Despite growing attention surrounding the need for more family-friendly condo units in the GTA, a new report suggests the number of larger units set to be built in the next five years might not meet the demand brought on by aging millennials settling down and having children.
A joint report from the Ryerson City Building Institute and Urbanation found the number of condos planned to be built with two bedrooms or more in the next five years is considerably lower than the proportion built in the 1990s.
"Construction is still tilted towards one-bedroom units," the report states. "Despite the coming surge of households seeking family-sized units, we are building fewer two-bedrooms proportionately than ever before."
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Of the 105,000 units currently being developed in the GTA — the greatest number in the city's history — 41 per cent have two or more bedrooms. In the 1990s, 67 per cent of units built had two or more bedrooms.
Meanwhile, growth in the 35 to 44-year-old age bracket — prime home-buying and family-starting years — will be "higher than it has been in decades," the report reads.
In fact, a baby boom is already underway in Toronto. Social Planning Toronto releasing a report in June that found the number of pre-school aged kids in Toronto has doubled in the last 10 years.
At the time, Social Planning director Sean Meagher said many new parents already living in one-bedroom condos were staying put because they couldn't afford to trade up, leading to some creative solutions.
Adding to the crunch is the reality that millennials aren't the only group that will be seeking two and three-bedroom units in the coming years, the Ryerson report's authors say. Seniors who are looking to downsize will also seek condos that have enough space to accommodate their "lifestyle and possessions."
The report also reiterates research done by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis last spring, which found the city has a "missing middle" of larger, affordable condominiums, townhouses, and lower-rise buildings between pricey detached homes and small condominiums in high-rise towers.
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"Living in a tall high-rise may not be for everyone," the report reads.
It suggests alternatives to a box in the sky might be more attractive to families. For example, mid-rise buildings, which "tend to include larger units and can be more attractive to families than high-rise buildings due to their moderate scale and better integration into existing communities."
There is a small bright spot in the report: the proportion of units with three or more bedrooms is going up ever-so-slightly, with a 1.2 per cent bump in the number of pre-construction condo apartments compared with the number currently being built.
To every silver lining, though, a cloud: the price of three-bedroom condos remains high at more than $900,000.