The urban exodus & York Region real estate: Daniel Foch weighs in for

Thursday Aug 06th, 2020


Is York Region attracting detached-home buyers amid the COVID-19 pandemic?

While Toronto condo sales have fallen to lowest level since Great Recession, York Region looking lucrative

NEWS Aug 03, 2020 by Dina Al-Shibeeb  Vaughan Citize

Daniel's Excerpt Below:

With experts in the real estate industry continuing to speculate on how COVID-19 will affect the market in the long run, indicators so far show a win for York Region suburbs’ detached homes.

"There is an accelerated demand in the suburban market," said Daniel Foch, a broker at the Keswick-based Foch Family Real Estate and the creator/host behind the "Brick and Mortar" podcast.

“There is a noticeable strength in detached (homes) relative to condo products,” Foch added.



With the allure of its relatively cheaper, spacious detached homes in comparison to the crowded yet much more expensive Toronto, Zoocasa – a brokerage that provides online real estate listings and data – published a report in late June saying that COVID-19 has spurred an exodus from Toronto to the suburbs, especially to York Region.

COVID-19 brought with it the sweeping changes of working from home. For example, Google Canada has extended its work from home option for employees to at least July 2021.

“There's never been a bigger work-from-home experiment done ever in history,” said Foch, who also has expertise in secondary plan investment and development in the suburban GTA.

“Living in the suburbs and commuting to the core is time-tested and true. It has always worked reasonably well,” he added. “The challenges of urbanization are becoming more apparent.”

When asked if he is having any clients who are leaving Toronto behind for York Region, he replied, “We get a lot of calls from people who are considering moving up because they can.”

“It's hard for people to say no” to a home that’s “four or five times the square footage in a detached home with a nice lot in your region,” especially when the comparison is made to a smaller condo that cost up to $700,000.

“The premium that they were paying for in the city is disappearing, and that was proximity to work.”

It remains unclear whether this is an organic trend, given that condo transactions were also limited during lockdown to keep up with safety measures and they are coming from all-time highs.

However, on July 27, a new report by Urbanation said during 2020’s Q2, “new condominium apartment sales totalled 1,385 units in the GTA,” making it the “industry’s lowest volume of sales activity since the Great Recession in Q1-2009 (885 units).”


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