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Walking the housing tightrope

Tags: Real Estate
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The housing market is a tightrope, requiring more disciplined action, according to one real estate watcher.

"If you were asked to walk a straight line on the ground, you'd typically have no problem. The moment the line is raised in the air, as are housing markets -- [which] are no longer on the ground, they're in the air -- you can still walk it. We can walk it together, [but] it just requires more disciplined action," George Carras, President, RealNet Canada tells BNN.

The housing market is 400 feet off the ground, Carras says.

He says last year Toronto had a record year, with condominiums comprising 62 percent of the total housing market.  Carras says it used to be that for every three detached homes, there would be one condo.

"It's now the inverse. It's three condos for every detached home."

The trend will continue, with the ultimate direction of growth being a shift from low-rise to high-rise buildings, he says. "That's inevitable -- unless policies change on growth."

Policies veering towards intensification are restricting the traditional "grow-out" subdivisions, and leading to more "grow-up" types of condominiums, he says. And this is also pushing the price of a detached home up.

"What you're seeing right now in the pricing, at least in the GTA [Greater Toronto Area], is the price gap between the low-rise home and that condo is growing to now near record levels."

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