Outlook 2020 – Jordan DeBrincat, Director of Operations, Altree Developments
Part of our series of Outlook 2020 Q&As with building industry executives
Condo Life: What is the outlook for the new home industry in 2020?
DeBrincat: The outlook has changed from what we are traditionally used to. Buyers are becoming savvy and really looking at the economic feasibility and viability of the units they’re purchasing, whether for investment or personal use. Location, amenities and pricing are all becoming such big factors now that there are lots of developments on the market in all different areas around the city. Purchasers are starting to come around to the idea of condominiums being homes where they can raise a family and have a life, instead of the traditional thought that a “home” is a detached house with a picket fence. Condominiums are becoming the way of life and are really starting to resonate with people when they are looking to decide their first home purchase.
CL: And for Altree Developments?
DeBrincat: Altree has always focused on going into neighborhoods that already have character, and add to that by developing strategically designed buildings. Downtown sites that are fit for towers are increasingly difficult to find, and the emphasis has shifted to neighborhoods outside the downtown core. One of the biggest aspects Altree considers when deciding on a site is that we first look at all aspects of the neighborhood, and look for not how we can change the neighbourhood, but how we can become a part of it.
CL: What is your company doing to address the issues facing the homebuilding industry – namely, affordability and new home supply?
DeBrincat: Altree looks for condominium developments in a variety of different neighborhoods throughout the city, all with different characteristics. Whether developing a boutique building in Forest Hill, a tower in Etobicoke or a midrise in Scarborough, Altree looks to build condominiums people will call “home.” We look to develop buildings in areas that are untapped and that allow us to really add to the neighborhood we are coming into. Developing in areas just outside of the downtown core allow us to have more flexibility on pricing, which allows us to offer products that are more affordable.
CL: What more could the industry do to address these issues?
DeBrincat: City approvals are a lengthy process, and in return this restricts supply to the market. Restricted supply creates more demand by buyers and more competition with construction, increasing construction costs tremendously. Altree believes the City needs more support in its planning and development process to allow for more seamless approvals which would provide more supply to the market in a timely manner.
CL: What should prospective new-home buyers know about your company for 2020?
DeBrincat: Altree Developments has a number of developments coming to the market over the next 24 months:
- Forest Hill Private Residences: A nine-storey boutique building coming to Forest Hill in early 2020
- Two eight-storey midrise buildings coming to the Highland Creek community in late 2020/ early 2021
- A nine-storey building coming to Briar Hill early 2021
CL: Why should prospective new-home buyers consider buying from your company in 2020?
DeBrincat: At Altree, we place emphasis on building a home for prospective purchasers, and put a lot of time and effort creating a product of value. Whether that is offering superior quality products, more functional layouts or more square footage for less money, we always have the end goal of a “home” in mind. We understand that a home is one of the biggest purchases someone is going to make in their lifetime, and we want to make it as memorable as possible. These buildings take anywhere from two to five years to construct, and we want to maintain that level of excitement from the time of purchase to the time of move in.
Special Report: Outlook 2020