Condos in Pickering, Brampton and the rest of the GTA the ‘Dark Horse’ of 2022 real estate

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Published January 4, 2022 at 9:12 am

Universal City condominium project in Pickering

Some Strata.ca realtors believe condominiums are set to see a tremendous revival this year as more GTA homebuyers turn away from increasingly unattainable detached homes.

“Throughout this pandemic, detached home values have sprinted like a hare, while condos have moved like a tortoise,” says Strata.ca broker Cliff Liu. “But condos will likely become the dark horse in 2022, especially among those who missed out last year.”

Throughout 2021, condos in the GTA suburbs saw some of the biggest gains: Markham was up 26 per cent, Brampton up 24 per cent and Pickering gained 16 per cent in value, in some cases dramatically outpacing Toronto’s more modest 12 per cent increase.

Like Liu, many realtors believe buyer focus is set to shift en masse towards condominiums, which could trigger a tremendous revival as detached housing becomes further out of reach. This will be especially true for townhouse condos, which have jumped in value by 25 per cent in the past 12 months alone.

“Without a doubt, people will continue striving for bigger units that feel like a bungalow in the sky,” predicts Liu, who thinks this is because socializing space is no longer seen as existing solely outside the home.

As for that ‘Dark Horse’? If in doubt, refer back to the condo market’s infamous rise in 2017. This is the same year when the price of detached housing fell off a cliff, while condo prices continued to peak.

“Detached homes and condominiums are like yin and yang,” says Liu. “They tend to move cyclically, always chasing each other to find that new balance.”

Right now, despite overall condo values increasing by 16 per cent during the past 12 months, they remain the more affordable option over detached homes, says Robert Van Rhijn, Strata.ca’s Broker of Record. Van Rhijn points out that in the City of Toronto, for example, the average cost of a condo is currently $743,278.

“That’s a far cry from the average of $1,807,983 you must spend to get a detached house, or the $1,432,000 required for a semi-detached home.”

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