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The Manhattan Theory

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Is Toronto on its way to becoming just like Manhattan? This question has been asked for years now, and the comparisons can be made that Toronto is a sort of ‘mini New York’ – a major financial and cultural centre, the heart of a mega-region, and home to some really expensive real estate. But are we moving away from being an affordable city for the middle class to a city built primarily for the rich? Will $1000 per square foot to purchase a mid-grade condo and $2500/month to rent a studio soon become the norm here?

I’ve had some interesting conversations with some of my clients with international experience lately, and here are some of the sentiments and theories that they are espousing:

  • Like Manhattan, prices and demand are rising to the point where Toronto could perhaps become a city where much of the real estate is owned not by individuals, but by corporations
  • Could we reach an average price level where home ownership becomes a possibility only for the wealthy? – i.e. the first time buyers market will cease to exist (can’t make these condos much smaller than they already are!)
  • Will first time buyers will be forced to look outside the downtown, (as is the case for many in Manhattan), live in the inner suburbs for years before saving enough and building enough equity to move back into the city?
  • What about investors? It is taking higher and higher down payments to get condos to cash flow – will this continue, or as prices rise, will we finally see rents rise as more and more would-be buyers are priced out of the market and forced to rent?

Sorry for the random collection of thoughts, but these are some of the talking points I’ve been having lately with some of my clients. I’d love to hear what my readers think about this subject and where people see prices, rents, and the first time buyers market going in the next 5-10 years. Leave a comment or contact me!

Image from photos4travel.com

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