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In the past decade, the three largest cities in Canada-Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver-have built more apartments per capita than almost any other major North American city. But the epidemic and the ensuing home-run boom have left the city’s resident population at a new low, apartment buildings empty and thousands of small investors involved in the boom facing rent Waterloo.
The impact on real estate is likely to go far beyond cafes and craft breweries; 9% of the Canadian economy is closely linked to residential real estate, so Canada cannot let the intensive development of real estate come to an end. So savvy developers are moving to the suburbs, betting that young people may accept bigger condos if they can’t afford single-family homes but are used to the bohemian pleasures of living in the city center. The real estate developers’ move has brought about changes not only in suburban towns, but also in backward cities.
Doug Porter, chief economist of the Bank of Montreal (Bank of Montreal), said: “the health of the housing industry is very important for some of Canada’s big cities. Any weakness in the housing market could threaten the regional economies of some larger cities. ”
In the United States, interest in buying suburban homes is also surging, but as average house prices in Canada rise by 40%, the population-intensive burden is growing in the northern country. This means that, like the temporary prosperity of the city, the changes in the suburbs of Canada now offer a glimpse of the future of the United States.
Vancouver built the most apartments per capita in major North American cities from 2010 to 2019, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and online brokerage firm Redfin. Montreal and Toronto ranked third and fourth respectively, followed only by Austin, a hipster paradise in Texas. According to an assessment of the value of their building permits, Canadians spent a total of 91.2 billion Canadian dollars (432 billion yuan) on building more intensive housing in the three cities.
Freedom Village (Liberty Village), west of Toronto’s downtown financial district, is typical of the rapid development of real estate. As an industrial zone at the beginning of the last century, its 19th-century carpet factory was redeveloped into offices for fashion media companies, an old toy factory turned into an attic, and clunky apartment buildings multiplied mercilessly on Liberty Avenue. Although the skyline is still dotted with construction cranes, the pressure on the real estate industry has quietly sprouted.
“Rental” signs are hung everywhere in front of the shops, and local bus stops advertise real estate agents that specialize in condominiums. Condo rents have fallen by nearly 12%, to an average of about C $2000 (10220 yuan) a month, according to Urbanation, a research firm.
For those who buy apartments and plan to sell or rent them, the collapse in rents is crucial. According to Canadian government data, 1/3 of apartments in Toronto and Vancouver and 1/5 of apartments in Montreal are unoccupied, meaning property rights are still owned by investors. With the exception of millennials, regular tenants, such as students and immigrants, do not enter the city because of the epidemic.
“the negative impact of the current situation is non-committal,” said Simeon Papalias, a real estate agent. It took him 12 years to start a company called REC Canada, which connects potential investors to new condo projects. In December, he completed his investment in a penthouse in Liberty Village. Although he managed to find a tenant, the monthly rent is now about C $800 (4088 yuan) lower than he expected before the outbreak.