Condos have been popping up in Toronto and the GTA at a rapid rate over the past couple of years.
About 82 per cent of housing completions built between 2007 and 2017 are condos, according to the Toronto Housing Market Analysis.
Within the past year the number of condos listed and rented increased significantly as well, according to the Toronto Real Estate Condo Market Report.
Ken McDonald, a real estate agent at Hallmark Realty Ltd. Brokerage, agrees condos are the future homes.
Within the real estate market, “home prices have elevated and the only option is to buy a condo,” McDonald says. Condos have become more financially obtainable compared to houses within the same area.
Single houses, semi-houses and townhouses have increased at almost triple the pace of the median income growth between the years 2012 and 2019, whereas condos are priced lower, according to Housing Matters.
First-time buyers typically look for condos rather than houses, McDonald says.
This could be due to more than just finance. When dynamics in people’s lives shift, such as getting a divorce or becoming elderly, then condos are what people want to fit into their new lifestyle.
Fran Glenn, who has lived in East York for 25 years as a house owner, has now bought a condo at Greenwood and Danforth avenues.
She’s moving into the condo due to downsizing and simply wanting to retire. “I’m excited about it, and it’s right in the area,” says Glenn.
The Toronto Housing Market Analysis predicts between 2016 and 2041 a population increase of about 1 million people is expected. The majority of people are expected to be be 50 and over.
This means there will be more elderly and retired citizens than we have today, making condos a far more ideal place to live.
Some people aren’t so happy about the growth of condos.
The Sunday School Lofts, which was a Temple Baptist Church, is now being turned into a unit of 32 condos. The four-story condo is being built beside a Starbucks in East York, where one of the employees, Maclean Rozansky, says there are mixed feelings about the project.
As a full-time student at the University of Toronto, who has moved from living in the core of downtown to right above her part-time job in East York, Rozansky says, “I like living here because it’s more of a neighbourhood.”
Living downtown she shared a small apartment with four other people and paid more than double what she pays now.
Although finance played a huge role and made it “exponentially cheaper” to live there, the feeling of the calm, family-oriented neighbourhood of Danforth is what won her heart, she says.
From experiencing the busy streets of downtown with its many condos and no houses, the sight of houses that create this safe neighbourhood makes her feel less lonely.
This could slowly be lost with more condos being built, Rozansky says.
However, Rozansky adds, as much as there’s the stress of what might happen in the future, “I think once there are people, it would be a bit different.”