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What’s The “Mini Baby Boom” and How Will it Affect the Condo Market?

Toronto’s projected growth is big. And fast. The population of the downtown core will nearly double by the year 2041, reaching an estimated 475,000 people. More specifically, the downtown area is undergoing a “mini baby boom,” according to chief city planner Jennifer Keesmaat. What does this mean and what are the implications for the condo market, especially for property investors who intend to re-sell or rent their condominiums in the medium term?

DEFINING THE “MINI BABY BOOM”

“Some neighbourhoods in Toronto, such as East Danforth, have seen their under age-4 cohort grow nearly 49% between 2008 and 2011,” according to the National Post. As the offspring of the original baby boomers start to have kids of their own, birth rates across Canada are seeing a spike despite an overall long-term decline. Immigration and intra-migration patterns (like moving from one province to another for professional reasons) also play a role in increasing urban density and population growth.

Between 2008 and 2011, the number of children ages 0-4 in the “Waterfront Communities” (the Entertainment District, the Distillery District and City Place) increased by 60.25% while 0-4 aged kids in the Bay Street Corridor went up by 32.5%. The number of babies and toddlers also increased by 33% in Toronto’s Niagara neighbourhood, including Liberty Village.

YOU CAN HAVE YOUR SAY IN TORONTO’S DEVELOPMENT

The city of Toronto has launched TOCore, a new initiative that will look at how growth can positively contribute to Toronto’s Downtown as a great place to live, work, learn, play and invest. The city wants to hear from all stakeholders: residents, workers, investors, business owners, and community organizers. As part of a large-scale growth planning strategy, the city must make determinations about where and how to allocate resources, develop infrastructure, and support policies and programs that will benefit and sustain the projected growth.

If you’re considering investing in the real estate market, and particularly the condo market (Which has been shown to be the projected area of demand and growth with young families, who are steadily increasing as buyers and tenants), you may want to make your voice heard. Here are a variety of ways you can have your say, whether it’s online surveys, social media, or in-person public meetings. Here are some topics you may want to address, as in investor and property owner focused on maximizing ROI and securing your assets:

  • Public utilities such as plumbing, heat, and electricity. Increased density and new construction mean existing utilities will carry a heavier load. What does the city intend to do to ensure these systems and grids can adapt to the projected growth?
  • Family-friendly infrastructure like schools and childcare facilities. As the emerging demographic makeup of Toronto starts to look younger and younger, residents and prospective buyers/tenants will be drawn to the kinds of services and resources that help them with child-rearing. The proximity, quality, and accessibility of these resources can be a major selling point for young families considering condo living, whether as tenants or buyers.
  • Transportation. Not only is public transit important for young families who rely less and less on cars in the downtown core, but walkability and cycling access are just as crucial.

Urban condo living for young families is increasing in popularity; not only are single-family homes in Toronto unaffordable for the younger generation, but the advantages of city living are being embraced by a new, flexible, efficient, and community-oriented demographic. Families with young kids are looking to raise their children in dense, cultured, accessible, walkable, diverse neighbourhoods. Moreover, urban condo living reduces travel times to and from the workplace, freeing up more quality family time. As the cost of fuel rises, public transportation becomes more affordable than driving. And the lack of property upkeep in a condo is an attractive option in a dense urban space that’s filled with public green spaces.

Demand remains very strong—and is expected to increase—for condos in Toronto’s core. “Unsold inventory, considered a key barometer of the health of the condo market, dropped 13 per cent as of the second quarter of 2015 over the same period last year,” reports The Toronto Star . And that’s not only for new, first-time condo purchases. Prices for resale condos went up 6.8 % across the GTA in the second quarter of 2015, demonstrating the demand for and value of condo property investment for the purposes of renting or resale.

Overall, as Toronto’s demographic makeup changes, and young kids start to enter the equation, the condo market looks very strong for residents, owners, sellers, landlords, and investors alike.