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905/416 Charts

The 905/416 Charts are an ongoing series of publications highlighting economic, demographic, and real estate market trends and conditions within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) or within the larger Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH).

GTA population growth drops to 78,407 in 2015 with nearly three-quarters of the growth in the 905 area

March 16, 2016 – This release uses data provided by Statistics Canada to look at the various components of population growth in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) over the past decade, more specifically the city of Toronto and the four regions that make up the 905 area.

In the later part of the decade, population growth in the GTA has slowed down and is currently at its lowest level, at 78,407 persons in 2015. Most of the population growth (nearly three quarters in 2015) the GTA experiences is found in the 905 area. The primary driver of the GTA’s population growth is net immigration, and due to its decline in the past two years, it has brought down the overall population growth. While the city of Toronto for most of the past decade had been the primary receiving area for net immigration, just recently, in the last two years (2014-2015) the largest influx of net immigrants has shifted from the city of Toronto to the 905 area.

While estimates for intraprovincial migration for the latest year (2015) is assumed to be the same as the previous year, it still shows an interesting population shift in the GTA. Historically, the city of Toronto has lost a significant portion of its population to the 905 area, with the attraction of a larger supply of ground-related housing and employment opportunities. In the 905 area, net intraprovincial migration has sharply declined throughout the decade dropping from 37,000 persons in 2006 to only 2,900 in 2014 and 2015, signaling that this area is not only receiving fewer net in-migrants from Toronto, but also experiencing a net loss to areas outside the 905 area such as Simcoe county.

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Virtually all GTA ground-related housing starts in 905 Area - Toronto still dominates apartment construction but 905 area share rising rapidly

March 4, 2016 – This release looks at the new housing market in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA); more specifically, the trends in housing starts by type between the city of Toronto and the regions that comprise of the 905 area (Durham, York, Halton, and Peel).

New housing construction in the GTA remained robust in 2015 with the total housing starts for the entire GTA jumping  47% over 2014 to 44,047 units. Higher apartment starts in both the city of Toronto and the 905 area (principally Peel and York regions) accounted for most of the year-to-year increase.

Over the past decade, about 90% of all new ground-related housing starts (singles, semis and townhouses) in the GTA have been built in the 905 area and this continued in 2015. All regions in the 905 area have seen a downward trend in their ground-related housing starts over the past decade, most notably in York and Halton regions. This is contrary to what would be expected when the demand for these types of housing is so robust [see p.4 of CUR’s Resale (MLS) Housing Market (2012-2015)].

Toronto represented 59% of the year-to-year increase in apartment starts in 2015. Interestingly, since 2010, Toronto’s share of the total GTA apartment starts has been declining, while in the 905 area the share of total GTA apartment starts have more than doubled from 15% to 37%. While all four regions in the 905 recorded year-to-year increases in apartment starts, sharply higher starts in Vaughan York region were behind York region’s increase.

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416 is steering the robust GTA office market

February 19, 2016 - This release examines the GTA office real estate market highlighting market conditions and trends in the city of Toronto as well as the four regions (905 area) which surround Toronto.

The office real estate market in the GTA has been performing well over the past decade, but looking more closely at the different regions, it is the city of Toronto that is driving the office market in the GTA.

Construction is booming in the city of Toronto with 3.4 million sq. ft. of new office floor space under construction in 2015, while the 905 area has only 1.6 million sq. ft. of new office space under construction. Toronto's vacancy rate has fallen to 7.3% by the end of 2015, while in the 905 area, vacancy rates continue to climb to 16.0%, highest in more than a decade.

Demand for office space is robust in Toronto while in the 905 area the office market has softened leading to office tenants shifting away from the suburbs and into Toronto's downtown area. Average asking net rents have remained high in Toronto sitting at $19.32/ sq. ft. by the end of 2015, while in the 905 area rents have remained relatively flat recording $16.06/ sq. ft.

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905 Area Monopolizes the GTA's New Industrial Building Market

February 16, 2016 – This release examines the GTA industrial real estate market highlighting market conditions and trends in the city of Toronto as well as the four regions (905 area) which surround Toronto.
There has been tremendous growth in new industrial floor space since 2009 due to buoyant demand and a supply of vacant and shovel-ready industrial land, almost all in the 905 area. Peel and Halton regions make up most of the current industrial floor space construction activity in the GTA. There is minimal construction activity in the city of Toronto and Durham region.

Vacancy rates have been falling in both the 905 area and the city of Toronto since 2009 and are below the rates generally regarded as indicative of a balanced market. Asking net rents per square foot are considerably higher in the 905 area than in Toronto and both areas are experiencing rising rents.

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Resale (MLS) Housing Market (2012-2015)

January 21, 2016 –  This release compares resale housing market conditions and recent trends in the city of Toronto with the four surrounding regions (the 905 area). Together the city and the four regions constitute the GTA. The release examines overall resale market conditions (all unit types), ground-related homes (singles, semis and townhouses) and condo. MLS market data from the Toronto Real Estate Board is used in the analysis.
The key finding is that the resale housing markets in the 905 area tightened more rapidly than the city of Toronto for both ground-related homes and condominium apartments during 2012-2015. At the end of 2015, the resale markets for both housing types were equally tight in the 905 area as in Toronto. The available supply of resale listings was most constricted for the ground-related market in both areas. Clearly, then the shortage of resale housing product is region-wide in scope.

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