Our Guide To: The Shifting Trends In Condo Development

The Shifting Trends In Condo Development

There’s no doubt that real estate developments in the GTA are in for a major shake-up. From population growth to demographic shifts to design trends, there are many things that influence how buildings and neighbourhoods actively transform.

Based on our research, first-hand experience and reflections over the season, here’s how we see condominium developments changing in coming years:

 

The Rise of Master-Planned Communities

 2 Tecumseth
2 Tecumseth

Our team learns about new developments on a daily basis — often, as soon as they’re proposed to the city. We’ve definitely noticed an increase in master-planned projects being proposed. Gone are the days when the single tower reigned king, as developers realize the benefits of creating more self-sustaining communities – and perhaps the power of a community’s branding

Whether they’re compact like the 5 acre multi-phase project proposed at 2 Tecumseth Street, or as expansive as the 72-acre West Village in Mississauga’s Port Credit, new developments are incorporating more than one building. More often than not, these buildings are also serving more than one use. Creative ways of including retail, office and community space, as well as residential units, are the new norm.

Regardless if you live, work – or both– in one of these developments, having all your day-to-day needs within blocks is a major convenience. These communities encourage spending time doing what you love, rather than finding destinations for errands and social gatherings.

 

Condos That Cater To The Whole Family

kid game room
DuEast Boutique East Residences

The city of Toronto is well on its way to refining new planning guidelines aimed at building more family-friendly condominiums. In May 2017, they approved a draft of these guidelines, which will be used even as the Planning Department continues to refine the arrangements over a two-year period, ending in 2019.

The guidelines follow the release of a comprehensive study called Growing Up: Planning for Children in New Vertical Communities which sheds light on what exactly growing families are looking for when they choose to raise their kids in condos —  something an increasing number of parents are choosing to do.

Regardless of what changes the city makes to the proposed regulations, we’re betting on a definite shift in condominium trends including more thoughtful storage, flexible layouts, larger dimensions, and an increase in kid-friendly amenities like playrooms.

 

Single-family, Detached? What’s That?

Sugar Wharf Condos
Sugar Wharf Condos

This might seem obvious in light of the influx of stats, but we predict condo sales will continue to climb — as will developments — as builders strive to accommodate the growing population.

In 2017’s third quarter, Jason Mercer, Director of Market Analysis for the Toronto Real Estate Board addressed this in a TREB news release. He said, “Condominium apartments will likely account for a greater share of home sales as we move forward.” He added, “Consumer polling undertaken for TREB by Ipsos in the spring pointed to increased buying intentions for condominium apartments. With this in mind, it is not surprising that we have continued to see robust price growth, as demand has remained strong…”

According to the Financial Post, Brad Henderson, CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty, echoed this in a Royal LePage report. He called the condo market a “strong and resilient class of real estate.” Pair this with the amount of land the province has prohibited from developing homes on – thanks to their Places to Grow Act – and condos are the way of the future.

 

More Transparent Data Thanks To TREB Ruling

TREB ruling

Buyers and investors are getting savvier and more inclined to do research themselves before making purchase decisions — and organizations of all kinds are recognizing this. If you’ve been paying attention, you may recall that in December 2017, the Federal Court of Appeal voted in favour of the Competition Bureau in a case against the Toronto Real Estate Board, the result of a lengthy battle to make TREB’s sales and market data free to the public. Prior to the ruling, it was accessible for a small fee through a third-party system.  

We predict that not only will all kinds of market data become more transparent, but it will encourage buyers and investors to expect more from their agents, now that they’re more informed before they even get to the searching stage. This can only be a good thing.