Ah, the circle of real estate! It all begins with first-time buyers who get their foot in the door, eventually have families and become move-up buyers, and later on, right-sizers before the circle closes. If we miss out on one of these steps, we are not serving our communities well. Considering the challenges first-time buyers face today, we are missing out on the foundation that keeps our real estate circles dynamic. Canada’s proposed Federal Budget 2019 addresses this situation in part with a provision to help first-time buyers achieve homeownership. Called the CMHC First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, the program will enabled qualified buyers (with combined incomes lower than $120,000 annually) to finance up to 10 per cent of the price of a new home or 5 per cent on an existing home through a shared equity mortgage with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Let’s say someone wants to purchase a home for $500,000, which requires a minimum 5 per cent down payment of $25,000. Through the program, CMHC would provide up to $50,000 (which would eventually have to be paid back), meaning that instead of a $475,000 mortgage, buyers would have to borrow only $450,000. This would lower their monthly mortgage payments and help them pass the stress test imposed by the federal government last year.

Certainly, this is good news for first-time buyers, but the Budget does not address the biggest problem in housing today: the shortage of supply. We see it all the time in the Greater Toronto Area. Our developers and builders are bogged down in red tape at the municipal level, causing approvals on new projects to be delayed, often for years. This situation results in making new homes and condominiums more expensive than necessary. The Ontario Municipal Board was disbanded, and we now have the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal to hear cases dealing with everything from zoning by-laws to subdivision plans, but I have not seen any proof that this process is any less cumbersome and time-consuming than before. What good is the provision for first-time buyers in the Budget, if they have nothing available to buy?


Azura Condominiums


  1. Price – Both end-users and investors can buy into the new condo market in Toronto at attainable price points.
  2. Availability – New low-rise homes in Toronto and across the Greater Toronto Area are scarce.
  3. Bright Outlook – The new condo market is positive, strong and has legs to grow.
  4. ROI Potential – Investors saw 2018 cause a frenzy in the rental market, where rents have increased substantially.
  5. Something for Everyone – In addition to being the choice of most first-time buyers, new condos also serve those wanting to move up but are still priced out of the low-rise market.
  6. Appointments – Purchasers of pre-sale condos can select the features, finishes and upgrades that express their aesthetic tastes and fit their budgets.
  7. Location – New condos are going up across the city in locations that are close to amenities and public transit.
  8. Amenities – New condominium buildings are graced with luxurious amenities, from chic multi-purpose rooms to fabulous fitness facilities, lounges, games rooms, barbecue/dining terraces and more.
  9. Convenience – With exterior and common area maintenance and repair handled by the Condominium Corporation, condo residents have more leisure time to spend with family and friends, and to use the great amenities in their buildings.
  10. The Wave of the Future – With ongoing immigration and the lack of developable low-rise land across Toronto and the GTA, condos are the wave of the future and will always be in demand.XoHero_CAROUSEL.jpg


Congratulations to Baker Real Estate Incorporated President and CEO, Barbara Lawlor, for being selected as an honoree at the upcoming BISNOW event, Toronto Power Women 2019. Highly respected BISNOW produces conferences that promote networking with real estate industry experts and the exchange of timely information for those who want to keep up with trends and happenings across North America. This event recognizes women in the real estate industry who are leaders in their fields. Barbara is among the executives being acknowledged for their professionalism and outstanding performance.

Barbara Lawlor is a real estate dynamo who upholds the values of integrity and excellence upon which Baker Real Estate Incorporated was founded. A visionary and collaborative leader, she believes strongly in teamwork, and regularly meets with Baker’s senior VP’s, VP’s, project managers and assistant project managers – everyone involved in marketing and sales. She is a master at maximizing the strengths of all of those on the Baker team.

A member of the Baker team since 1993, Barbara oversees the marketing and sales of condominium developments in the GJA and overseas. She is an in-demand columnist and speaker.

Bisnow.com is a prestigious organization devoted to all things in commercial real estate across North America.


Last year, the introduction of the mandated mortgage stress test set out by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) played a role in the significant dip in sales in both resale and new homes. First-time buyers, in particular, either shied away from entering the marketplace or rescinded their offers because they could not pass the test. OSFI claims the test ensures that borrowers are able cope with future unexpected financial challenges. I question OSFI’s logic when it comes to new-construction condominiums.

First-time purchasers are usually at the beginning of their careers, and the condos they want to purchase will take upwards of five years to be ready for occupancy. During those years, buyers will earn equity, advance their careers and make more money. It is unfair to test them now for financial situations that are years away. In addition, we want first-time buyers to be able to take advantage of our incredibly low mortgage rates.

All three levels of new home builder associations, the Toronto and Canadian Real Estate Associations and many mortgage professionals and Canadian banking executives are asking that the test be revisited and amended within the context of what is good for Canadians and Canada as a whole. And what is good for Canada is a steady stream of people buying homes and fueling our economy.


The Altus Group statistics for January in Greater Toronto Area are in from BILD, and they bode well for the year ahead. Sales of new homes overall were moderately higher than January of last year. Sales of new condos were just five per cent lower than the 10-year average, and the condo apartment benchmark price increased from last month to $803,638, up 12.5 per cent over the last 12 months. Sales of single-family homes were down 53 per cent from the 10-year average, and prices were down 8.1 per cent over the last 12 months. Once again, condos proved to be THE way to go in new homes.

Looking ahead, all of the key elements that affect new home sales are still in place. The GTA receives 115,000 new residents every year, and by 2041, the population is predicted to be 9.7 million. To accommodate this, we need 50,000 new homes built every year, but in 2017, there were only 38,000 built. We are experiencing low unemployment rates, and of course, mortgate interest rates are still at historic lows.

However you slice it, new condominiums continue to be a wise lifestyle and financial investment. Here’s to a great 2019!

M2M - Master Plan Rendering

M2M Condos Master Plan Community


The outlook for 2019 new home sales in the GTA is positive after some issues such as the OSFI stress test imposed on buyers caused a dip last year. According to the Altus Group stats released by BILD, new condo sales across the GTA in 2018 were down 38 per cent from 2017, but were just 4 per cent lower than the 10-year average. Low-rise sales, on the other hand, were down 50 per cent from 2017 and down 74 per cent from the 10-year average. The good news is that in December, the benchmark price for new condos was up 11.2 per cent over the year.

It is obvious that condominiums continue to be the new homes of choice for the majority. Attainable prices, the opportunity to build equity quickly, easy access to transit and local amenities, the convenience of building amenities, the ongoing demand fueled by immigration, and the scarcity of available low-rise choices are all reasons why. Granted, OSFI’s stress test imposed last year had a lot to do with the dip in sales, but even with that, people still found ways to buy new condos.

The economic indicators are good for 2019, including ongoing immigration, low unemployment rates, low mortgage interest rates and affordability compared to the rest of the world. Remember that real estate is a cyclical industry. Condominiums continue to be a great financial and lifestyle investment!Fusion Studio TIFF File

Peerage Realty Partners Completes Acquisition of Substantial Partnership Interest in Leading Independent Residential Brokerage in Denver

Baker Real Estate Incorporated is delighted to welcome Madison & Company Properties, LLC to the Peerage family.  Peerage Realty Partners Completes Acquisition of Substantial Partnership Interest in Leading Independent Residential Brokerage in Denver | Peerage Realty Partners




According to the Altus Group September 2018 statistics released by BILD, the new home market in the Greater Toronto Area has picked up momentum. There were more sales and more project openings than there were in August. In addition, the gap between the benchmark prices for condominium apartments and single-family homes is closing. In September, that price for condos rose to $789,643, and for single-family homes lowered to $1,119,533. The discrepancy is largely due to a shortage of new homes across the board, including condos. According to BILD, a strong new home market has approximately nine to 12 months’ worth of inventory, but our condo market in September had only about five months’ worth.

Condos continue to dominate the market. In September, 1,494 of the 1,747 new home sales were condo apartments. The moral of the story is to get into the new condo market sooner rather than later. Look at how much return-on-investment condominium-owners have earned who purchased years, and even months ago.

To read the entire BILD news release with the Altus Group statistics, visit https://bit.ly/2z11FwU



Among the many condominium choices across Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area are beautiful penthouses that offer incredible views and unparalleled luxury. Remember that penthouses are usually offered late in the selling cycle; think of it as saving the best for last. These outstanding residences have gracious, spacious layouts, and again, views that take your breath away.

One example is E2 Condos by Metropia and Capital Developments. Located on Yonge Street in Toronto, E2 boasts architectural innovation taken to new heights, and its exterior by TACT Architecture lives up to that promise. The glass-wrapped tower’s location on the northeast corner of Yonge and Eglinton, earns a 99 per cent Walkscore® because it is so convenient to local amenities and public transit. In fact, the condominium will feature underground access to the other three corners of Yonge and Eglinton, as well as the Eglinton subway and Eglinton LRT. For more information, and to register, visit e2condominiums.com .

Another brilliant example of penthouse availability in Toronto is Panda Condos at Yonge and Dundas. This condo by Lifetime Developments rates 100 per cent on both Walkscore® and Transit Score. Imagine living this close to Dundas Square, where music, film and community events keep the area’s energy pulsing with excitement. Eaton Centre, Ryerson University, the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre, luxurious world-class shopping and the city’s finest dining establishments are all just a stroll away. For more information, visit PandaCondos.com, call 416-821-3790 or stop by the Presentation Centre at 3080 Yonge Street #3056 Tuesday and Wednesday 12 to 6 p.m. or Saturday 12 to 5 p.m.Panda


You will still find a selection of wonderful suites at Lumina, the 9th and final tower in fabulous Emerald City. Suite prices begin from the low-$400,000s, and for a limited time, when you register online, you will receive $1,000 voucher toward your purchase. With Lumina already significantly sold, the opportunity is simply too good to pass up.

Master-planned Emerald City is located at Don Mills Road and Sheppard Avenue East in North York. This is one of the most convenient locations in Toronto, across from Fairview Mall, and close to the Don Mills subway station and access to Highways 401 and 404/DVP. Since the community opened 10 years ago, we have seen the value of real estate in this area increase substantially, which is all the more reason to get in now while you still can.

Lumina will rise to an intimate 13 storeys and will encompass building amenities including an elegant ground-floor lobby with sitting area and its own gathering lounge; a shared indoor pool; family play lounge with TV, WIFI access and table tennis; theatre room with seating; yoga studio and fitness room; landscaped outdoor terrace with outdoor dining and barbeque area; multipurpose room with common lounge and billiard table; private dining room with warming kitchen; and guest suite shared with the Peak and the Point on the block.Lumina at Emerald City Exterior (1)

All residents also have the use of the facilities at the Parkway Forest Community Centre, with its full-size gymnasium, weight room, running track, dance studios, youth lounge, craft rooms, YMCA-run daycare, outdoor pool and pavilion, and a 13-acre family park with children’s playground.

Register online at EmeraldCityLife.ca, visit the presentation centre on Sheppard Avenue East, across from Fairview Mall (Next to 80 Forest Manor Road), or call 416-492-0001.