Canadians Repopulating Cities

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The last census of 2006 showed 11% of homeowners lived in condos, up from 3% in 1981, close to a 400% increase over 25 years. The 2011 census is sure to show a substantial increase over 2006. Over the last 5 years, Toronto’s downtown population increased by 17%. Half of all the new housing stock in the GTA is now condominiums. This is up dramatically from just 10 years ago when condo sales represented just ____% on new home sales. In 10 years, condominium sales will represent over 75% of all new homes sold in the GTA. While condo sales are the future of new housing sales, the absolute number of new sales has only risen from ____in 2001 to ______ in 2011. This represents an annual growth rate of just ____%. Hardly a bubble. The important number here is not condos sold, but absolute homes sold. Condominiums just now represent a larger percentage of the overall number.

This is because we are experiencing a fundamental shift in population and lifestyle. People put off marriage and children, singles, and young couples want to live in urban areas. Urban sprawl and long traffic commutes are being avoided. Convenient city style condominium living has spread a significant real estate boom that is not likely to end soon.

Condos are more affordable for first-time buyers and young adults. Immigrants embraced the high density based lifestyle and empty-nesters love the high security, scaled down convenient lifestyle.

Small and medium sized investors have embraced the opportunity to own real estate in Toronto where rents cover all carrying costs and still create principle recovery and equity growth. Large new condo projects can sell out in hours if developers allow a large number of foreign investors.

Investors from the Middle East, the Far East, Africa, and South America would be hard pressed to find a better place to invest their capital than Toronto’s large, diverse, and stable economy. There are millions of extremely wealthy individuals from hundreds of countries clamouring for an opportunity to buy in one of this city’s hundreds of new developments. Make no mistake this real estate renaissance is going to permanently change our incredible city. Many areas formerly in decline are now flourishing on a monthly, if not weekly, basis. New retail, restaurants, hotels, bars, nightclubs, galleries, office buildings, live entertainment venues, and more are being incubated to great success.

As I have stated dozens of times in the past, Toronto’s rebirth has too much momentum to retreat. It is our time to retreat. It is our time, and we can thank condominiums for it.