Toronto boasts the country’s largest condominium market and has seen extraordinary sales surges in the last year, says Global News, with the Toronto Real Estate Board describing suburban sales swelling by 25 percent and urban sales – in what locals call the “416 region” – spiking by 21.3 percent year-over-year.
With that incredible growth, NAIOP is featuring a panel on urban intensification at the upcoming Commercial Real Estate Conference 2015, this October in Toronto. Alan Menkes, president of high-rise residential with Menkes Developments Ltd., chatted with NAIOP about what is making the city hotter than ever.
Menkes: Toronto has one of the largest and most mature condominium markets in North America. From a social and cultural perspective, condominium living has been widely embraced by across all buyer segments, from first-time buyers, to families, to move-up households, to empty nesters. Buyers are drawn to condominiums as an attractive lifestyle option, because they offer low-maintenance, convenient locations and amenity-rich neighbourhoods.
NAIOP: What does the future hold for Toronto?
Menkes: Toronto already has an excellent international brand – earlier this year, it was ranked by the Economist as the best place to live in the world, compared to 50 other global cities. In the future, it will face many of the challenges of large urban regions, particularly rising development costs and municipal charges.
NAIOP: Name some examples of top developments in the urban core.
Menkes: The Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood has always been considered the most prestigious submarket in downtown Toronto. Home to the city’s “Mink Mile,” this area was the perfect location for the new Four Seasons Hotel and Residences project – a landmark mixed-use development featuring a world-class hotel and 210 private residences in two 55- and 26-storey towers. Developed and built by Menkes, the Four Seasons Toronto project set a Canadian record for the most expensive condominium with the $28 million penthouse sale, and the hotel is the first and only one in the country to have ever been awarded both the AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star ratings.
Hear more from Menkes and a top panel of institutional and private investors discussing Urban Intensification and Mixed-Use Planning at the Commercial Real Estate Conference, October 13-15, in Toronto. See the conference website for details on who attends, hot sessions, and project tours.
Kathryn Hamilton, CAE, is Vice President for Marketing and Communications at NAIOP Corporate.