Ken Yeung has been an active broker in real estate for 14 years, focussing for the past 10 years on new investment properties in Toronto. He speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, and English and his main area of expertise is in new condominiums.
His accomplishments at Century 21 are epic, including winning the Grand Centurion Producer award several times.
Epoch Times spoke with Yeung about the Toronto condominium market and its potential for investment. We asked him why the Chinese condominium buyer is so enamored with Toronto.
“Over the last few years we have seen an increase in the Chinese buyer/investor. The market is hot and the Canadian dollar is low, making it an attractive investment for the Chinese investor. Toronto is still relatively cheap per square foot compared to other international cities like Shanghai, Beijing, even New York and Vancouver. So there is lots of room for investment potential and growth,” he explained.
Yeung said that in the last few years most of the buyers of new condominiums in Toronto have been Asian. And of these, most are Chinese.
“Many builders advertise in the Chinese media and many even assemble teams and send them to China to market their condominiums. The Chinese buyer remains a key investor in the Toronto condominium market,” he said.
We asked him about the percentage of buyers from Hong Kong versus mainland China.
“Hong Kong buyers represent 30 percent, while mainland China represents 70 percent,” he said.
“There are few differences between these two markets. Both are mainly interested in new condominium properties that are on the subway and that have close proximity to educational opportunities. This makes downtown Toronto the most popular area for most Chinese investors.”
As well, “neither market is design-driven; rather they are price- and location-driven. One of the reasons the Chinese investor likes Toronto is its very low rental vacancy rate, making investment in new condominiums for the purpose of renting them out even more attractive,” he explained.
Yeung’s company, Leading Edge Realty Inc., offers a complete turnkey service. He sells units to investors and provides complete rental management services. He even sells condominiums over the internet.
He mostly deals with investors who buy multiple units, and he is well-known among the builders and is on most of their top broker lists. This means that he gets the opportunity to sell weeks before the general broker community, giving his clients an important advantage—they get the first chance to buy the best suites and views at brand new condos.
Yeung’s buyers are mostly interested in downtown Toronto. Areas like Bayview and Sheppard are mostly end-user driven, but he has noticed growing Chinese investor interest in the Yonge and Eglinton area.
“With the proximity to the subway and the new LRT along Eglinton, together with the number of amenities in the area, Yonge and Eglinton provide excellent investment potential. Plus there are several new projects in the area, as downtown is slowly becoming under supplied with new product,” he said.
He advises investors to look at Yonge and Eglinton. Projects like 150 Redpath and The Art Shoppe will have a lot of success in this area.
Yeung sees the condominium market in Toronto a steady, profitable investment now and for the future. He believes that as long as immigration continues, prices for condominiums will continue to rise steadily, giving investors great returns on their investments.
Judy Hazan is an experienced writer for the real estate industry based in Toronto.