Why Toronto Condos will See their Day in the Sun Again

Everyone’s heard about the gloom and doom surrounding Toronto’s condo market. There are too many units on the market, they’re all “cookie cutter” in a market where buyers want custom, and they’re simply a quick formula for failure. But, not so fast. Condos aren’t all bad, and in fact, some are saying that they’re likely to see another boom just like the previous condo boom in the city, where buyers couldn’t scoop them up fast enough.

One of those believers is market analyst and marketing guru Jeanhy Shim. She’s currently raising her daughter in a condo, and she says that the lifestyle couldn’t suit them better. They love their home, and she says she loves the “vertical community” that surrounds them. Shrugging off the notion that condos aren’t good for families, or that they’re too small to suit anyone’s needs, she says that the popularity of condos are on the rise again, and will only continue to soar back to the top.

One of the reasons condos are going to dominate the market once again, says Ms. Shim, is because the rental market in Toronto is tight. And it’s not set to get much better.

“The rental market’s on fire,” she says, pointing towards the fact that it’s currently seeing a 1 per cent vacancy rate.

That makes purchasing a condo a much better option than renting for many boomer children that are just starting to move out of their parents’ home.

And, she says, investors also can’t be counted out. No, you may not see the dramatic flips that you saw a year ago, sometimes before the unit even went on the market initially, but investors are still here. It’s just that now, they’re looking for different things out of their investment units.

“These are not people who are flipping,” says Ms. Shim. “These investors today have long-term thinking. It has provided de facto new rental stock.”

She does recognize that people in the city are tower-weary though, and don’t want to see more high-rises blocking out the Toronto sky. But, that’s what the overstock in supply is for, and this too will make a perfect marriage for buyers looking for those condo rises in the high rises; but won’t put any more on the stock.

Nicholas Bohr, a real estate agent in the city, agrees with Ms. Shim, saying that while it was once thought that condos were a starter home for individuals before they moved onto their sprawling family home, that’s no longer the case he says.

“For a lot of people it’s a lifestyle,” he says. “Some people don’t like to live in a house. They want to live in something new and something sexy and even to change it every couple of years.”