REGISTER NOW FOR WONDER CONDOS

Graywood Developments and Alterra have a vision for the former Weston Bread Factory on Eastern Avenue in Leslieville – to transform it into Wonder Condos, a striking 7-storey boutique condominium that will marry historic and modern elements. Launching this fall, Wonder Condos will rise from the original structure and will offer hard lofts, regular lofts, suites and townhomes. The hard lofts feature high ceilings and exposed brick and duct work. Diamond + Schmitt Architects has pulled out all the stops to create an exterior that speaks to the area’s heritage yet will carry residents into the 21st century in style.

WonderRENDER2_CAROUSELThe condominium will be located at the major intersection of Eastern and Booth Avenues. This convenient address earns a Walk Score® of 89, making it “Very Walkable,” meaning that most errands can be completed on foot. The Transit Score is 94, rating it as a “Rider’s Paradise,” and with a score of 100, it is a “Biker’s Paradise” as well!

The residence will offer approximately 300 units in one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom layouts. Wonder Condos is sure to become a wonderful, exciting landmark in Eastern Toronto. Register today at WonderCondos.com

WHOSE CONDO IS IT ANYWAY?

At Baker Real Estate Incorporated, our sales representatives field a lot of questions about condominiums. One of the most commonly asked is “What do I actually own when I buy a suite in a high-rise building.” You should know that you own your unit and the exclusive use of your balcony or terrace, if the design comes with one. You also own a percentage interest in all of the building’s common elements such as the lobby, pool, fitness facilities, theatre room, etc. That percentage is determined by the square footage of the suite you choose, and your maintenance fee is calculated from that. In essence, you share the upkeep, repair and maintenance of these amenities with your neighbours.

A professional company manages the condominium and is responsible to the board of directors. The condo corporation’s duties include handling these items, as well as administering the reserve fund, which is there to cover any expenses incurred in the upkeep, repair, improvements and landscaping of the building over time.

Condominium suite owners have the same rights as a low-rise owner, in the sense that you can mortgage your suite, sell it or lease it. Condominium regulations, however, may prevent people from renting to different people for short periods of time and essentially using the suite as a hotel. Be sure you check into this element of ownership before you make your decision.

This gives you an overall idea of what you own when you purchase a condo, but it is your responsibility to research your individual situation. If you have any questions, ask them up front, before buying. You should know exactly what is included in your purchase price so you have a pleasant closing and resident experience. Be sure to have a look at CMHC’s Condominium Buyer’s Guide at https://bit.ly/2nlxA5E

THINK RESALE WHEN YOU BUY NEW

If you want an idea of how much potential a new condominium in Toronto has as far as resale someday, take a look at listings and what they go for. So far this year (as of July), the average sold price has topped the average listing price for every month except January, in which case the average listing and sold prices were the same. In 2017, “sold” was more than “listing” for all but three months. In short, condos are in demand, and indicators suggest they will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

New condominiums are the strongest arm of the real estate industry in the Greater Toronto Area. Investors and end-users are discovering that en masse; hence the ongoing demand. We have continued immigration to Toronto and the GTA, and soaring low-rise prices have led people to consider more financially attainable condominiums. The convenience of the condo lifestyle also appeals to today’s frantically busy population.M2MHeroDay_THUMB

Condos are a great investment, whether you intend to rent one out or live in it. To keep your eye on Toronto resale listings, check out https://bit.ly/2voncyy, which is updated regularly.

CONDOS CONTINUE TO DOMINATE NEW HOME REAL ESTATE

The June statistics from Altus Group are in from BILD, and once again, condominium sales continue to dominate new housing, as purchasers opt for more attainable price points and a carefree lifestyle. And all of this is in the face of condo prices rising! I call condos the strongest arm of our new home real estate industry, and they certainly have been thus far in 2018. That trend is likely to continue, if June is any indicator. Numerous new residences were launched that month, which increased inventory to 10,335 units – and by the end of June, nearly half of those had sold.

Last year did send the housing market into a sort of roller coaster ride, with Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan being implemented, as well as the stress test and higher interest rates imposed by the federal government. It’s true that a lot of potential buyers who were uncertain postponed their decisions. Obviously, this year, many have decided to make their move.

Condos are the affordable choice for some, especially first-time buyers. Our strong empty-nester market is also responding by purchasing more expensive suites as they rightsize their homes from large residences. They want to stay in the areas they know and love, and in response, developers are creating new condos in desirable areas. Many are the first ever in their established surroundings, such as Yonge and Finch, Eglinton and Bayview, Church and Shuter, and Sheppard and Don Mills. We are even seeing this trend in downtown Toronto.

 

In addition to price and lifestyle, condominiums represent the highest and best use of land, a top priority in Ontario right now. Remember that in our cyclical business, the market always eventually stabilizes. Competition for condos is fierce, so buy sooner than later.

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The Cardiff Condominiums

SUMMER IN THE CITY!

If you live in, or are thinking of moving to, a condominium in Toronto, good for you! Ours is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, as well as one of the most vibrant. Accolades for Toronto have been piling up in 2018, including being ranked 16th out of 231 cities considered in Mercer’s Quality of Life Survey. Summer is the perfect time to explore the city, keeping in mind how wonderful it is to be a short walk, subway or bicycle ride to a kaleidoscope of events and attractions.

For example, popular foodie celebrations include Taste of Lawrence (July 6-8), BurgerFest (July 13-15), Fusion of Taste Festival (July 29), Toronto Food Truck Festival (August 3-6), Taste of the Middle East Food Festival (August 4), JerkFest (August 9-12), Taste of the Danforth (August 10-12), Sweetery Festival of Desserts (August 11-12), Vegandale Food Drink Festival (August 11-12), Taste of Manila (August 18-19), Toronto Cider Festival (August 24-25) and Veg Food Fest (September 7-9) – TO NAME JUST A FEW. WHEW! I’m salivating just thinking about these events.

Of course, Caribana is a massive draw to the city, and will be held on August 4 this year. FanExpo will run from August 30-September 2 for comic book, gaming, film and television lovers. All over the city, classical music will be performed for the masses during the Summer Music Festival (July 12-August 4).

I could go on … and on … and on. You will find lists of festivals and attractions in Toronto with a few clicks of your keyboard. Here are only two of the many possibilities for your fun research: blogto.com/radar/2018/06/summer-festivals-toronto-2018/ and www.toronto.ca/explore‑enjoy/festivals-events/. Visitors love Toronto, but residents reap year-round benefits from living in the midst of this dynamic city.

M2M WILL BRING INCREDIBLE CONVENIENCE TO YONGE & FINCH

Baker Real Estate Incorporated has recently launched sales at the fabulous M2M Condos in North York! Situated on Yonge at Cummer Avenue, this condominium is part of the massive master-planned community that will eventually include five residential condo towers with a total of 1,650 suites, a selection of townhomes, plus a daycare and its own park with a playground. Residents will live steps to Yonge and Finch, and minutes to the Finch TTC Subway and Highways 401 and 404. Talk about convenience! Oh, and the Newtonbrook area is alive with amenities such as restaurants, cafés, schools and shopping venues, all just a stroll away.

M2M is brought to you by Aoyuan Property Group, a privately held company that is part of Aoyuan International Investment Group, a subsidiary of China Aoyuan Property Group, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. M2M Condos will be built on the 8.6-acre Newtonbrook Plaza site and will be Aoyuan’s largest master-planned community in Canada. Many people will remember bowling the evening away at the plaza.

Suites in the first release of two towers rising from a shared 8-storey podium begin in price from just $389,900. Suites are available in a wide range of square footages, so something for everyone. The Sales Offices is located at 5915 Yonge Street. For more information, call 416-901-2720 or visit www.m2mcondos.com

LUXURY IS ALWAYS IN DEMAND

Recent media reports show that Toronto luxury sales dropped significantly in the first quarter of 2018 over the same period last year. What these reports often fail to mention is that 2017 was an anomaly, and that this statement covers both low- and high-rise sales. It is true that all sales peaked just before the Fair Housing Plan and 15% foreign buyers tax were implemented. Interestingly, luxury condominium sales have remained strong throughout.

There is also still robust demand for luxury properties in the GTA. They are few and far between, so sales are picking up again. We are also seeing luxury buildings popping up in wonderful locations. Many purchasers are baby boomers who are leaving their large-scale, low-rise homes and right-sizing their accommodations. They are ready for a little pampering. They want a carefree lifestyle while enjoying freedom from outdoor chores, so condos are the perfect choice. The trend is toward boutique residences that are intimate in scale. Buyers also tend to want to stay in the general neighbourhoods they know and love – the places where they raised their families.  These right-sizers want to travel, and again, condos are the logical choice. I have even known a group of friends to purchase suites in the same condominium in order to stay close to each other. It’s a neighbourhood love-fest.

There will always be a segment of the public who want and can afford the most upscale condominium suites and penthouses. These choosy buyers want more convenience, less space and the ability to entertain and relax in stunning surroundings with incredible views. I have traveled the world, and as far as I am concerned, Toronto has the most exciting condominium market anywhere.

Remember that real estate is a cyclical business. We may weather many ups and downs in the economy, but we always do well in the long run, and luxury condos stand the test of time.

DOWNTURN? WHAT DOWNTURN?

When you read media reports about statistics, it is important to place them in the context of the big picture. We see a lot of negativity right now about the prices of new homes being lower than last year. Remember that 2017 was an anomaly in our cyclical real estate industry. New condo prices increased 30 per cent despite the Fair Housing Plan and rising interest rates.  It was a long time coming in Toronto for prices to peak like that.

 

Comparing this year’s sales to that blockbuster year, however, is misleading. In general, new home real estate prices may be down somewhat, but prices are pretty much holding firm for condominiums. Condos remain the strongest market segment in Toronto. Since January, Baker Real Estate Incorporated has launched several projects, and each has proven an unqualified success. It is easy to understand why. Most first-time buyers and Millennials have to favour the lowest price in housing options, and that translates to condos.

 

Demand still exceeds supply when it comes to new condos in Toronto and the GTA, for both investors and end-users. Our employment situation is good; the economy is strong; and we have ongoing immigration from foreign countries and other parts of Canada. Toronto has joined the ranks of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, and relatively speaking, real estate here has been underpriced for a long time. We are catching up, and people of all ages are finding ways to achieve homeownership.

MILLENNIALS HOLD ONTO DREAM OF HOMEOWNERSHIP

Statistics in Zoocasa’s recent Housing Trends Report 2018 show that 84 per cent of Millennials surveyed consider owning a home a life milestone. Compare that to an Ontario Real Estate Association survey facilitated by Nanos Research Corporation, which found that 68.5 per cent of young Ontarians agree or somewhat agree that owning a home in their community is unaffordable. Of course, rents in the GTA are higher than ever as well. With rising interest rates and home and condo prices, the down payment required to buy is elusive for many young potential buyers. The interesting thing is that first-time buyers are finding ways to purchase every day, especially in condominiums.

First-time buyers are saving, receiving financial help from family members, going together to co‑purchase condo suites and doing whatever they can to make ownership happen. The government offers help in the form of tax credits, RRSP withdrawal allowances and GST/HST rebates. Some builders/developers provide incentives that help to reduce the bottom line. Potential buyers understand that getting into the market as soon as possible is wise.

If you have questions about how you might afford a home, check out CMHC’s “Homebuying Step By Step” and “Condominium buyer’s guide” online at www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/buho/.

TORONTO A STAR ON THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL SCENES

Here I am once again, extolling the virtues of Toronto as one of the best cities in the world. Apparently, a lot of people agree with me, as Toronto continues to receive national and international accolades from a variety of sources. For example, this year alone, our city has ranked in the top-10 in six rankings, and in the top 20 in another two.

There are oh, so many reasons why we continue to attract a steady influx of immigrants and newcomers. Many come here for higher education, because we have superb universities and colleges in the city. In fact, recently, the University of Toronto placed 22nd in the 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. In addition, U of T held the distinction of top Canadian university for the eighth consecutive year, and is in the top 10 of publicly funded universities worldwide. The latest U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 Best Global Universities rankings places U of T in the top 20 of global universities; in the top 10 of public universities; and seventh in North America!

And Toronto continues to improve when it comes to other areas of quality of life. Counted among the greenest cities in the world, Toronto is home to a myriad of parks, and the proposed new Rail Deck Park is sure to be a massive lift to the city’s urbanscape. The estimated cost for this signature park is $1.66 billion. The 21-acre green space will be built over electrified GO train passages in the downtown rail corridor. Sounds like this public space will be fabulously functional as well as beautiful. All I can say is, GO, TORONTO, GO!