district.
There are 17 developments in the Church-Wellesley area where the average per sq. ft. price is $871. St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood condos average $730 per sq. ft.
With 901 developments on the market in the last quarter of 2016, the Toronto area has more projects than Edmonton and Vancouver combined where there were 816 between the two cities, says the report called, Toronto New Home Market Outlook 2017.
Overall, BuzzBuzzHome predicts a “modest but healthy growth” in new residential development in the Toronto area. But it won’t necessarily be an accessible environment to the average resident.
“The bulk of this growth will be through low-volume, high-price sales, as new purchases get increasingly unattainable to consumers on the low-to-medium income scale, but increasingly appetizing to high-income residents and investors seeking a blend of stability and yield,” says the report.
The continued escalation in new home prices and the sheer volume of development suggests there’s still room for expansion in the market, said Greg White, vice-president of data and partnerships BuzzBuzzHome.
“This is starting to reflect that there are tremendous amounts of continued opportunity in residential real estate and specifically new residential real estate, not just in the city of Toronto but also the areas around Toronto,” he said.
While BuzzBuzzHome doesn’t specifically track foreign investment in Toronto area real estate, White said he has observed some patterns.
“We did see a significant decrease in new home shoppers and new condo shoppers in the Vancouver market, identifying themselves as investment purchasers, decreasing in that second half of 2016 and increasing in that same period in Toronto. You’ve got Toronto above national average in terms of our data from an investment standpoint and now Vancouver’s sitting below national average,” he said.
White added that, “There’s a lot of exciting things going on in the Greater Toronto region and things that we’re seeing in Kitchener, in Hamilton, east of Durham Region and north of York Region.”
York has the region’s second-most active condo scene. Last year was a five-year high with 20 projects totalling 4,409 units there.
The region is growing up too. Developments that are currently selling there average 11 stories. Buildings that are taking buyer registrations are 14 stories and projects that still have approvals pending average 18 stories.
There are 26 condo projects under construction in York with 40 more waiting to break ground.
Toronto residents can expect to see different kinds of development migrate to other less touched areas of the city this year.
The redevelopment of the Honest Ed’s area means there will be more action in the Bloor and Bathurst streets neighbourhood and nearby Annex, said Sean MacKay of BuzzBuzzHome.
“I do think that area has been spared a lot of the development that has been happening closer to the core,” MacKay said.
“You’re seeing development moving a bit eastward. In Leslieville you’re not going to be seeing the super-dense building but there’s certainly plenty of opportunities for new development that some would say is more fitting with the scale of the neighbourhood . . . East of the Don Valley there’s a lot more untapped opportunity that is starting to come to life as the western part of the downtown core has evolved,” he said.