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Why Moving to Suburban Areas, Away from Downtown Toronto, is Becoming A Trend - Blog by Ringo Tsang

Major cities are starting to become increasingly unaffordable. This is apparent with Toronto and Montreal. As a result, many choose to move to slightly more suburban areas due to the affordability of it. The rental prices are skyrocketing in Downtown Toronto - so that move is not only understandable, but wise.

This is a common trend globally, believe it or not. When cities get crowded, people move a little further away from the core of all that hustle and bustle. But what's causing that? The massive influx of immigrants who have chosen our beautiful city of Toronto to settle down or work in. And because of that, the cost of rent has been increasing constantly in Toronto.

With my property management company NewPowerSky, my team and I currently manage approximately 70 properties across the Downtown Toronto area. I've asked a few of my clients about how they feel about rent - and most of their responses admit that the rental prices are getting a little expensive, but worth it. Many consider that the vast availability of entertainment and business opportunities in Toronto a good reason for the rising rental prices. A fair enough point.

I find that the ones that find the increasing rental prices unacceptable are usually residents who have grown up in the city itself. However, it's a trend to expect since rising rental prices is a result of the increasing business in the core of a growing city. That being said, I still do have a few things in mind that I believe the government can do to help residents achieve more affordable housing.

1. Improving Transportation Systems

One of the costs of living come from paying for transport, which is very commonly via car if you're looking at the suburban areas around Toronto. However, people tend to travel by walking to their destination or using public transportation downtown, seeing that places are much closer together.

By investing more in improving the transport system for Toronto, people would be less hesitant to utilise the more affordable public transportation options available downtown, compared to driving their own car.

Do people actually care about transport? Of course! The success of one of the most recent projects launched in Vaughan, Mobilio, proves this. One of the greatest selling points of this project is the fact that it is barely minutes away from a direct train that will take one downtown.

Due to our intensification policy, our government is discouraging the ownership of cars, or driving in general. For example, a nice Honda Civic will probably cost about $400 a month to lease with an additional $200 for insurance. Throw another $200 into that budget for gasoline, and another $200 again for parking downtown. This means it's already going to cost nearly $1,000 to simply own a Honda Civic. Simply utilizing the public transportation system such as the TTC available downtown (monthly pass = $151.15 for adults) is already going to cut down over $800 in transportation fees. That's increasing your borrowing power for mortgage by around $200,000.

2. Allowing Developers to Issue Permits Faster

There are times I feel sorry for developers whose projects get cancelled due to the insufficient time they have to excavate land on time. Brad Lamb once mentioned in a conference that the government was inefficient in terms of distributing permits, making the cost of buildings unpredictable, increasing the risks for developers due to this uncertainty.

3. The Missing Middle

In the Greater Toronto Area, we tend to lack a middle-ground for housing options. In suburban areas, detached homes are more common, though that means we lack the facilities and amenities that condominiums offer. In my opinion, we need housing options that can fill in the gap between detached houses and condominium apartments. I think most of us agree that condominium apartments may not be as suitable to raise a family in. As such, I feel that stacked or back-to-back townhomes could be our missing middle. I believe these types of housing developments should be encouraged by the government through subsidies for first-home buyers.

If you're looking for more affordable housing options, don't hesitate to give me a call/text at 647-638-9210, or drop me an email at info@ringotsang.ca. That's all for my blog post this week. Let me know what you think!


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