Vancouver, Toronto Ranked North America’s Top Markets to Watch

October 31, 2017


Canadian cities beat out top-ranked US market Seattle for real estate investment and development potential 

If you think that Vancouver and Toronto’s real estate markets have hit their peak and are on the decline, the latest study from global land-use research group the Urban Land Institute (ULI) begs to differ.

In its 2018 Emerging Trends in Real Estate report, released this month, the ULI published the results of a North America-wide survey of hundreds of local real estate experts on the market prospects of major cities.

In the survey’s US rankings, Seattle came out on top of 78 cities, with a score of 3.74 in both the real estate investment and development categories, for a total of 7.48.

But Vancouver and Toronto, ranked separately in the Canadian section of the report, both beat Seattle’s score. Vancouver was ranked as scoring 3.82 for real estate investment potential and 3.93 for real estate development, for a total score of 7.75 when compared with the US rankings. Toronto scored 3.78 for investment and 3.8 for development – 7.58 in total.

The Canadian scoring system also included a housing category, in which Toronto scored 4.28 and Vancouver 3.8, giving Toronto the edge over Vancouver in the overall Canadian rankings.

On Vancouver, the report authors wrote, “According to the survey, investor demand and redevelopment opportunities in Vancouver are the highest in Canada... But regional developers and investors anticipate that they’ll be more conservative in 2018 due to the impact of policy changes and interest rate hikes… Interviewees were bullish on industrial and commercial property, since those types ‘require less management than residential,’ as well as mixed-use and residential in ‘second-core’ areas.”

Discussing Toronto’s result, the authors said, “Prospective homeowners may disagree, but industry players don’t feel Toronto [real estate] is too expensive – certainly not in comparison with current world-class markets, including Vancouver. Most foresee continued immigration and investment, foreign and domestic, contributing to upward pressure on prices overall.”

For more details and city-by-city analyses, check out the full ULI report.

Joannah Connolly has been editor and content manager of since May 2014. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, and has moderated and spoken on several industry panels. During this time, she also spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio 98.3FM. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 20 years of journalism experience in Vancouver and London, with a prior background in construction, architecture and business media.
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