| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed

Development News

RealNet identifes watershed in GTA housing market

Toronto’s real estate market may have reached a tipping point.

According to a recent study, the price gap between condos and single-family dwellings has topped the quarter-million-dollar point.

“The gap is not widening because condos are cheaper,” says RealNet president George Carras. “That gap is widening because the price of the homes we’re making less off - the detached homes — is rising at an increasing rate.”

Carras says it’s the natural result of the now 10-year-old Greenbelt, which limited suburban sprawl and instantly made all the land on the city side of the belt more expensive.

“Intensification is no longer the plan,” he says. “It’s the reality.”

Carras feels it’s clear now that Toronto is headed in the same direction as Vancouver, where the condo-house gap is almost $800,000. “You’re going to see more high-rise, less low-rise, which means you've got an extremity condition,” he says.

The future of Toronto is not necessarily exclusively towers, however. Carras says that the recent building code changes that allow what is referred to in the industry as “six-storey wood” — allowances for buildings as high as six storeys to be framed in wood rather than more expensive concrete or steel, up from the previous limit of four storeys — will mean a lot of low- to mid-rise condos and what are known as vertical towns, to increase the diversity of both Toronto’s housing market and its architectural cityscape.

Carras also predicts an increase in mixed-use development.

Historically, he says, “commercial and residential real estate tended to be in different camps. Because intensification is not a reality, the only source of land for future residential development in the long term is going to come from intensification of existing commercial real estate stock.”

In other words, those towers that have been sprouting up for the past decade are just the beginning, with the next decade bringing us a bunch of new shapes and sizes to intersperse amid what was starting to be a sort of vertical monotony.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: George Carras

Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts