Thanks to Stephen Dupuis, President and CEO of BILD (Building Industry and Land Development Association), for the below article.
It’s too bad many of the condo sales offices in the downtown core are locked down this weekend for the G20 Summit, because I am sure our world leaders would be pleasantly surprised by the relative affordability of Greater Toronto condos, not to mention our world-class building and suite designs.
Earlier this week, I participated in a news conference designed to highlight the excellent investment opportunities in the Toronto condo market to our foreign visitors. George Carras, president of RealNet Canada Inc. set the tone by revealing the most recent sales statistics for the Greater Toronto condo market, which were up 66 per cent in May and a whopping 244 per cent from January to May.
There’s no question the condo market has been strong this year but until Carras pointed it out, I hadn’t realized that it has never been better. Since 2000, January to May condo sales have averaged 5,850 units. The 8,170 new condos sold so far this year is the new high water mark.
Ever the source of unique market perspectives, Carras produced a chart putting the GTA multi-family (condo) market in North American perspective. At roughly 16,000 units built in 2009, we are number one by far in terms of the volume of highrise construction. Montreal is second at around 13,000 units while the closest U.S. market, New York, is around 8,000 units.
Paul Golini of Empire Communities would love to show off his condo projects to the G20 delegates but unfortunately his Condo Living Store won’t be open this weekend as it is simply too close to the security perimeter.
Still, Golini hopes the G20 delegates will take notice of all the construction cranes and ask themselves what’s going on. “All these cranes scattered across our skyline are symbols of how much housing and construction contribute to our economy. The direct and indirect jobs created by each crane and new construction project are significant, perhaps as high as 400 to 500 jobs per crane,” Golini said.
Having marketed our province around the world as former Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Joe Cordiano, now with Cityzen Development Group, spoke of how Toronto has “come of age” as an international city. “We have many more buyers for our product than we think considering that our marketplace is the world,” he said. With signature buildings like the L-Tower, Pier 27 and Absolute (aka the Marilyn Monroe building) in Mississauga, the Fernbrook Homes/Cityzen partnership has plenty to offer.
Tina Amato, a VP with Baker Real Estate recently launched six new condo projects totalling more than 2,500 units. She noted that their purchaser profile includes global investors. Ironically, Amato noted that her president had left for Russia the night before to promote investment in the Toronto condo market.
For my part, I told the news conference that wherever our condo builders have travelled on highrise housing study tours, be it to U.S. cities like New York, Chicago or Boston, or global destinations like London or Stockholm, we continually discover that we are great condo builders and designers by any definition of world class.
Where we really shine though, is on the affordability scale. Last time I checked, a luxury condo in Sydney, Australia would be double the cost of one here. In New York or Hong Kong, the price would be triple that of Toronto, while in London, the multiple would be six times.
Whether we’re talking about highrise development, design or marketing, Toronto is a truly world class market for affordable condominium residency.