Newcomers snap up local properties for their value 

(Source: Vancouver Sun)

As uncertain economic conditions persist here and around the globe, many Canadians are wondering if luxury condominiums are still a good investment.

The answer from many industry experts is a resounding “yes.”

“Relative to 2007, the GTA luxury condo market has moderated in terms of the volume of sales, but compared with any other major city in the world, we still sell and build more condos in all price ranges.”

According to RealNet Canada, BILD’s research source, sales of new condos in the GTA in 2008 exceeded 15,500 units while CMHC reports that construction was started on nearly 24,000 units last year, reflecting the very healthy sales rates of previous years.

“At the upper end of the market, Toronto condo prices continue to represent the best bang for your buck, relative to major markets in the United States and around the globe,” says Dupuis.

RealNet’s research backs this up. Its study of similar-size one-bedroom-plus-den units in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver showed that Toronto’s 633-square-foot condo came in at $288,900 ($456 per sq. ft.) compared with $357,900 ($528 per sq. ft.) for a 678 sq. ft. unit in Calgary and $461,000 ($739 per sq. ft.) for a 615 -sq.-ft. unit in Vancouver.

Internationally, the situation is similar. Toronto’s luxury and super-luxury condo prices (starting around $800 and $1,400 per sq. ft. respectively) are lower than Paris, London, Tokyo, Moscow, Hong Kong, Dubai, New York, Los Angeles, Sydney and Monte Carlo. In fact, international investors must pay from two (Sydney, Paris and Dubai) to eight times more (London) for prime condo space in those cities. Put in dollar terms, a 750-sq.-ft. unit selling at $600,000 here would cost $1.2-million in Sydney, Paris or Dubai and $4.65-million in London.

Indeed, the demand for Toronto’s luxury condos originates from a variety of sources. Affluent immigrants and foreign investors are lining up with the traditional buyers that include empty nesters, Boomers, young professional couples and individuals. And, when you factor in the numerous lifestyle choices currently available, such as upscale downtown living, serene resort-style adult communities complete with adjacent golf courses, waterfront properties with views and so on, the choices become even more alluring.

Read the full article “Toronto condo prices: best bang for your buck” in the National Post (May 8, 2009).

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