I have been reading all sorts of opinions in the media about what the future will bring for the condominium industry, since the pandemic has taken an economic, as well as a physical, toll. What will happen in the next few months, and into next year? From my decades of experience and from the fact that we sold condos continually throughout the pandemic, I predict market resilience. Yes, sales were down some, but there was no crash, and I doubt there will be for the foreseeable future.
As we come out of pandemic mode, there is still a lot of demand for, and not enough supply of, condos. End-users, especially parents purchasing condos for their children who will be heading off to university in four or five years, understand that getting into ownership now will pay back in the long run. Investors who might have held back are hedging their bets and entering the market, because they know that a few years from now, they will have earned substantial equity. They believe in this business model, because it is tried and true. Then, of course, they will have revenue from rent after they take possession. Yes, in the second quarter of this year, the vacancy rate in Toronto rose to 1.8 per cent, the highest it has been in over five years, but that is still very tight.
Overall, we are seeing a great resurgence of confidence and interest from the spectrum of buyers. A few weeks ago, Baker Real Estate worked with Alterra on the launch of 28 Eastern, and it has been a phenomenal success. In fact, it sold so well, that other developers who had planned to come to market in the spring but put their projects on hold, have now set dates with us for this fall.
In the meantime, we have all surprised ourselves by how we have adapted over the past few months. People are comfortable shopping for and purchasing condos electronically, and they can now come into the sales offices if they prefer – taking the necessary precautions, of course.
So the picture for new condos in Toronto and the GTA is rosy. Remember our unprecedented low mortgage interest rates, as well, and the fact that over the past several decades, real estate has ridden out many economic lows and come back with robust strength. We are poised for resiliency, and I am excited about it!