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Toronto housing demand remains strong, despite analysts’ price correction warnings

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guest | 26 Jul 2011, 05:29 PM Agree 0

Halabi, with Toronto Realty Boutique, said some of the hottest selling properties right now in the Toronto market are pre-construction condos. He pointed to Exhibit Residences in Yorkville as an example, which sold 90% of its suites in just 30 days after launching.“Year after year, Toronto experiences growth and I believe the pattern will continue because we are a world-class city and our real estate market will always be seen as a great value,” he told CRE Online. As for location within Toronto, Halabi said many clients are looking at resales in the Fashion District – King and Portland, Welling and Bathurst.“Many of my clients are looking to be in the downtown core, but want more of a community feel, access to great nightlife, public transit, and an easy, close commute to work,” he said. Romey did concede, however, that house appreciation isn’t what it used to be, so investors should buy only for the long term. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), average prices in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) rose to $464,277 in mid-July from $423,773 at the same time in 2010. The average detached house is up 9% since last year, townhouses are up 13%, and condos are up 8%.TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis Jason Mercer said the price gains were largely due to increased competition for properties.Demand for condos, in particular, remains high as many young people seek an urban lifestyle and retirees look to downsize, according to Oliver Manalese of The RentBusters.“The Toronto condo market is still very active and because of the demographic combination of younger first-time buyers who want less property maintenance and responsibilities, as well as retirees that no longer need to be in larger properties,” he told CRE Online. “I believe that this is a long-term trend that will not be going away any time soon.”Manalese said real estate is still a much better than alternative places to park money. Homebuyers can still borrow at low mortgage rates, and he said it looks like they might remain low for some time to come.“There is no incentive for people to save or allocate their capital in under-performing stocks or leave in their low-interest savings accounts that barely keep up with inflation,” he said.Even if prices do significantly decline, it shouldn’t significantly change the mindset of traditional investors who might be interested in purchasing property now.“Investors who are buying for cash flow and buying based on fundamentals such as job growth and increased population should not worry about the fluctuations in the market since they are not intending to sell,” said Manalese. “This would although, impact their ability to refinance or borrow against equity in their properties.” Manalese said there is also great interest for investors in older Toronto neighbourhoods, where investors and developers have come in and rezoned for new uses such as duplexes or triplexes.
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