Toronto is a city of great diversity – not just in its people and businesses, but in its real estate too. It’s a city of towering skyscrapers and single-family dwellings.
It’s home to low-rise condos in the artsy west end and sprawling mansions in the city’s affluent northern neighborhoods.
The downtown core is flush commercial real estate nestled in sleek Financial District offices and heritage-y brick houses.
And its real estate practitioners run the gamut from staid to forward-thinking.
As with all things diverse and complex, it can be tough to predict the future of Toronto’s real estate industry.
Will the Toronto market sustain its white-hot streak? Will agents embrace the onslaught of new technologies at their disposal? And will the pandemic’s long shadow loom over the city’s makeup as we know it?
Barring a crystal ball, it’s not easy to tell. Still, this article attempts to figure out what’s next for Toronto’s real estate industry. Let’s take a tour.
Market Corrections and Falling Resale
Ask most experts about the future of Toronto real estate, and they’ll probably want to discuss the next couple of years. They will talk in hushed tones, warning of a dip in resales as the market corrects after a frenzied period of activity.
They probably aren’t wrong. (A little short-sighted, maybe). The market swelled in the pandemic’s latter stages; people had saved a lot through COVID-19, and new market entrants wanted their slice of Toronto’s pie.
But as inflation rises and demand reaches a critical high, the market will likely – necessarily – correct.
It’s a short-term answer to our title’s question, but worth noting nonetheless.
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Greater Embrace of Technology
Looking past the immediate ebbs and flows of the market, let’s look at relatively consistent trends in the industry. Toronto’s real estate industry – composed of agents, realtors, specialists, and practitioners – had a past reputation for being… unimaginative.
But that appears to be changing now, and industry experts expect to see increasing technology adoption.
According to Regan McGee, a Toronto real estate professional, and tech innovator, the next ten years “will see further use of technology like drones and virtual tours and AI-supported bots that will help pre-qualify buyers.”
McGee’s own company, Nobul, has also been shaking up Toronto’s real estate industry, allowing consumers the upper hand in their dealings with real estate agents.
This rise in Canadian real estate tech hasn’t gone unnoticed by major professional services networks, either. In its report on emerging trends in Canadian real estate, PwC lists “accelerating digitization” as a strategic path toward growth.
“Digital transformation can play a significant role in both delivering efficiencies and creating the services and experiences customers want,” reads the report.
The Aftershocks of a Work-from-Home Model
In that same PwC report, experts point to the aftershocks of a shifting work environment to explain several trends in local real estate.
The future of the Toronto commercial real estate industry will undoubtedly hinge on whether workers are ready to return en masse to the office.
But the phenomenon will likely affect residential markets too. More people are moving out of the city center, spurring suburbanization in the GTA and beyond.
And renewed attention to urban residential living conditions has caused an outpour of support for increased low-rise development, which can address affordability and livability simultaneously.
To summarize, these are wild times. In the short term, expect to see a dip in market prices. In the longer term, you can expect the industry to continue embracing consumer-centric technologies.
And throughout it all, Torontonians can anticipate some restructuring of the city’s commercial and residential makeup. No one knows what buying a Toronto home will look like in 2030, but let’s hope the city retains its essential spirit.