Photo: James Bombales

2017 was a strong year for Toronto’s real estate market, and many industry watchers are predicting a cooler start to 2018. But what other trends does the year have in store? One expert has a few ideas.

“The number one trend we’re seeing heading into the new year is a decline of new single-family home sales, and a corresponding increase in new condo sales,” Altus Group senior director Matthew Boukall tells BuzzBuzzNews. “So sales are steady, treading water, but there’s a shift in what people are buying.”

New construction homes aside, Boukall has plenty of other predictions for what 2018 could have in store for Toronto’s housing market.

Strong land sales

Boukall predicts that demand for land in the GTA will only grow in 2018. “We’re not seeing a weakening demand heading into the new year,” he says. “Right now the level of demand and is pretty much being matched by the number of sales.”

The demand exists across commercial, industrial and residential markets, but Boukall says there’s a lot of interest in high density residential development.

“With the way the market is moving right now, there’s a lot of reasons to buy land to build high density buildings, like condo apartments,” he says.

New condo sales to remain strong

“New condominium apartment sales are expected to remain elevated in 2018,” says Boukall. There were 36,400 new construction condos sold in 2017, a huge year-over-year increase from 2016.

Boukall says that, while sales will remain strong in 2018, it will be difficult for them to surpass 2017’s strong numbers, as prices continue to rise.

“While investor demand continues to be strong, some end user buyers who have been looking to the new condominium apartment sector for more affordable homes are now starting to be priced out of this segment as well,” says Boukall.

Strong appetite for investment property

“We’re bullish on investment property because the economy in the GTA continues to power forward,” says Boukall.

He cites increased migration to the area, a tight market, and record demand as reasons for investors to continue to throw their money at the Toronto market.

“If you’re looking to invest in Canadian real estate, the Toronto market is the sensible are to invest in,” he says. “Especially when it comes to commercial property, rent is only going up — it’s an attractive investment.”

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