Jan 6, 2010

There is a shift taking place in the GTA from lowrise to highrise development.

In the beginning of this decade approximately three out of every four new home sales in the GTA were lowrise – single-detached, semi-detached, or townhomes. The ratio is changing, quickly.

In the last three years, highrise sales have increased to take an impressive 51 per cent market share. In addition, 75 percent to 80 percent of new condo sales are concentrated in the City of Toronto.

In a Toronto Star article about the above figures, Stephen Dupuis asks what we can expect to see in the coming decade. He writes,

“Firstly, with the GTA expected to grow by more than 2 million people through 2031, it looks as though average demand will remain at or near 40,000 units per year, although not likely in the short-term.

As for the market profile going forward, the shift towards highrise or high density housing has probably peaked, however with the provincial 40 per cent intensification rule under the Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth plan, we’re likely to see an incremental shift towards more highrise development in the suburbs.

The highrise trend has been partly industry led, partly government led and partly consumer led. It should be taken for what it is, which is a good thing, particularly from a sustainable development standpoint, but not mistaken as a fundamental shift in market preference. Families with children will continue to aspire to the lowrise lifestyle.”

Personally, I find the intense concentration of highrise development in the city of Toronto fascinating. I can’t wait for the day that Toronto resembles…umm….Singapore.

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