It doesn’t seem that long ago that urban centres saw an exodus of homeowners fleeing the core areas for the suburbs. Prices in the outlying areas rose, while downtown property values were more static. Once prosperous neighbourhoods experienced some decline and others became downright undesirable. It might have been reasonable to work downtown, but success was seen as living in the “burbs”.
Today, a major shift has emerged in this thinking. Slowly but surely core neighbourhoods are under revival. The grassroots return to the city centre is growing, but it will be a true “Shift” that will insure continued success. Across the country, public transit is at the forefront of political debate in response to population demands and in order to reduce the cost of environmental resources. London, Ontario, has been known to lag behind other Canadian cities in terms of rapid transit, but clearly the ball has started rolling. London’s own rapid transit plan is appropriately called “Shift” indicating a clear swing in how and where we live and move. Check out http://www.shiftlondon.ca/
Millennials and retirees in particular want the benefits of convenient public transportation, eliminating the need for vehicle expenses and parking. Families are sure to follow. Looking at centres such as Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver, values of properties located close to public transportation have appreciated at a higher rate and are less affected by economic downturns. Higher demand always drives pricing as well, so we can expect this shift in our community as London moves forward with its own rapid transit plans.
We are also seeing increased construction of rental units in our downtown core, indicating developers are building in anticipation of this housing demand, gearing their units to individuals who are consciously deciding to walk more and drive less. Efficient transportation systems remove congestion from streets, create jobs and increase mobility for all segments of the population. As London moves forward with its final plans, we can expect that there will be growth in real estate prices for properties located closer to the downtown and those situated on well-serviced transportation routes.