Over the last couple of years, the GTA real estate market has experienced some turbulence, but somehow one thing, or better said, one city, has remained a beacon of inspiration. That city is Markham.

Markham has risen to fame as an opportunity for innovation in Ontario’s real estate landscape. Surpassing neighbouring cities like Toronto and Mississauga, Markham's allure lies in its unique blend of technological innovation, cultural diversity, and robust community engagement. With Canada to welcome nearly 1.5 million new Canadians by 2026, Markham is a hotspot for newcomers. In fact, 59% of the residents in Markham are immigrants. Moreover, Markham's reputation as Canada's "Capital of High-Tech" is well-earned. It houses the second-largest tech cluster nationally and offers 37,000 jobs. This proximity to employment and its strategic positioning—just a half-hour from downtown Toronto—make it a popular choice in the pre- construction real estate sector.

Over my career, and now as the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Metropia, I've witnessed firsthand why Markham not only attracts but retains a diverse array of buyers and investors, solidifying its status as a real estate magnet in the GTA.

Economic and Cultural Dynamism: Driving Markham's Real Estate Market

Markham's strong economy is a driving force behind its real estate market. With over 10,000 companies calling it home, including more than 400 with Canadian headquarters, Markham has cemented its status as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. Major players like IBM, AMD, Huawei, Tesla, GM, Honda, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Apotex, Teva, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Estee Lauder are not just top employers but also pillars of the city's economic resilience and allure.

Image Credit: Ruo Wu / Metropia

Projected to lead in employment and population growth within York Region, Markham stands out as the top contender for investors. The city has the highest population growth rate in the GTA, according to the 2021 Census. In addition, the rental market in Markham is one of the most robust in the GTA, a testament to the city's strong housing demand.

If you were to ask someone on the streets of Hong Kong about Markham, there's a good chance they'd not only recognize the name but also have a personal connections to it. And this is not something to gloss over. As mentioned earlier, immigrants constitute 59% of Markham’s residents, creating a vibrant community that draws new Canadians that often still have strong connections to their country of origin. This diversity and strong community underpins the city's economic tapestry, bolstering a myriad of businesses and services tailoured to diverse cultures, further strengthening Markham's economic ties and the strength of its housing market.

Photograph of Markham's historic Unionville neighbourhood.Image via Ruo Wu / Metropia

Opportunities Abound: Markham's Growth Translates into Resident and Investor Benefits

Markham's commitment to infrastructure and urban planning is evident in the future launch of York University's Markham campus in 2024. Set to host thousands of students and create thousands of jobs, this development underscores Markham's dedication to education and economic growth.

Rendering of York University's Markham Campus.Image Credit: Diamond Schmitt Architects

Located around the corner of this new campus, the Unionville GO Station serves as the city's central transport hub, connecting pedestrians to the wider Toronto area and beyond. Additionally, the Viva Enterprise BRT station and key roadways like Highways 7, 404, and 407 enhance accessibility and opportunities throughout the city.

Location is everything in real estate. Projects like Metropia’s Union City, strategically situated in Unionville and in walking distance of the Unionville GO Station and the future York University campus which will open doors to the first group of students in fall of 2024, support both current and future residents of Markham. It will promise residents a vibrant urban lifestyle enriched by nearby educational and professional opportunities.

Unionville GO Station.Image via Ruo Wu / Metropia

From a variety of retail choices like Whole Foods Market, T&T Supermarket, and CF Markville to the cultural charm of Historic Main Street Unionville and the natural beauty of the Rouge River Trail System, Markham offers a harmonious blend of urban living and rural tranquillity. Metropia kept this in mind when choosing the location for Union City. The community is conveniently located near major shopping centers such as Pacific Mall and CF Markville Mall. It also provides access to expansive green spaces like Milne Dam Conservation Park and Rouge National Urban Park, perfect for peaceful retreats. Not to mention over 100 restaurants within a 10-minute drive of the future masterplanned community.

Downtown Markham Shopping Centre.Image via Ruo Wu / Metropia.


Cementing Markham's Position as a Top Real Estate Destination

Markham's real estate market has demonstrated a remarkable level of demand and price resilience, particularly in the preconstruction condominium sector. In 2023, this city surpassed others in the GTA by significant margins, with notable developments like Union City selling in excess of 1,200 units within a mere quarter of the year. This is not a sporadic upturn but a continuation of a stable trend that has seen Markham's condominium prices remain steadfast in the face of economic uncertainties that marked the period between 2022 and 2023.

Markham also emerged as the region with the most vigorous rental submarket in the GTA by the fourth quarter of 2023, showcasing the highest ratio of leases to listings—a clear indicator of a thriving real estate environment.

Amidst global economic uncertainties, Markham stands out for its stability and growth, offering residents and investors a promising future. At Metropia, we are proud to contribute to Markham's evolution with transformative projects like Union City, setting new standards for urban living in the GTA and beyond.

Why Metropia chose Markham?

At Metropia, we are deeply invested in cities that support strategic and healthy growth. With Union City, we are actively contributing to the evolution of Markham’s fabric and with a future as bright as the one forecasted for Markham, it’s an exciting time to be at the forefront of such transformative urban development.

Rendering of Union City by Metroipia.

Metropia's Union City reflects Markham's forward-looking urban planning philosophy. It goes beyond the basics, meticulously integrating amenities such as verdant green spaces, state-of-the-art recreational facilities, and proximity to comprehensive retail centres. This holistic approach to development caters to residents' multifaceted needs, underscoring why these neighbourhoods are in high demand.

Markham's economy is not just on an upward trajectory; it's a bustling, vibrant heart of the GTA's real estate sector, pulsating with growth and cultural diversity. In the face of global economic uncertainties and the ebbs and flows of trends, Markham has stood out for its stability and growth. With projects like Union City that truly cater to investors and buyers, Markham’s future continues to shine bright.

About Ruo Wu

Ruo Wu, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Metropia

Ruo Wu is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Metropia, one of the premier real estate developers in the Greater Toronto Area. With over a decade of experience in the real estate industry, Ruo has developed a reputation for excellence in launching and marketing residential projects. Before joining Metropia, he held leadership roles with Empire Communities and Aoyuan International and served as the Director of Sales at Marlin Spring Developments, where he successfully led the launch of seven residential projects in two years. Ruo's strategic insights and innovative approaches to sales and marketing have been instrumental in shaping some of the GTA's most successful real estate launches. His passion for creating vibrant, welcoming communities is matched by his commitment to building strong customer relationships and delivering value to investors and residents alike.