Couple on balcony

by Paul Golini: Chair, BILD



Dispelling GTA housing market myths

The perceived "housing bubble" was a hot topic at last week's annual Land and Development Conference, a gathering of industry professionals for workshops on the state of the economy, to residential, commercial and industrial markets to transit and transportation infrastructure in the GTA.

Off the top, Doug Porter, deputy chief economist and managing director of BMO Capital Markets put it right out there when he said: "we do not believe there is a bubble in this country."

Porter gave the opening keynote address and was clear about the strength of the Canadian economy, especially in relation to our neighbours to the south. He did say that while housing prices are higher here than in the U.S., the gap will narrow as the American economy and the housing industry recover.

I am often asked if there is a housing bubble here in the GTA and I always say we have such a unique set of circumstances that go even further than the national analysis in dispelling the myth.

We know from census data that nearly 100,000 newcomers come to this vast region every year - that's like the City of Fredericton moving into the GTA annually-and they come here for the housing options, employment opportunities and the undeniable diversity.

Many are choosing to live in city centres, where high-rise communities offer security, accessibility and amenities. The industry has responded to provincial and city policies promoting and demanding intensification and there has been a clear housing shift in the options available.  Let's also recognize that condos are the new entry point for first-time home buyers.  

All these factors plus downsizing baby boomers, a wave of born-again singles and the demand for rental housing that is partially being met by the condominium market, amount to the demand that is contributing to the strength and stability of the GTA's new housing market.

From my perspective, the GTA housing market remains a smart investment.

Paul Golini Jr. is Chair of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD). You can read more from Paul and BILD by visiting the Association's official blogTwitterFacebook and Youtube accounts.