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Old Posted Jan 23, 2013, 10:47 PM
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Downtown Toronto’s pace of population growth triples, outpacing suburbs’ ...

Downtown Toronto’s pace of population growth triples, outpacing suburbs’ as Echo Boomers flock towards urban centre: report


Jan 22, 2013

By Megan O'Toole

Read More: http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/01...centre-report/

Quote:
Toronto has reached a “substantial turning point” after five years of massive growth in the downtown core, says a new report that also raises questions about whether the localized condo and employment boom will be sustainable in the decades ahead.

- The pace of population growth has tripled since the previous three census periods and — for the first time in decades — outpaced the suburbs. “This is a turning point for the city,” report author Francis Fong said. “I feel like we’ve hit critical mass and now we’re sort of on our way to becoming a city like New York or London. “We’re on our way; we’re not there yet.”

- The report finds that “Echo Boomers,” the children of post-war Baby Boomers, have increasingly eschewed the suburbs for proximity to transit, workplaces and amenities. Recognizing the opportunity, more employers have started setting up shop in the downtown core, reversing a decades-long trend of businesses opting to locate in outlying municipalities to avoid the high costs of downtown real-estate, the report states. Since 2009, 4.7 million square feet of office space have been built in Toronto, compared with 3.9 million in the surrounding suburbs.

- “If we look at the previous few decades, so much of the development of the city was driven by the Baby Boomers; what they wanted, what they demanded,” Mr. Fong said. “Now, [their children] want to be close to transit, they want to be close to restaurants, they want to be close to nightlife. “They want it all … It’s a selling point for businesses to locate here if they want to be able to tap that talent pool.” The data is not surprising, Mr. Fong says, considering other generational shifts: Echo Boomers are far more likely to switch jobs or careers than their parents were.

- The growth presents a number of challenges, not least of which is transit: “Rising population density, specifically along transit lines, will put serious pressure on the city’s already-strained road and public transit infrastructure,” the report notes. There is also uncertainty as to whether the current trends will hold. On one hand, Baby Boomers may begin downsizing and shifting yet more of Greater Toronto’s population to the core. On the other hand, as Echo Boomers begin raising families, some may opt to return to the relative quiet and big backyards of the suburbs — leading to a downtown bust.

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Old Posted Jan 24, 2013, 12:08 AM
P. Alouishous P. Alouishous is offline
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Take home message: If you own one of those tiny 600 sq ft. condos built downtown in the past 10 years, sell it now.

Downsizing baby boomers are not going to be looking at tiny condos in a busy downtown. And as the article mentions, once Echo Boomers start pairing off and pooping out babies, they're going to be looking for more space.

Houses and large downtown condos will continue to be in demand for those who can afford them. Tiny bachelors and one-bedrooms, however, will have a smaller replacement population of young singles to fill them in the next decade.
     
     
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2013, 12:31 AM
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Once the echo boomers move out, the millenniums will be willing to pick up their old units..

I really hate how people think that we should be building as many units downtown as we were 15 years ago. People are moving downtown from the suburbs, because suburban housing is too expensive. (The greenbelt is restricting sprawl) it gets to the point where the only people who are buying houses is the "family" demographic, while if you are in a house of one or two people, you are going to be moving it a condo. People only have kids in their house for about 25 years of their lives, but live 60+ years as homeowners / renters. Up until now, you would have spent about 55 of that in a house, but now, it is probably closer to 35. That is a substantial market for smaller condos.
     
     
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2013, 12:41 AM
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Oh yeah baby! Toronto Market Crash! We've been waiting a long time for this!
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2013, 12:46 AM
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And it doesn't have to be in the immediate downtown either where the rabbit hutches are being built. Plenty of already existing houses as well as new townhouses and duplexes popping up.
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2013, 1:34 AM
P. Alouishous P. Alouishous is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post
Once the echo boomers move out, the millenniums will be willing to pick up their old units..
But there are fewer millennials than echo boomers. Will there be enough to fill all the empty units?
     
     
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2013, 1:40 AM
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There's the immigrant factor as well.
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2013, 1:52 AM
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Also people in roommate situations who want their own place.
     
     
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2013, 1:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P. Alouishous View Post
Take home message: If you own one of those tiny 600 sq ft. condos built downtown in the past 10 years, sell it now.

Downsizing baby boomers are not going to be looking at tiny condos in a busy downtown. And as the article mentions, once Echo Boomers start pairing off and pooping out babies, they're going to be looking for more space.

Houses and large downtown condos will continue to be in demand for those who can afford them. Tiny bachelors and one-bedrooms, however, will have a smaller replacement population of young singles to fill them in the next decade.
I'm not sure I follow, so baby boomers who are looking to downsize don't want to downsize?

I agree that baby boomers want more than a bachelor pad, and yes a 600 sq ft room isn't big enough, but I think the 800-1000 sq ft range is a comfort zone for single retirees or couples that don't have kids.
     
     
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2013, 2:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P. Alouishous View Post
Will there be enough to fill all the empty units?

This will be an issue eventually whether for condos or houses in the suburbs.
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2013, 3:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon716 View Post
I'm not sure I follow, so baby boomers who are looking to downsize don't want to downsize?

I agree that baby boomers want more than a bachelor pad, and yes a 600 sq ft room isn't big enough, but I think the 800-1000 sq ft range is a comfort zone for single retirees or couples that don't have kids.
No, they'll downsize but they'll want to live in a more tranquil environment than downtown Toronto. Hopefully they'll be smart enough to pick walkable areas since they'll eventually be unable to drive. I can see nearby retirement towns like Peterborough, Barrie, Dundas, Cobourg, etc. becoming more popular.
     
     
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2013, 3:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
This will be an issue eventually whether for condos or houses in the suburbs.
True, but the echo boomers are mostly in their 20s now, so a lot are single or in casual relationships and can live by themselves in tiny condos. Many of those condos are too cramped for a couple, let alone a couple with kids. When echo boomers hit their 30s many of them will want to start families. I think most will still want to live in the city, but they won't be able to afford downtown houses with the amount of space they'll want. They're going to have to start building 3-bedroom condos to keep families downtown, and they haven't started yet...
     
     
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2013, 4:16 AM
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Even though % Growth for just downtown is outpacing the entirety of the suburbs, the net increase in population downtown was only about 50,000 from 2006 to 2011 compared to around 450,000 for the GTA as a whole, and most of the rest of the growth was suburban greenfields. There are plenty of suburban ridings that grew by more than 16.2%.

Oakridges-Markham: 35.0%
Halton: 33.9% (North Oakville and Milton)
Vaughan: 27.1%
Bramalea-Gore-Malton: 25.8%
Brampton West: 19.8%
Ajax-Pickering: 17.1%
     
     
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2013, 2:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caltrane74 View Post
Oh yeah baby! Toronto Market Crash! We've been waiting a long time for this!
There are a lot of people expecting the market in Canada to crash....or at least fizzle out. I hope not but you have to wonder how long the country can sustain this boom cycle...
     
     
  #15  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2013, 3:50 AM
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Downtown Toronto is growing by about 6% per annum. I believe I've posted this picture here before:



That's an incredible rate of growth for such a large area (about 5 square miles) that already (as of 2006) was densely populated to begin with.
     
     
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Old Posted Jan 25, 2013, 12:07 PM
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I noticed that map the last time you posted it and found it very interesting, but what is the land area? Looks to be about 3.6 km x 3.6 km or about 13 sq km. Based on that estimation, we arrive at a population density of roughly 13,466 people/sq km in the downtown.

For the sake of comparison, Manhattan has 1,601,948 people on 59 sq km for a population density of 27,151 people/sq km. As one can see, downtown Toronto would need to double its population to achieve Manhattan density albeit on an area one quarter the size. Quite a jump, but at the rate the downtown is growing we might be seeing density above 20,000 before the decade is out.
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Last edited by isaidso; Jan 25, 2013 at 12:22 PM.
     
     
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Old Posted Jan 25, 2013, 1:47 PM
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I think Manhattan is a higher proportion residential than the very downtown core of Toronto isn't it? Lots of office buildings where no one lives (at least officially).
     
     
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Old Posted Jan 25, 2013, 6:26 PM
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http://www.theatlantic.com/business/...canada/272499/

Quote:
Canada has a new worthwhile initiative. After years of booming prices, that bastion of politeness north of the border is looking to avoid a catastrophic housing bust for something more, well, boring. Initiatives don't get more worthwhile, and perhaps not more difficult considering Canada just might have the biggest housing bubble in the world right now.

Not exactly boring, eh?

The distinction between higher prices and bubbly prices isn't as subjective as it might sound. Like any other financial asset, there should be a fairly steady relationship between the price of housing and the stream of income -- rent -- it produces. Should be. The chart below, from The Economist, looks at the price-to-rent ratios across different countries, and measures how under-or-overvalued housing is, with negative numbers corresponding to the former and positive ones to the latter.
     
     
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Old Posted Jan 25, 2013, 7:32 PM
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Seems to me opinions on Canada's real estate market from outside the country are more credible. Most people reporting from within Canada have a huge stake in one outcome or another, and are therefore extremely biased.
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2013, 9:47 PM
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I don't think so. Many people from outside the country seem to be just taking an example from elsewhere and superimposing it 1:1 without really knowing or caring about the specifics and intricacies.
     
     
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