This is it - my final article of the year. As I look back on 2018, there are many highlights, but also a few lowlights. Without further ado, I’d like you to join me in my reflection of the year and the new home industry.
One thing that really stands out about 2018 is the affordability issue in the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding areas. Sure, prices cooled slightly, but the average detached home will still cost you more than $1 million. As a result, there were still many condo sales, as well as semi-detached and townhome sales.
I actually think that it’s a good thing that couples and families are looking to higher density housing because I believe that more mid- and high-density housing is what’s needed to accommodate our growing population. If more buyers shift demand to these housing types, then builders will be more encouraged to build it - and include more two- and three-bedroom suites.
That said, I was shocked to discover this year that 83% of young, urban homeowners would prefer to live in a detached home if cost wasn’t a consideration. Turns out that only 5% would still prefer condo living. So, while there have been fewer detached home sales this year, it’s not out of choice, but necessity.
The frustrating thing that also came to light this year was that 59% of GTA residents oppose the construction of a high-rise condo within half a kilometre of their home; 44% oppose stacked townhomes built this close to their home, and nearly 50% oppose small condos. The really frustrating part is that 87% believe that building more housing is important to address affordability...just not near their own homes.
As I look forward to 2019, I want this way of thinking to shift. Instead of each of us claiming our plot, building our fences, and sneering at every new neighbour, I hope to see more people in and around the GTA embrace new housing with a more welcoming attitude.
People want to live here for the same reasons that you do. There are many employment opportunities, crime is relatively low, the weather is beautiful for half the year, and for those new to Canada, healthcare is obviously a high priority.
I’m definitely a supporter of the missing middle housing movement - we need more stacked townhomes and boutique condos to accommodate population growth. According to a recent report, the GTHA is at risk of falling short by 7,200 dwellings at the current rate of construction. The GTHA population is expected to hit 10 million by 2041, and Toronto alone must account for more than 3 million of these people. I don’t see how the city can do that without more mid- and high-rises.
All that said, I did read recently that a few of the big hitters have said that the construction of new condos will slow down in Toronto next year. Representatives from Tridel, Menkes, CentreCourt, and Diamond Kilmer Developments voiced their opinions at a roundtable discussion at Bloomberg’s Toronto offices. While developers will continue to work hard for sales, prices will remain steady, and even rise a little bit.
I realize that the majority of my reflection of 2018 has been somewhat negative, but it’s all left me feeling very positive about 2019. This year was us bouncing back after a wild 2017, and 2019 will be the year of moderation with hopefully more people feeling comfortable buying a new home.
From everyone here at Newinhomes.com, we wish you and your family a happy holidays and prosperous new year!