Immigration in and around Toronto is presenting as stronger than ever. A study from the Conference Board of Canada displayed a total of 106,000 immigrants settling in the area in 2018, representing 77% of all new arrivals. As we have seen through the increase in job opportunities, wages, and a supporting community of newcomers, the GTA is a very attractive area for immigrants.
What does this mean for the real estate market?
With already established economic benefits, immigration continues to be an extremely important influence for investment and real estate overall. Wealthy foreigners are assisting in stabilising the market and helping prices sore, the population is increasing and limiting the aging workforce, and talented, educated workers are improving our innovation and performance with massive tech giants also opening offices in Toronto.
How can we improve?
Ontario’s smaller communities are seeing less immigration, creating some nationwide imbalance. Board chief economist Pedro Antunes comments on how this may effect our economic growth, suggesting that whilst the high proportion of immigrants in the GTA has many positive factors, it is important for these benefits to continue to grow in all areas of Ontario. The report calls for refinement of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program including a harder target for the number of newcomers settling outside the GTA, encouraging proactivity in marketing of these communities and increased public education about the benefits of economic migration.
With these new implementations, the Canadian labour market will continue to be addressed and Ontario will successfully maintain it’s economic growth.
As we saw last week, condominium prices per square foot are steadily increasing. In every major city besides Vancouver, the median price has now become even higher than that of a single family detached home. The largest appreciation of prices occurred in The Greater Ottawa area, rising 17.9% to $395. The Greater Toronto area has also seen significant increases of 9.1% to $743.
Whilst prices are rising, residents continue to shift towards condominiums to meet their housing and lifestyle expectations. Popularity of smaller condo units specifically is becoming more prevalent, offering enough space and flexibility in convenient locations. The president of Royal LePage comments on these unit types being “the present and future of our communities”, offering “more development opportunities”.
For existing condo owners, and those wanting to invest, this is a great sign of current and future demand. Even though prices are rising above those of detached homes, condos still remain extremely popular with interest continuing to rise. One further thing to note is the importance of location and amenities, as opposed to size and luxury when attracting long-term tenants.