What Makes a Good Location Good?
Location is the most important factor when considering any real estate investment. You can change many things about a property, but you can’t change its location, therefore it’s vitally important for any condo buyer to understand exactly what makes a good location good. Why do some condos appreciate at higher rates and command higher resale prices compared to others that are often located just steps away?
Just being downtown is not enough with today’s buyers.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Buyers want to experience the best of urban living. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Today’s urbanites are more sophisticated than ever. They know the difference one block in the wrong direction can make on quality of life andÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â resale-abilityÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â down the road. They know the impact of having a Starbucks in your building can make versus having a Coffee Time.
The best locations are those that combine two key factors:
1) Highly visible.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Being in a highly visible location is critical to attracting people, businesses, services, and even government dollars to fund things like transit and infrastructure. You need to be seen from the street by pedestrians, people in their cars and on transit. You need to be in a spot that is well-known and familiar with the average person in Toronto. This is why condos located immediately on the crossroads of two major streets are always tremendously popular with buyers (One Bloor at Bloor and Yonge, The Hudson at King and Spadina, L Tower at Front and Yonge, etc.). This is also why condos located busy pedestrian and transit-friendly streets like King or Queen tend to out perform those located on one-way, transit-less streets like Richmond or Adelaide.
2) Highly visited. Just because a condo is located in a highly visible location, does not mean it will be a highly visited location. A great example of this is Cityplace. Everyone knows where Cityplace is, and the towers dominate the skyline when you are coming in from the west on the Gardiner, however, no one except the people who live in Cityplace ever go to Cityplace. This is one reason why prices in this area continue to lag significantly behind that of other nearby neighbourhoods.
Recently a fairly high profile project launched in the heart of the downtown to much fanfare. Many Realtors were pushing this project as a great investment to their clients, however, I quietly told my clients to ‘pass’ on this project even though the building was located a few minutes walk from the multiple subway stations. Why? It was essentially located on a side street of a side street. Most people including Realtors had toÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â GoogleÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â the address and still didn’t know where it was!Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The location of this building is neither highly visible or highly visited, thus I advised my clients to hold out for other projects.
Questions or comments? Thinking about buying a condo this fall and want to be sure you pick one with a great location? Contact me.