Where Toronto’s condo king thinks housing is heading this spring

16th Annual Real Estate Roundtable: the spring market update

We asked 10 of the city’s top real estate experts for their thoughts on what the market will bring in the months ahead. They gave their input on everything from interest rates to the recession to the housing crisis. Brad Lamb, president of Brad J. Lamb Realty and Lamb Development predicts what’s coming for the year ahead:

I think Toronto is, in my opinion, the best city in the world to live in. I think there’s a lot of tremendous things that are happening here. I think it’s a very bad idea to repurpose large-scale office properties. They cost as much as a high rise condominium to build, but the revenue is about 30 per cent less. We don’t wanna lose them. We’re gonna need them again. We currently can build about 30,000 homes, 35,000 homes in the GTA. That’s it. Why is that it? Because we don’t have tradespeople. 

I’ll be the bearer of bad news here. There is no midterm solution for a housing crisis. We’re in it now. You go to any country in the world and to the tier one city in those countries, front page news is the same problem. We have people from other countries that need to get out of those countries, because it’s a terrible state in those places, and they’re coming to countries like Canada. We can’t not take them in. So there’s no solution to doubling from 30,000 to 60,000, because it’s a skilled job to be a carpenter or a plumber or an electrician. There aren’t the people and the will to train these people to get it done.

So you don’t wanna hear this, but we have another nine months of this nonsense with interest rates. It will pass. There’ll be minimal damage to the real estate market as there has been now. I think real estate prices are going to start to rise. I think the bottom was December. I think anyone who sells a lot of real estate will probably echo that: that the darkest days were December. January’s a bit better. February is a lot better. We’ll see what happens this spring. After that, we have a housing shortage. And unfortunately, right now, if you go out in Toronto and go to a new sales centre and wanna buy a condo, it’s $1,600 a foot. In five years, it’s $2,000 a foot. That’s what our future is, and we can’t stop it. I’m sorry.

This is an excerpt from Post City’s 16th annual Real Estate Roundtable in partnership with the Rotman School of Management. Click here for more excerpts from the panel, including more insight from Michele Romanow. Special thanks to our incredible sponsor The RE/MAX Collection.

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