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Is Toronto Special?

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I love my overseas clients. They have such a different perspective on the Toronto condo market than we locals do. In general, they are far more optimistic and excited about the future potential of our city than we ourselves often are. They understand that the Toronto condo market is special.

I was meeting a new client yesterday at the Ritz-Carlton, and no surprise we got to talking about the market. I was somewhat surprised when this banker from Hong Kong said that he he believes Toronto is still severely undervalued. The Ritz Carlton  in Toronto is selling now at about $1100 per square foot. An equivalent property in Hong Kong would cost approximately $4000 per square foot he informed me. He remembered telling the sales people when he bought his unit for roughly $650PSF 5 years ago that they were being way too conservative with their pricing (they should have charged much more). He went on to say that luxury properties like this in Hong Kong will rent out between $10-$15 per square foot per month, versus Toronto where $3 per square foot is considered a high water mark presently.

Another thing that makes Toronto so special compared with other major world cities is that we still have a first time buyers market.  As a first time buyer on an average university graduate-type salary, you can actually buy a decent piece of real estate in Toronto and walk to King and Bay (our country’s financial heart) in 10-15 minutes. Where else in the world can you do this? In other cities like NYC or London, you buy in the outer burbs, have kids, save,  save, save, and then maybe when your kids are grown and moved out you might have enough saved up to buy your dream apartment in the city. In Toronto you can still do it when you’re 25. Amazing and rest assured, this will not be the case in Toronto forever.

I am still very bullish on Toronto. The next 10 years may have their ups and downs, but the trajectory of Toronto on the global scene to me is clear and this is a fantastic place to invest your money. I believe Toronto will continue to see tremendous growth over the long term.

If you are a non-resident of Canada and you would like to discuss investment opportunities in Toronto, please contact me.