A series exploring real estate, trends and the importance of home
More than 8,000 single detached homes are to set to built in London over the next few years, with most of them going up on the city's ever-expanding suburban rim, according to the latest numbers from the city.
City records show that plans for 1,073 shovel-ready single-detached homes were approved by the city as of Dec. 31, 2016 with another 7,100 registered plans that have been submitted and awaiting approval from city hall.
Nearly 500 single-detached homes were approved at London's planning committee Monday night, representing the latest wave of new builds and adding to the torrid pace of new construction in the city.
"It's a great time to be in real estate," said Jeff Fung, a project manager with Forever Homes. The company is building in the city's flourishing Fox Hollow area, where 146 new homes are going up.
"Right now our starting price is somewhere in the $600,000 range," he said. "Somewhere between the $600,000 and $750,000 mark is typically where they land depending on the size of the lot."
Fung said the biggest challenge right now is trying to stay ahead of bustling pace of new builds.
"There was a shortage of land for builders to purchase and build houses on, but it seems like the city is working to expedite the approval process," he said.
Thanks to a flood of applications this spring, the wait to get a new home has become longer as city staff work to sort out and approve thousands of new homes.
"City hall has been backed up with permit approvals," Fung said. "It typically used to take about two weeks for submitting a permit and getting it back for construction and now it takes about three and a half weeks."
As for where all the people are coming from, Fung said most of his customers are "a good mix" of locals looking to buy new or families looking to build a better life outside the GTA.
It's why Anwar Soni, a 33-year-old pharmacist, moved his family to London from Scarborough last year.
Soni, who declined to say what he paid for his four-bedroom home in Fox Hollow, said the price of a luxury home in London is close to what he would have paid for a condo in downtown Toronto.
"I was amazed I could get a house this size for that price," he said.
Soni also said he spends less time in traffic, can walk to local stores and take his wife and two daughters to nearby parks, which are also within walking distance.
"If people come from Toronto and want to make a move, I think this is the right time," he said. "The community is good and I'm feeling welcome. The people in London are great."
As technology changes the work place and allows people to work further from places like Toronto, more people could be coming to cities like London for the quality of life.
And London is primed for new development, with room for a potential 60,000 homes slated for future development on the city's north, south and western suburban rims.
That number represents more than 21,000 potential single family homes, more than 24,000 potential townhouses or freehold condos and more than 15,000 potential apartment units.
It also comes with a significant public cost, according to this, with infrastucture development, including streets, sewers and drainage ponds, worth $105 million over the next 5 years and another $29 million over the next 6 to 10 years.