Last week we were excited to sponsor the real estate edition of the Toronto Life Love your City event series. This event was the kickoff in a series introducing people to the finer things Toronto has to offer in culture, the arts, food & drink and, of course, real estate.
The Real Estate section (and most notably the House/Condo of the Week feature) has become one of the most popular on TorontoLife.com and the Focus on Real Estate issue of the print magazine just hit news stands and it’s already a best-seller. Maryam Sanati is the editor of Toronto Life Real Estate and she moderated the discussion at the Arcadian Court last Wednesday.
Maryam put together a fantastic group of panelists:
- Jennifer Keesmaat, Chief Planner for the City of Toronto
- Craig Alexander, Senior Vice-President & Chief Economist at TD Bank Financial Group
- Jimmy Molloy, a real estate agent at Chestnut Park Real Estate
- James Ritchie, Senior Vice-President of Sales & Marketing at Tridel
Dubbed Buy, Sell, or Hold: The Future of Toronto Real Estate, the evening was full of goodies, but if we had to distill all that information into five key takeaways, they would be these:
1. The vertical city is here to stay.
More and more major world cities can now safely be called vertical cities and Toronto is quickly joining their ranks. Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat spoke about the need for amenities and a “lifestyle infrastructure” to make condo living more desirable and inclusive in this city. All panelists agreed that condos will have to accommodate more families as more and more urbanites choose city life over moving to the suburbs with their families.
2. Foreign ownership exists, but it’s not a trend.
We’ve all heard at some point or another that Toronto’s condo boom has reach its legendary proportions thanks to foreign investment, be it Chinese, Russian or Saudi. In reality, the condo market is driven by Canadian buyers. Foreign buyers only represent approximately 5% of the condo market.
3. We’re experiencing a stabilization of the market.
What may look like a downturn is really just a return to normal market conditions after a period of hotter-than-hot sales.
4. Unemployment and housing prices are affecting the housing market.
Economic conditions are affecting the housing market, and they always will. What we have now are rising unemployment and rising housing prices.
5. People heart Toronto.
There will always be those who strive for a big house with a yard. But increasingly, people want amenity-rich high-rise living, or they seek out hidden pockets close to the city core. The result is a fascinating transformative affect on neighbourhoods. It seems like wherever you look there is something new to love in Toronto.
Thanks to Maryam and the crew at Toronto Life for putting everything together. We’ll be following the Love your City event series to see what they come up with next.