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You can tell a lot about where a real estate market and broader economy are going by looking at land sales.
During the pandemic, we all find ourselves seeking data that signifies the emergence of new trends or reasons for optimism.
Greater Toronto Area land sales provide both.
Here are five key takeaways:
The GTA saw $342.2 million in industrial land sales between April and August 2020, with 507 acres trading hands. That compares favorably with the same period last year, when the region’s industrial land sales volume totaled $362.4 million, for 560 acres.
Demand for logistics and fulfilment properties is driving industrial land sales higher. Sites that can be developed in the next 10 to 18 months are being aggressively pursued by companies looking to build their own facilities and control their real estate.
Industrial buildings have rarely been seen as the highest and best use for a site; office, retail or residential were always better options. But CBRE EVP Matt Brown says some retail centre owners have been mulling converting those spaces into warehousing to capture new business and higher rents.
$1.2 billion and 879 acres of residential land were sold in the GTA between April and August. Condo developers launched projects in core and non-core locations at pre-COVID market pricing, which gave confidence to others and is helping to resurrect condo land deals that paused when COVID hit.
Detached dream lives
Single-family home development land has become a hot commodity. People see detached homes as a safer and bubble-friendly alternative to high-density buildings. So developers are looking at low-density lands more closely, and this is where the deals have been happening.