Tag Archives: Outlook 2020

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Outlook 2020 – Jim Andrews, Director of Sales & Marketing, Fieldgate Homes

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Outlook 2020 – Jim Andrews, Director of Sales & Marketing, Fieldgate Homes

Part of our series of Outlook 2020 Q&As with building industry executives

What is the outlook for the new home industry in 2020?

We see continued growth in lowrise developments, owing partly to a resurgence in consumer confidence in the past six months. With aggressive pricing and lower interest rates, consumers seem to have eliminated some of the concerns that were more evident in the first part of 2019. To meet the needs for a renewed demand in housing, more lands should be released, thanks to streamlining the approval process by the Ontario government.

Jim Andrews
Jim Andrews, Director of Sales & Marketing Fieldgate Homes

Affordability will remain a challenge, so there will be more innovations designed in different forms of housing to try and keep prices within reach for the maximum number of purchasers. More growth in outer suburban areas such as Hamilton and Oshawa and areas outside the GTA (such as Shelburne) where affordability is still strong, will help.

And for Fieldgate?

We have 10 new communities coming in Markham, Milton, Vaughan and elsewhere, so it will be a very exciting year for us.

What is your company doing to address the issues facing the homebuilding industry – namely, affordability and new home supply?

The land development team at Fieldgate acquires new parcels of land on a regular basis and works as efficiently as possible to deliver them to the marketing team. The marketing team spends a lot of time working and reworking our floorplans and elevations to ensure quality engineering that is more efficient in smaller designs. We strive to introduce unique, modern elevations which are efficient to build and have low maintenance features, rather than the same elevations that have been in use for decades.

We also pay attention to changing trends in how people live in their homes – looking beyond our borders into other markets to see what innovations in housing design we can incorporate here. We are developing new designs of single-family homes to assist all of our market segments. We are introducing rear-lane townhomes and singles with double car garages to satisfy the demand for homes in commutercentric neighbourhoods. Smaller lot townhouses with three storeys will produce more affordable interiors for first-time buyers.

What more could the industry do to address these issues?

Release more land! GTA land supply has become extremely tight and therefore more costly. Reviewing the cost of levies, development charges and the lengthy approval process would be beneficial for both builders and consumers. It often takes more than 10 years from acquisition of land to bring homes to market. The various levels of government need to work with the builders to reduce the red tape.

What should prospective new-home buyers know about Fieldgate Homes for 2020?

Fieldgate Homes has been building new homes in the GTA for more than 60 years, and we take pride in what we do. It gives us great pleasure to have previous Fieldgate homeowners come to one of our new communities because they enjoyed the previous experience and want another Fieldgate home. We have a great many repeat purchasers!

Why should prospective new-home buyers consider buying from your company in 2020?

Choice, quality, reputation, more than 60 years of new-home building, excellent service, a vertically and horizontally integrated company, where we do our own land development, planning, design and building. Also, we develop community infrastructure so that when you buy from Fieldgate, you’re buying a complete community, with respect for the customer and setting a standard that makes Fieldgate Homes proud of the homes we build.

Special Report: Outlook 2020

Outlook 2020 – Shakir Rehmatullah, President, Flato Development Inc.

Outlook 2020 – Mike Parker, Vice-President Sales & Marketing, Georgian International Build Corp.

Outlook 2020 – Brad Carr, CEO, Mattamy Homes Canada

Outlook 2020 – Deena Pantalone, Managing Partner and Director of Marketing & Innovation, National Homes

Outlook 2020 – Art Rubino, Contracts Manager & Marketing Manager, Regal Crest Homes

 

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Outlook 2020 – Shakir Rehmatullah, President, Flato Developments Inc.

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Outlook 2020 – Shakir Rehmatullah, President, Flato Developments Inc.

Part of our series of Outlook 2020 Q&As with building industry executives

How do you see the outlook for the new home industry in 2020?

It’s bright. The economy is getting better and more homes are being sold, financial and mortgage markets are improving and the federal government is a little easier to deal with. However, the affordability for new-home buyers, especially firsttime buyers, is a challenge because of the stress test. We need to help these buyers, not make it more difficult.

Shakir Rehmatullah
Shakir Rehmatullah, President, Flato Development Inc.

And for Flato Developments?

Similarly, the outlook is strong, largely because our target market is firsttime buyers and young families, and the homes we build are lower than the $1-million price point. For Flato Developments, most of our new homes will be outside of the GTA, from mid $400’s to $1 million, so affordability is key. People don’t mind driving outside the GTA as long as the location is right, the community is good, and they are getting value for their homes. It’s not just because home prices are lower, the cost of living is, as well. Living outside of GTA will be a trend.

What is your company doing to address the issues facing the homebuilding industry – namely, affordability and new home supply?

Affordability is the key. Most people can’t afford homes in the GTA. They are becoming too expensive too quickly, especially in last five years. All associated costs keep going up, such as developing charges, parkland levies, cost of construction, infrastructure and taxes. But personal incomes haven’t risen accordingly, so there is a gap and affordability has been affected.

In addition, the mortgage market has become very difficult and very tight. Most young families can’t afford to buy a home in the GTA. For example, single-detached homes in Markham are about $1.5 million. At Flato, we are stepping outside the GTA and going to place such as Dundalk, Beeton and Shelburne. We are exploring those areas because of the lower development charges, and we can afford to build the houses that people can afford.

What more could the industry do to address these issues?

The biggest thing is to work with the government, and we are fortunate to have the Conservatives in Ontario. They are cutting the red tape, and they are open for business. The less red tape, the better the market will be. The sooner we can bring homes online, more choices and more supply will bring down the prices. So, we need more supply, and the supply can only come with the government’s help. We also need to cut the red tape at the municipal level. The industry should continue to work with BILD on these initiatives.

What should prospective new-home buyers know about Flato Developments for 2020?

We are going to continue to build our Canvas on the Rouge condos in Markham, where construction just began, and the goal is to complete the project as soon as we can. We are continuing to build our master-planned communities in Dundalk and Beeton. Every year, we are looking to finish a part of the subdivision of these projects. In Dundalk, we have Edgewood Greens and we are excited to release Carriage House. In Beeton, we have Beeton Village and going to release another one, Green Ridge. We will have Grand Openings for Carriage House and Green Ridge early this year. They are all townhomes and single-detached. We are going to release the first senior apartment building, called Edgewood Suites, in Dundalk.

Why should prospective new-home buyers consider buying from your company in 2020?

We are building communities, not just homes. We spend a lot of time on master-planning the communities. We consider everything that homebuyers will need, from amenities to accessibility to facilities to transit. We consider where the parks and schools will be, and how residents can walk to these places safely. Wherever we can do safer plans for them, save greenspace, plant more trees and work with the conservation authorities… we do it. We take all of these things into consideration at Flato.

Our customers have chosen to trust us when it comes to making the biggest investment of their lives, and we strive to return that trust – from the moment we meet them, to the time we hand over the keys, and beyond.

Special Report: Outlook 2020

Outlook 2020 – Jim Andrews, Director of Sales & Marketing, Fieldgate Homes

Outlook 2020 – Mike Parker, Vice-President Sales & Marketing, Georgian International Build Corp.

Outlook 2020 – Brad Carr, CEO, Mattamy Homes Canada

Outlook 2020 – Deena Pantalone, Managing Partner and Director of Marketing & Innovation, National Homes

Outlook 2020 – Art Rubino, Contracts Manager & Marketing Manager, Regal Crest Homes

 

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Outlook 2020 – Mike Parker, Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, Georgian International Build Corp.

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Outlook 2020 – Mike Parker, Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, Georgian International Build Corp.

Part of our series of Outlook 2020 Q&As with building industry executives

What is the outlook for the new home industry in 2020?

New housing starts have declined from the elevated levels of 2016 and 2017, however, we anticipate a more stabilized average in 2020. The average resale home price is expected to rise, and combined with an anticipated low risk of mortgage rates increasing, this is positive for consumers considering a new home closing one to two years out.

Mike Parker
Mike Parker, Vice-President Sales & Marketing Georgian International Build Corp.

And for your company?

Many of our homeowners are from the 905 and 416 area code regions. Our value proposition in terms of price, lifestyle and location will continue to be a favorable option for GTA buyers looking to escape urban congestion. Our new home construction pipeline is full for 2020, based on positive sales results in 2019.

What is your company doing to address the issues facing the homebuilding industry – namely, affordability and new home supply?

Homeownership should be attainable for all Canadians. We are currently providing a product mix that consists of condominium suites, semi-detached and single-detached homes with varying prices. Offering a wider range of home styles opens up more doors for consumers based on their affordability. We continue to study opportunities to provide housing that suits the needs of an even wider range of Ontarians.

What more could the industry do to address these issues?

All members of local, provincial and national home building associations should continue to raise awareness of the challenges builders face in providing housing that is attainable for all Canadians. We’re lobbying to reduce unnecessary legislation, and policies that create red tape for developers and additional development soft costs should be eliminated. All levels of government need to be supportive in creating positive changes in the industry. Developers need to be seen as partners to the townships and cities in which they build.

What should prospective new-home buyers know about your company for 2020?

If living an active lifestyle and a love of nature is important, we have three different options new-home buyers should consider. All of our developments will be releasing new ownership opportunities this year.

Windfall at Blue, located slope-side on 148 acres in Blue Mountain, is set to deliver The Shed in 2020 – a rustic yet refined community gathering space for neighbours to come together to socialize and create traditions. There’s parkland, outdoor pools, a sauna and more for our residents to enjoy.

Right next door to Windfall, Mountain House at Windfall will be opening its final phase. This community offers chalet living without the maintenance. Mountain House features an exclusive amenity area comprised of hot and warm pools with a waterfall feature, a sauna and a relaxation and fitness room, all with Blue Mountain as the backdrop.

Braestone Horseshoe Valley offers distinctive and timeless architectural style, one that combines the elements of early Oro-Medonte farmhouses, barns and sheds. Residents have access to the neighbouring Braestone Farm, which features a maple sugar shack, skating pond, pumpkin and berry patch and more. In addition, there are kilometres of trails on the 566 acres that make up Braestone, with 60 per cent of the land preserved in its natural state.

Why should prospective new-home buyers consider buying from your company in 2020?

We focus on providing a remarkable lifestyle for our residents. Our communities offer thoughtful amenities that are inspired by the natural landscape and the environment in which we build. We are building small-town Canada, and this is reflected in our streetscapes and timeless architectural style. Recognized not only locally but nationally, we are creating something unique in the Simcoe and Grey County regions.

Special Report: Outlook 2020

Outlook 2020 – Jim Andrews, Director of Sales & Marketing, Fieldgate Homes

Outlook 2020 – Shakir Rehmatullah, President, Flato Development Inc.

Outlook 2020 – Brad Carr, CEO, Mattamy Homes Canada

Outlook 2020 – Deena Pantalone, Managing Partner and Director of Marketing & Innovation, National Homes

Outlook 2020 – Art Rubino, Contracts Manager & Marketing Manager, Regal Crest Homes

 

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Outlook 2020 – Brad Carr, CEO, Mattamy Homes Canada

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Outlook 2020 – Brad Carr, CEO, Mattamy Homes Canada

Part of our series of Outlook 2020 Q&As with building industry executives

How do you see the outlook for the new home industry in 2020?

We see continuing strength in the marketplace, with demand re-establishing itself from the downturn that occurred following the peak in spring 2017. Pricing has firmed up in recent months, and we are seeing good traffic at our communities. Overall, the GTA market is characterized by strong fundamentals – solid immigration trends and wage growth as well as low unemployment and a favourable interest rate environment. The outlook is all positive.

Brad Carr
Brad Carr, CEO, Mattamy Homes Canada

And for Mattamy Homes?

We’re continuing to leverage the diverse offering of a number of exceptional communities we have across the GTA, from Halton to Durham, as well as the strength of the well-established Mattamy brand in “stronghold” sub-markets such as Milton, Oakville and Brampton. We’re certainly heading into 2020 with an optimistic outlook for both our business and the industry as a whole.

What is your company doing to address the issues facing the homebuilding industry – namely, affordability and new home supply?

At Mattamy, we are always looking for new and creative ways to deliver attractive built forms at a lower cost. We continue to offer a broad range of housing types that appeal to customers whatever their stage in life or circumstances. This includes the introduction of midrise buildings and stacked townhomes – examples of a continuous cycle of product evolution and innovation to create new forms of housing at lower price points that both meets customer demand for affordability while still offering lifestyle opportunities.

What more could the industry do to address these issues?

With no significant policy changes on the horizon that would increase overall levels of supply, we continue to encourage all levels of government to find ways to create thoughtful solutions that increase supply as a way of tackling affordability while at the same time respecting the concerns of existing residents. We would welcome the opportunity to work more collaboratively with government, the broader building industry and other businesses in the housing ecosystem to find a way to bring more homes to market that are affordable and meet the needs of society.

What should prospective new-home buyers know about your company for 2020?

Mattamy is going to deliver our 100,000th home in 2020, which is a story of growth that’s pretty unprecedented. Growing from a single house closing in 1978 to becoming North America’s largest privately-owned homebuilder, delivering more than 8,000 homes this year is a journey we are extremely proud of. Even with that scale, for us it’s still all about one customer, one home at a time.

Why should prospective new-home buyers consider buying from your company in 2020?

We have a number of exciting new master-planned communities launching in multiple markets across the GTA (such as Caledon, Toronto and Seaton). We’re also thinking a lot these days about ever-evolving customer expectations around technology. We are aware and paying close attention to all of the experiences our customers bring from other brand relationships and how these influence their expectations for ease and simplicity in the homebuying process. Things are changing very quickly, and we’re working very hard to stay on the leading edge of both technology and customer expectations.

Special Report: Outlook 2020

Outlook 2020 – 5 things you need to know about real estate this year

Outlook 2020 – Jim Andrews, Director of Sales & Marketing, Fieldgate Homes

Outlook 2020 – Shakir Rehmatullah, President, Flato Development Inc.

Outlook 2020 – Mike Parker, Vice-President Sales & Marketing, Georgian International Build Corp.

Outlook 2020 – Deena Pantalone, Managing Partner and Director of Marketing & Innovation, National Homes

Outlook 2020 – Art Rubino, Contracts Manager & Marketing Manager, Regal Crest Homes

 

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Outlook 2020 – Deena Pantalone, Managing Partner and Director of Marketing & Innovation, National Homes

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Outlook 2020 – Deena Pantalone, Managing Partner and Director of Marketing & Innovation, National Homes

Part of our series of Outlook 2020 Q&As with building industry executives

How do you see the outlook for the new home industry in 2020?

We’re going to see strong demand fueled by record population growth. The period from August 2018 to July 2019 was the largest 12-month population increase in Canada’s history. And the industry is not building enough housing, especially rental housing. At the end of November 2019, ReMax predicted a six-per-cent increase in the average cost of a Toronto resale home in 2020 – fueled by demand that just isn’t being met.

Deena Pantalone
Deena Pantalone, Managing Partner and Director of Marketing & Innovation, National Homes

Ben Myers of Bullpen Research says Toronto needs 22,000 new rental apartments a year to create a healthy vacancy rate of three per cent. If you include all the new purpose-built rental units coming on, say 4,000, plus if you assume that three-quarters of all new condos will be rented, then we’re still falling 9,000 units short. That’s not good for renters, homeowners or the health of our economy.

One thing I definitely see is that people are open to new ideas, new technology and design that will make their lives easier and give them time for the important things in their lives. And that means property technology (Proptech) will become more and more central to their lives, and to the building industry in general.

And what’s the outlook for National Homes?

For decades now, National has focused on putting the needs of our customers first, and that’s what our You are the Blueprint philosophy is all about.

This year, we’re introducing a wide range of “Bright Ideas” that were developed at National’s inaugural Blueprint Workshop. Globally recognized leaders in the fields of technology, product development and design, participated in group interactions and the co-creation process. Also taking part were dozens of past and prospective National buyers of varied ages and demographics; National staff architects, designers and engineers; and students from York University’s Schulich School of Business real estate master’s program. The results are now being unveiled in our newest communities.

What is National Homes doing to address the issues facing the homebuilding industry – namely, affordability and new home supply?

Our Bright Ideas are intended to make people’s lives simpler, from innovative Proptech to design solutions. We are introducing four different townhome projects, from Courtice in the east to Burlington in the west. We are also introducing new construction thinking, such as our Panergy Wall Systems that bring factory efficiency and quality with significant energy cost savings, year after year.

We’re also making it easier for young families to own with plans for flexible down payment programs.

What more could the industry do to address these issues?

It’s all about innovation! The building industry hasn’t changed much in 100 years. New thinking, new products, new technology… the only way we’re going to adapt to the needs of a new millennium are by doing things differently and better.

Our industry needs new ways of building that save time, and therefore money, new products that save real dollars in energy costs, new construction methods that reduce waste and improve quality.

What should prospective new-home buyers know about National Homes for 2020?

In Bradford, we have 40 detached ravine lot homes from the mid $800’s at The Forest. In east Brampton’s Three Rivers Claireville, we have Phase 2 of our townhomes, right next to the 850- acre Claireville Conservation Area. In Burlington, we’re launching townhomes at Tyandaga Heights on Brant Street, by the Tyandaga Golf Course. And in Courtice, we’re introducing The Vale by National, backing onto woods and a stream.

Why should homebuyers consider buying from your company in 2020?

We design with the needs of our customers in mind. That’s more than a motto, it’s central to the way we work. Our Blueprint Workshops are the spark that drives our design. We learn what people want; what they wish builders could offer; then we create the communities, the homes and the features that satisfy those dreams. And we’re building communities from east to west, so if you’re looking for a National home, we’re where you want to live.

Special Report: Outlook 2020

Outlook 2020 – Jim Andrews, Director of Sales & Marketing, Fieldgate Homes

Outlook 2020 – Shakir Rehmatullah, President, Flato Development Inc.

Outlook 2020 – Mike Parker, Vice-President Sales & Marketing, Georgian International Build Corp.

Outlook 2020 – Brad Carr, CEO, Mattamy Homes Canada

Outlook 2020 – Art Rubino, Contracts Manager & Marketing Manager, Regal Crest Homes

 

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Outlook 2020 – Art Rubino, Contracts Manager & Marketing Manager, Regal Crest Homes

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Outlook 2020 – Art Rubino, Contracts Manager & Marketing Manager, Regal Crest Homes

Part of our series of Outlook 2020 Q&As with building industry executives

What is the outlook for the new home industry in 2020?

There are buyers out there, as witnessed during several openings this year. If the developer does not adjust his land price to more current numbers, then sales will not be evident. This year looks promising, and several new projects are slated for release.

Art Rubino
Art Rubino, Contracts Manager & Marketing Manager Regal Crest Homes

And for your company?

Regal Crest is preparing two large project releases, as well as two new phase releases. We are bullish on new home sales, and our development arm is staying abreast with consumer demands, so we can deliver what our customers want.

What is your company doing to address the issues facing the homebuilding industry – namely, affordability and new home supply?

We are currently redesigning down – eight-ft. basements instead of nine-ft. basements… Nine-ft. main floors instead of 10-ft… Architectural design made more simple for construction.

What more could the industry do to address these issues?

The stress test is killing us, and yet the government continues to pound away. Increased development charges pressure the builder and developer to raise prices due to increased costs. We need to lobby the government to remove the stress test and to open doors for immigration – with skilled labour.

What should prospective new-home buyers know about your company for 2020?

Our website is up to date with current availabilities, but they should know that Regal Crest Homes has been building homes since 1965 and will continue to build for another 54 years.

Why should prospective new-home buyers consider buying from your company in 2020?

Our consistent delivery of quality-built product continues to be our success.

We build homes better today than yesterday, and when spending your life savings, you really want a quality-built product that will last the test of time. The days of buying and selling quickly are gone, and you want a really well-built home. That’s what we do best!

Special Report: Outlook 2020

Outlook 2020 – Jim Andrews, Director of Sales & Marketing, Fieldgate Homes

Outlook 2020 – Shakir Rehmatullah, President, Flato Development Inc.

Outlook 2020 – Mike Parker, Vice-President Sales & Marketing, Georgian International Build Corp.

Outlook 2020 – Brad Carr, CEO, Mattamy Homes Canada

Outlook 2020 – Deena Pantalone, Managing Partner and Director of Marketing & Innovation, National Homes

 

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Outlook 2020 – Jordan DeBrincat, Director of Operations, Altree Developments

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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.

Jordan DeBrincat
Jordan DeBrincat

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

Outlook 2020 – 5 things you need to know about real estate this year

Outlook 2020 – Angela Marotta, Director of Sales & Marketing, Solmar Development Corp.

Outlook 2020 – Jared Menkes, Executive Vice-President, Menkes High Rise

Outlook 2020 – Anson Kwok, Vice-President Sales & Marketing, Pinnacle International

Outlook 2020 – Samson Fung, Vice-President Marketing, Tridel

Outlook 2020 – Nick Carnicelli, President, Carriage Gate Homes

Outlook 2020 – Fan Yang, Deputy General Manager, Aoyuan

 

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BILD Outlook 2020

Outlook 2020 – what’s in store for GTA housing next year?

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Outlook 2020 – what’s in store for GTA housing next year?

Global and even some Canadian economic and political uncertainty shouldn’t derail growth in the GTA housing market next year, according to experts at the Building Industry and Land Development Association’s (BILD) recent Outlook 2020 event.

Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist at RBC, and Peter Donolo, political and communications strategist with Hill + Knowlton Canada, said that overall, the fundamentals for the economy and housing market in Ontario and the GTA bode well for 2020. There are some challenges, however – namely the ongoing new home supply issue.

With Justin Trudeau’s Liberals re-elected as a minority government, Canada will see a relatively stable left-leaning federal government that will focus on environmental issues, affordability and redistribution rather than on economic growth, Donolo says.

BILD Outlook 2020
Left to right, Dave Wilkes, Peter Donolo and Craig Wright

Globally, geopolitical uncertainty and softening economic growth mean that Canada faces challenges with export and investment, leaving the heavy lifting to the consumer, according to Wright. Economic growth is expected to be modest and in line with employment and income, at about 1.7 per cent, and interest rates will likely continue to be low.

Strong employment growth

For Ontario, GDP growth will likely be a notch below, about 1.5 per cent, with housing starts for 2019 and 2020 at about 72,000 units, compared to about 79,000 in 2018, Wright says.

“That reflects a number of factors,” Wright told HOMES Publishing. “We continue to see strong employment gains, Ontario is leading Canada in terms of employment growth on a year-over-year basis, and strong population growth. So, strong fundamentals supporting it, in a low rate environment.”

BILD Outlook 2020 Craig Wright
Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC

The GTA’s robust population growth will continue to drive demand for both ownership and rental housing, Wright says. Municipal and provincial governments are shifting to supply-side solutions for balancing the housing market.

“As you look at the structural reality of the GTA market, where we have immigration coming in… we have 140,000 to 150,000 people coming to this region each and every year,” adds BILD President Dave Wilkes. “That really does bode well for our industry.”

The mortgage stress test needs to be revisited in light of the continued low interest rates, Wright says.

Millennial attitudes

Another issue that might affect the Canada and the building industry is Millennials and their views on the environment and the economy – attitudes Donolo describes as “absolute.”

BILD Outlook 2020 Peter Donolo
Peter Donolo, political and communications strategist, Hill + Knowlton Canada

“When I say absolute, you talk about the oil sands and it’s like you’re talking about the Medellin drug cartel,” he says. “They’re not conscious or interested in the fact that the oil sands and Canada’s oil and gas sector is a kind of the backbone of the Canadian economy, that millions of jobs depend on it… They’re not interested in a kind of slow transition or weaning away from it. They think it’s immoral… and this is a very widespread view.”

Millennial views on homeownership are also different, Donolo says.

“Do Millennials look differently at what homeownership is about? Are they less interested in owning a traditional detached house with a backyard and property? If you look at rates of drivers licenses among Millennials, there is perhaps an indication.”

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