RESILIENCY THE KEY WORD FOR THE FUTURE OF NEW CONDOS IN THE GTA

I have been reading all sorts of opinions in the media about what the future will bring for the condominium industry, since the pandemic has taken an economic, as well as a physical, toll. What will happen in the next few months, and into next year? From my decades of experience and from the fact that we sold condos continually throughout the pandemic, I predict market resilience. Yes, sales were down some, but there was no crash, and I doubt there will be for the foreseeable future.

As we come out of pandemic mode, there is still a lot of demand for, and not enough supply of, condos. End-users, especially parents purchasing condos for their children who will be heading off to university in four or five years, understand that getting into ownership now will pay back in the long run. Investors who might have held back are hedging their bets and entering the market, because they know that a few years from now, they will have earned substantial equity. They believe in this business model, because it is tried and true. Then, of course, they will have revenue from rent after they take possession. Yes, in the second quarter of this year, the vacancy rate in Toronto rose to 1.8 per cent, the highest it has been in over five years, but that is still very tight.

Overall, we are seeing a great resurgence of confidence and interest from the spectrum of buyers. A few weeks ago, Baker Real Estate worked with Alterra on the launch of 28 Eastern, and it has been a phenomenal success. In fact, it sold so well, that other developers who had planned to come to market in the spring but put their projects on hold, have now set dates with us for this fall.

In the meantime, we have all surprised ourselves by how we have adapted over the past few months. People are comfortable shopping for and purchasing condos electronically, and they can now come into the sales offices if they prefer – taking the necessary precautions, of course.

So the picture for new condos in Toronto and the GTA is rosy. Remember our unprecedented low mortgage interest rates, as well, and the fact that over the past several decades, real estate has ridden out many economic lows and come back with robust strength. We are poised for resiliency, and I am excited about it!

SXSW OFFERS RESORT-STYLE RAVINE LIVING IN PRESTIGIOUS WOODBRIDGE

A forested ravine provides lush, green surroundings for SXSW, Primont Homes’ new community of condominiums and townhomes on Islington Avenue in Woodbridge. Talk about location, location, location! Just minutes away, residents can access eateries offering local and international flavours, especially the scrumptious Italian cuisine for which the area is known. Shopping is a breeze at nearby Yorkdale and Vaughan Mills, as well as the fresh markets, gift stores and boutiques of Market Lane. Parks, walking trails, golf courses excellent schools are close by, and it is only minutes to York University and Humber College. Of course, proximity to Vaughan Metropolitan Centre means getting to Toronto is convenient. Commuters can hop on a train and be at Union Station in just 47 minutes.

Contemporary design and resort-style amenities are just two of the other reasons why SXSW is so popular with discerning purchasers. Primont enlisted a dynamic design team including Quadrangle Architects for the buildings, NAK Design for the landscape and Figure3 for the interiors. Among these are an inviting swimming pool, state-of-the-art fitness facility and a lavishly appointed lounge overlooking the ravine.

The modern three-bedroom ravine towns, in sizes from 2,108 to 2,518 square feet, start in price from $949,900. Remaining suites in the two towers, ranging in size from 450 to 1,344 square feet, start from $488,990.

CONDO PRICES RISE IN JUNE

The most current statistics from Altus Group (BILD’s official source for new home market intelligence) show that in June, sales of new condominiums in the Greater Toronto Area were up compared to April and May, and the benchmark price for new condos (the estimated value of a typical condo in the area) was up 24.2 per cent over the previous 12 months (https://bit.ly/39BFgIe).This is despite the fact that sales were below those of June last year and of the 10-year average.

In addition, according to Urbanation, another leading source of information on the condo market, prices for new condos in the second quarter of 2020 were up 8 per cent over 2019, even though sales during that period were the lowest in 11 years (https://bit.ly/2P98Xaa). Keeping it in perspective, there were fewer condo launches during the second quarter as well.

These numbers are encouraging, despite the slowdown in sales. They bode well for the continuing popularity and value of condominiums across Toronto and the GTA as we go forward with recovery from the pandemic. Our industry rocks!

NEW RELEASE OF JADE GARDEN TOWNS IN MARKHAM

The fabulous master-planned Markham community of Cornell continues to evolve and grow – and now, Primont Homes offers Jade Garden Towns, a signature collection of freehold towns at Highway 7 and Donald Cousens Parkway. Developed with New Urbanism in mind, Cornell is graced with pedestrian-friendly streets, schools, restaurants, golf clubs and lush parks; is close to a wealth of other Markham amenities; and is less than 30 minutes to downtown Toronto.

Primont’s collection is considered the new jewel in the Cornell crown. There are 14 blocks of attractive townhomes displaying the clean lines of modern architecture. Jade Garden Towns also feature sophisticated interiors by the inimitable, visionary, award-winning Jane Lockhart. And in keeping with Primont’s reputation for excellence, the features and finishes are all high quality and beautiful. Among these are approximately 9-foot ceilings on all levels; smooth-finish ceilings throughout the second floor; flooring of imported ceramic, natural oak hardwood and 35-ounce broadloom (as per plan); and extended uppers, granite countertops and extended breakfast bars in the kitchens, according to plan.

These three-bedroom layouts range in size from 1,620 to 2,067 square feet. Prices begin from the high $700,000s – fabulous value for this desirable location!

JUNE RESALE REAL ESTATE NUMBERS BODE WELL FOR NEW

Across Canada, the resale housing market blossomed in June according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (https://creastats.crea.ca/en-ca/). The slowdown caused by the pandemic is behind us. Greater Toronto Area sales alone for that month rose 83.8 per cent over those in May. In addition, the national average home price in June was approximately $539,000, which is 6.5 per cent over June 2019. In fact, prices were down only 0.5 per cent what they were in February of this year. Interestingly, Toronto saw substantial sales in the high-end market, as well as lower end.

TREB also reported that in June 2020, 1,287 condos were sold (http://trreb.ca/files/market-stats/market-watch/mw2006.pdf), which reinforces the demand for that type of housing. We expect to hear similar good news about new condo sales and prices in June, once statistics are published.

It is safe to say that the pandemic scare has created tremendous pent-up demand, and people are feeling more confident about buying and selling. Our industry did well throughout the past few months, and will do even better in the months to come!

DISCOVER A NEW RELEASE OF TOWNHOMES AND LOWER PENTHOUSES AT M2M CONDOS!

The anxiously awaited new release of townhomes and lower penthouses (The Sky Collection) at master-planned M2M Condos is here! Aoyuan Property Holdings chose this Yonge and Finch location in North York for M2M, as purchasers appreciate living close to three major highways, adjacent to the subway station and less than a half-hour drive to downtown Toronto, earning it a perfect Transit Score of 100 out of 100. Rather than one standalone building on Yonge, M2M is a community that will eventually encompass five towers. Many of our purchasers there like the feeling of belonging this will offer, as well as the fact that there are plans for daycare facilities, a community centre and public park in the development.

All of the towers at M2M will be beautifully modern and distinctive looking. Among the standard features are 9-foot smooth ceiling heights and Energy Star appliances. Some townhome designs will have an interesting feature in a sliding glass door to the den that can be opened up to create a wonderful family room space. Condominium suites with internal bedrooms will come with switchable smart glass between two bedrooms that you click to allow natural light to come through.  

The two-bedroom + den and three-bedroom townhomes range in size from 1,078 to 1,368 square feet and begin in price from $1.197 million. Suites in the Sky Collection are available in two-bedroom, two-bedroom + den and three-bedroom layouts and are priced from $890,000. You will also find some suites from the previous releases still available, priced from $780,000. Ask our Baker sales representative for details.

KIDS IN CONDOS!

Over the past few years, we have noticed an increasing number of families choosing to live in, and raise their children in, condos. The trend may be somewhat new here in Canada, but it has been the lifestyle choice of many around the world for decades. Condominiums offer a lot of advantages for families with children. In a condominium, kids feel an immediate sense of belonging, with elevators, hallways and amenities becoming natural places to meet neighbours. Concierge service provides the “eyes on the street” that help to protect residents of all ages. Modern condos are also equipped with security measures at all levels, including underground parking areas.

Building amenities provide wonderful places for recreating, socializing and relaxing. Some developers are even offering kid-friendly amenities such as children’s zones and climbing walls. Balconies, terraces, courtyards and rooftop gardens become the children’s “backyards.” Once the pandemic is over, condo residents can enjoy these niceties again. Condo developers are also offering more three-bedroom suites to accommodate families. Plus, family members can purchase separate suites in the same building, so parents, their children and grandchildren, and other relatives can live close by while still enjoying privacy.

The saying goes that it takes a community to raise a child, and condominiums are vertical communities. It makes sense that families are opting for this lifestyle across Toronto and the GTA.

28 EASTERN WILL BE THE BIGGEST LAUNCH DOWNTOWN OF THE SUMMER!

Watch for the upcoming launch of sales at 28 Eastern, Alterra Developments’ hot new condominium coming to 28 Eastern in Toronto’s Downtown East. With prices beginning from the $500,000s, this condo offers an incredible opportunity to live in the centre of everything that is great in this vibrant and growing area!

Talk about location, location, location! 28 Eastern earns a bike score of 100 on WalkScore.com, as well as a walk score of 96! In under 10 minutes, residents will be able to walk to George Brown, the Distillery District, Canary District, Corktown Commons park, a dog park and more. Plus, a new Corktown station is underway next door to the condo. It already has a transit score of 100, so this is really icing on the cake. And in addition to a car share available onsite, there will also be dedicated bicycle storage rooms and a bicycle repair station.

A 12-storey condominium, 28 Eastern will grace the Corktown neighbourhood with a striking exterior by Teeple Architects. Choose from condo suites and three-bedroom townhomes accessible from the street. Among the building amenities will be a rooftop terrace with barbecue and dining facilities, pedestrian courtyard with a sculpture garden, party room, media lounge and co-working space, to name just a few.

What a convenient and exciting lifestyle! This is THE location in downtown, and the demand is great for the area. NOW is the time to act. For more information, visit https://www.baker-re.com/projects/28-eastern/ and give us a call!

SHOP FOR A BUILDER AS WELL AS A CONDO

Anyone shopping for a new condo in Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area is on an exciting journey. We have some of the finest choices and variety here in Southern Ontario. As you look around, you have your must-haves in mind, such as location and price – but remember to include builder/developer reputation among your criteria. You want a trustworthy company that will be with you for years to come.

Visit builders’ websites, read their brochures and see what is posted on the walls in sales offices once they are open again. Talk to sales representatives about the companies’ experience and track record for service. You can also visit BILDGTA.CA (https://bit.ly/3cKmYoV) to find out if the builder is a member of this Toronto and GTA association.

Of course, good old word of mouth is also a powerful tool. Ask around about the builder to discover how purchasers were treated and whether they were happy with the finished product. You can also drive or walk by condominiums these builders have completed to see for yourself how they look, whether they are architecturally harmonious with their surroundings and are nicely landscaped.

A condominium is probably one of the biggest purchases you will make in your lifetime, so you want a builder that will provide you with excellent service before, during and after your move-in date.

BOUTIQUE CONDO VS. HIGH-RISE?

What’s right for you? That is the question you should ask. We have a striking variety of new condominiums available today in an assortment of designs and configurations. Here are a few things to consider before you hone in on your shopping choices.

On one hand, there is a tremendous appetite for high-rise living in North America. The power and presence of a tower can be very exciting to some people. In Toronto, we have led the charge for tall buildings, which in general have lower maintenance fees because there are so many people sharing in the costs. High-rises also encompass tremendous space for shared amenities, which nowadays are gorgeous and bright. Swimming pools, cinemas, multi-function rooms, game rooms, rooftop terraces … the sky’s the limit! Taking the high-rise concept to a higher level, some condominium buyers prefer living on top of a luxurious hotel. These people enjoy private amenities, as well as access to the hotel’s restaurant(s), spas, etc.

On the other hand, many condo shoppers are looking for a more intimate scenario, such as a boutique building. Amenities may be fewer and maintenance fees higher, but for them, a quieter lifestyle in a building with a more residential feel is well worth it. Often, empty-nesters or right sizers moving from a large low-rise home prefer the boutique condo over a high-rise.

It is about personal choice, and in Toronto and the GTA, what wonderful choices you have!