Outlook 2020 – Fan Yang, Deputy General Manager, Aoyuan
Part of our series of Outlook 2020 Q&As with building industry executives
Condo Life: How do you see the outlook for the new home industry in 2020?
Yang: Over the past decade, Canada has become one of the most livable, safe and prosperous housing markets in the world. The country is economically stable, has a good job market, is multicultural and diverse and enjoys a well developed public education and health system.
CMHC recently forecast that new home construction and sales in the GTA will be fully recovered in 2020, offsetting the downturn attributed to the mortgage stress test and foreign buyer tax. Several conditions support the economic growth and sustained high level of new home demand, including a population that continues to experience significant growth, low interest rates and a low unemployment rate.
Highrise projects have continued to experience the fastest appreciating residential property type for GTA new-home buyers. The residential highrise building boom in Toronto shows no signs of slowing, and industry observers believe the demand for condo projects in mixed-use communities will remain strong.
In 2020, we will also see a stronger emphasis on health, wellness and community focused amenities within new developments. Expect to see more projects with community centres, daycares and private amenity spaces where people can retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. As core nodes of the city continue to intensify, the industry will be looking for new ways to make condo living easier and even more convenient. The rise of co-working amenity spaces in condos is another good example of this.
CL: And how does 2020 look for your company?
Yang: Aoyuan was founded on the basis on incorporating health and wellness amenities into residential developments, and our philosophy of healthy living has expanded to the creation of six different business verticals, ranging from real estate and hospitality to e-commerce. Our model creates communities that encourage people be active in their daily lives.
In every city we operate, Aoyuan handpicks local talent who understand the development landscape and nuances of the local market, bringing a hyper-local foundation to each project. Aoyuan International is rapidly growing, and we are expanding our business in the GTA with more projects in the coming year.
CL: What is your company doing to address the issues facing the homebuilding industry – namely, affordability and new home supply?
Yang: Condo living has become a very attractive option – not just for young professionals, but also for up-sizing young families and downsizing seniors. We focus on developing family-oriented products with thoughtfully designed suite layouts that really adapt to the needs of family, with amenities that support urban family living. We have responded to the needs of the market, designing some of our products to be geared towards larger families. For example, last year, at our M2M development at Yonge and Finch, we developed floorplans with dual master bedrooms suite that cater towards multi-generational living and co-housing, which received great market response.
CL: What more could the industry do to address these issues?
Yang: The demand for affordable, family friendly product in Toronto is strong. We need more supply for this type of homebuyer. Designing for multi-generational living is more than offering our purchasers and residents a living space. We need to make it easy for people to lead healthy lifestyles in a welcoming community environment by building projects that are both beautiful and functional.
CL: What should prospective new-home buyers know about your company for 2020?
Yang: Aoyuan International takes a handson approach to ensure our projects’ quality and sustainability. We sourced local expertise and partners to establish a local presence in each market. We will be opening a new presentation centre for our Toronto master-planned community project – M2M – this spring.
Phase 2 of M2M is scheduled to launch in fall 2020, including tower, podium and townhome units. Located at the center of the M2M community, Phase 2 will be the pinnacle of this masterplanned development, including an integrated community centre with 46,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor space, retail, offices and family oriented amenities that fits many lifestyles and families in different sizes.
CL: Why should prospective new-home buyers consider buying from your company this year?
Yang: M2M, winner of the BILD 2019 People’s Choice Award, is Aoyuan International’s largest master-planned development in Canada. As a complete live, work, play community on the Yonge Subway Line, this 8.6-acre development will transform the Yonge & Finch neighborhood.
Special Report: Outlook 2020