Austin Birch Report shows downtown core springing back to life

Austin Birch Report shows downtown core springing back to life

GTA’s leading pre-construction real estate advisors share intriguing insider market insights

For the first time since the pandemic, developers are confidently launching projects within the downtown core.

The city is coming back to life, and it’s doing so in a big way. As restrictions lift, residents are cheering the return of restaurants, shopping, events and Toronto’s much-loved nightlife. With the increase in vaccinations, there has been a notable attention shift back to the downtown core, and none have felt it more than those in the real estate industry. This is shaping up to be an incredible return to “life as normal” for the city as a whole and promises some very exciting news for developers, realtors and buyers.

This past summer Austin Birch, Toronto’s leading strategic pre-construction development sales and marketing partner, released their quarterly report discussing exactly this. Pulling key observations from their expansive network of top-performing realtors, prominent developers and experts in the retail and office market, they noted a shift in buyer attention from the 905 back to the 416.

As we move forward into a brilliant new stage of growth in the market, Austin Birch releases their latest volume of the Austin Birch Report. With unrivalled frontline observations and expansive industry knowledge, this report collects a wealth of incomparable market insights and delves into ever-changing buyer behaviours—providing powerful forecasts for the fall 2021 market.

The results of this report illuminate an exciting new shift in the industry, which you can read about in-depth simply by signing up for The Austin Birch Report at To give you a sneak peek, we have a preview of some of the most compelling discoveries from the report:

First and foremost, developers are beginning to launch projects with in-person events, and industry professionals could not be happier. Austin Birch attests that launching a new project is one of the most exciting parts of the entire process and, although technology promotes efficiency and has assisted in facilitating pandemic sales, nothing compares to being in a room with like-minded individuals. In-person project events and in-person signing events provide an energy that promotes confidence in purchasing, and money moves just as confidently.

Verge Condos in Etobicoke by RioCan Living

Another point of particular interest is that, for the first time since the pandemic, developers are confidently launching projects within the downtown core that often exceed $1500 per square foot (PSF)—and the market is eagerly absorbing inventory. These prices often prompt wary attention, but buyers have returned with gusto, purchasing suites that span all price points and locations.

Although Toronto’s downtown core has seen an uptick of new launches, it’s not just the city getting all the attention. Massive urban centres are the draw, and therefore, Mississauga and Vaughan make for close runners-up in launch activity, achieving record sale prices over the past few months. This activity perfectly illuminates the industry’s resilience and suggests a strong forward momentum that should carry into the new year, with 2022 potentially seeing the volume of suites released to market returning to traditional levels.

So, what does this mean for investors trying to decide between the city and the surrounding GTA neighbourhoods? Well, Austin Birch states that this depends entirely on the type of investing you’re interested in: slow and safe or short and exciting. It’s clear that if you’re looking for safe investments, the downtown core will often be the first choice. However, for those looking for quick appreciation in markets that may not always be there, targeting affordable neighbourhoods outside of the 416 may be your best bet.

The report also notes that developers have come to understand that buyer needs have shifted considerably and that this must be taken into consideration when selling. As such, many developers are now providing smaller deposit structure plans that spread out over a longer period, allowing more people to enter the market confidently.

Some developers are even providing multiple options for buyers to choose from in order to provide flexibility and assist in the process. To encourage traditional deposit amounts, developers are also offering substantial incentive packages for buyers and realtors alike. Austin Birch states that it’s this type of teamwork and understanding that is helping to drive the market’s return.

The Austin Birch team with partners Jamie Sarner (front L) and Eric Kuzuian (front R).

As the real estate industry enters yet another new stage, pre-construction developers must stay ahead of the curve, ensuring that they understand what’s really happening on the ground. Austin Birch understands that through their strong relationships with realtors, they can provide a much more comprehensive view of all the information—a clearer vision that helps ensure client success when paired with unparalleled market knowledge.

Austin Birch’s mission is to enable their clients to do what they do best: develop superb real estate. Austin Birch handles the rest, with a hands-on approach that encompasses the entire sales and marketing process. Austin Birch understands how crucial a custom strategy is to success and therefore has developed a highly attuned methodology that guides clients through every step of the process with precision. For development sales and marketing in Toronto and the GTA, Austin Birch is your ideal strategic partner.


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