LIBERTY MARKET TOWER OFFERS FINAL OPPORTUNITY TO BUY A NEW CONDO IN VIBRANT LIBERTY VILLAGE

Tags

, , , , ,

Soon, Lifetime Developments will launch sales at Liberty Market Tower on the last developable piece of land in the vibrant Liberty Village neighbourhood. This visionary developer had the foresight to initiate the transformation of the Liberty Village area years ago, and today, it is one of Toronto’s most coveted addresses. On the WalkScore.com website, Liberty Village is rated a Walker’s and Rider’s and Biker’s Paradise. Residents are well connected to shops, parks, dining, nightlife and more, similar to the Village in New York City. It is a mere 5-minute walk to The Exhibition GO Station and the 504 King Streetcar.

2020.02.18 LMT

Liberty Market Tower also has an important historical element. It is the site of the Bren gun weapons factory during the Second World War. The new 28-storey condominium will feature retail on the ground level with seven floors of commercial space on top of that. The 8th floor will encompass a unique residence indoor/outdoor, 12,000 square-foot amenity terrace that will encompass a shipping container refurbished as an outdoor “freight lounge.” The views from this floor and above are absolutely astonishing, including the lake and the BMO Field.

Lifetime Developments’ dream design team features award-winning Wallman Architects and for the interiors, prestigious Cecconi Simone has collaborated with renowned artist Anthony Ricciadi. With suites spanning the gamut from studios to three-bedroom layouts, with square footages from 400 to over 900 square feet, there is certainly something for everyone. And what a spectacular way to bring this historic location into the 21st Century! For the best opportunity to own, register now at https://libertymarkettower.com/

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA TO CHANGE STRESS TEST CRITERIA

As the housing market is critical to the economic and social health of a country, the Government of Canada has the responsibility to help keep the industry stable and healthy. Our long-time conservative banking practices have saved us from the crisis the United States hit a few years ago. The mortgage stress test implemented in Canada in 2018 was one such measure. Its goal was to ensure that people could afford to keep their homes if interest rates should rise.

The stress test also cooled the housing market, especially with first-time and move-up buyers postponing purchases en masse, so has been controversial. All three levels of our Builders’ Associations in Canada, the Toronto and Canadian Real Estate Associations and many mortgage professionals and Canadian banking executives called for the stress test to be revisited. In response to this situation, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that the Government of Canada is changing the benchmark rate used to determine the minimum qualifying rate for insured mortgages. The new rate, which will come into effect on April 6, 2020, will be the weekly median 5-year fixed insured mortgage rate from mortgage insurance applications, plus 2 per cent.

2020.02.24 Blog

In the Government’s press release issued on February 18 (https://bit.ly/32fJB05), the point is made that the adjustment makes the stress test “more representative of the mortgage rates offered by lenders and more responsive to market conditions.” The stress test has protected buyers from overextending their ability to make their mortgage payments. Nowadays, however, with unemployment low, immigration high and interest rates still historically low, it is not as necessary. The adjustment will benefit all involved.

DRIVING HOME THE NEED FOR MORE TRANSPORTATION IN TORONTO

Toronto Mayor John Tory is a champion for expanding transit in the City, stating that it is one of his top priorities in 2020. After months of negotiations, in Fall 2019, City Council voted in favour of a proposed transit deal with the province. Mayor Tory says to watch for visible signs of the first steps by the end of the year.

2020.01.29 Blog

This is great news, as the Ontario Government will invest $28.5 billion to create a public transit system that will be a major lifestyle improvement for those who live in and commute to Toronto. The four major projects include the Ontario Line (subway following the contours of the Downtown Relief line), three-stop Scarborough Line 2 East Extension, Yonge North Subway Extension and Eglinton West LRT. (https://bit.ly/38uii3V) In addition, the TTC is retaining operations of the transit network.

Approximately 1.7 million people commute every day within Toronto and from surrounding areas, making our public transit system the largest in Canada, and the third-largest in North America. The need for expansion and updating is critical. Even though the Hamilton rapid transit plan was cancelled, we have been assured that the plan for Toronto will go ahead.

Overall, we are already seeing progress on transit work. Just look at the Crosstown station at Mount Pleasant Road and Eglinton Avenue East, where concrete is slated to be poured in the northeast work zone later this week. That’s just one example of the works in progress. Kudos to everyone who has worked so hard on the overall picture. Toronto just keeps getting better!

GTA CONDO SALES ROBUST IN DECEMBER AND ALL OF 2019

BILD has released the most recent Altus Group statistics for new home and condo sales in the GTA. Overall, 2019 sales were far and above those of 2018, which were the lowest since 1996.

Once again, condominiums fared really well, up 27 per cent from 2018 and 16 per cent above the 10-year average. In December alone, condo sales were up 132 per cent from the previous December, and 63 per cent above the 10-year average. That month, the benchmark price for new condos reached $916,585, up 15 per cent over the previous 12 months.
2020.02.03 Blog

This is great news for condominium owners, whether they live in their suites or rent them out. With the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto at $2,300, the potential for a condo as a lucrative addition to a financial portfolio is appealing.

Of course, we still hear about affordability being a problem, but obviously, people are finding ways to purchase condominiums. Relatively attainable price points (compared to low-rise), excellent locations, amazing architecture, spectacular amenities, superb features and finishes … condos will be a driving force on the new home landscape for years to come!

TORONTO NAMED ONE OF THE TOP 10 MOST VALUABLE CITY BRANDS IN THE WORLD

Global City Lab’s analysis report released in December 2019 ranked the top 500 city brands in the world. Toronto came in 10th, and was the only Canadian city in the top 10. Based on the dimensions of reputation, governance, culture, economy, environment and talent, Toronto’s brand value was set at US $773 billion. That Toronto has done so well with urban branding is a triumph in competing on a global scale.

2020.01.20 Blog

According to the researchers at Global City Lab, the first professional organization to evaluate city brand values, a city brand embodies a city’s core competitiveness. A brand ranking is an indication of national power. It also reflects the “story” the city can tell through its residents, government and media. And Toronto certainly tells a wonderful story. In the past few months alone, Toronto was ranked as one of the world’s most beautiful cities by travel site Flight Network; the 7th most livable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual Global Liveability Report; and one of the world’s most innovative cities by JLL’s Global Research team. Those are just a few of the accolades our wonderful city has earned over the past year.

Now, let’s add all of this to the recent announcement that Canada’s economy is on an expected path to reach the eighth largest in the world spot (after being 10th in 2018 and 2019) on the London-based Centre for Economics and Business Research, and the overall picture is outstanding. GO TORONTO, GO CANADA!

NEW CONDOS CONTINUE TO REIGN IN GTA

Tags

, , ,

BILD has released the Altus Group statistics for November 2019, and the news is good on all fronts. Overall, new home and condo sales were up 53 per cent from November 2018 and 19 per cent above the 10-year average.  Condo sales were up 32 per cent over November 2018 and 29 per cent above the 10-year average. According to Altus Group, when we receive the statistics for 2019 as a whole, new condo sales will be among the top four years ever!

2020.01.02-go-condos

Add to that the fact that the benchmark price for new condos was $866,827, up 10.2 per cent over the previous 12 months, and you have all the more reason to get into the market now, if you have not already.

In the BILD news release, President and CEP David Wilkes remarks that he anticipates a strong demand for new homes right into 2020. He also points out that in order to ensure stable prices and keep the industry supplying great jobs and contributing toward economic growth, the focus has to be on increasing housing supply.

Mortgage interest rates remain unbelievably low – for now – so NOW is the best time to get into new condominium ownership!

YET ANOTHER REASON TO LIVE IN TORONTO

Tags

, , , ,

Toronto has joined the ranks of the finest cosmopolitan areas in the world, largely because of the high quality of life residents enjoy – and that quality continues to rise. This month, Mayor John Tory was one of the 14 leaders who signed the C40 Cities Declaration at the World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen.

The declaration urges the reduction of meat consumption and food waste, and making more plant-based options affordable and sustainable. By signing, the Mayors committed to achieve a planetary health diet by 2030, and to consider climate action in all urban decision-making. This comes at an opportune time, as we just saw thousands of residents take part in the Global Climate Strike across the city.

Congratulations Toronto, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Guadalajara, Lima, London, Los Angeles, Milan, Oslo, Paris, Quezon City, Seoul, Stockholm and Tokyo for taking this important step forward in the sustainability of our planet!

“UNTITLED” AN EXCITING CREATIVE COLLABORATION

You may have read the news already – Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties are collaborating with Pharrell Williams to bring curated condominiums to Yonge and Eglinton. Called untitled, this collection will include two towers at this in-demand location.

Why Pharrell? The partnership was born out of a desire to do something really unique for Toronto and architecture as a whole. Reserve and Westdale believe by bringing in a cultural icon with vision and ideation from outside the realm of real estate it would help break the mold in terms of what has traditionally been done.

The amazingly creative Pharrell Williams is collaborating with Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties on untitled, a collection of curated condominiums at Yonge and Eglinton in Toronto.

The Grammy Award-winning artist, producer, songwriter, philanthropist, fashion designer and entrepreneur is known for high-profile collaborations, including a capsule collection with Chanel and a long-standing relationship with Adidas and Human Made. Other collaborative projects include an upcoming Youth Centre in Virginia Beach with Oppenheim Architecture + Design, work with Zaha Hadid Architects and the creation of the Something in the Water Festival. Pharrell’s collaboration with Reserve and Westdale marks his first foray into multi-residential development.

Pharrell worked alongside Reserve Properties, Westdale Properties, and the design team, responding to everything from the vision and materiality of the architectural facade, to the overall interior programming and even the furnishing choices for individual spaces. The fabulous amenity spaces the team collaborated on will include a expansive spa, gym and yoga studio, basketball court, rooftop dining with barbecues and pizza ovens, plus an indoor/outdoor swimming pool as well as a co-working garden lounge to name a few.

Pharrell even helped decide on the name of the project explaining how untitled reflects the concept that physical space is a backdrop upon which residents can make their homes their own.

The project is most exciting, and talk about an all-star team! Exteriors are by IBI Group architects, and interiors are by U31, both firms that have earned international renown.untitled is just steps to the Yonge Street Subway Line and the LRT. Purchasers can choose from studios to three-bedroom designs, all with a balcony. It is all truly fresh, new and exciting. To register, visit http://untitledtoronto.com/

BRAVO FOR BILL 145 PASSING SECOND READING

On Monday, November 25, Bill 145 passed a 2nd reading. It took only 2½ hours of debate to pass the “Trust in Real Estate Services Act 2019,” which if it passes a 3rd reading and Royal Assent, will replace the Real Estate and Business Act, 2002. The Real Estate Council of Ontario administers and enforces the Act to regulate the more than 86,000 registered sales people, brokers and brokerages in the province. This legislation protects consumers by helping to ensure that real estate professionals conduct themselves ethically. I support this move by the provincial government – something for which Ontario REALTORS® have been advocating for years.

On Nov. 25, Bill 145 passed a 2nd reading. The “Trust in Real Estate Services Act 2019” replaces the outdated Act that regulates registered real estate professionals in Ontario.

Among the many improvements this bill incorporates are enhanced customer protection through increased transparency, improved professionalism, the streamlining of the code of ethics and adding to the Real Estate Council of Ontario’s ability to encourage compliance, and the creation of a stronger business environment including a potential specialist certification program. In addition, the new act permits real estate professionals to form personal real estate corporations so they will pay taxes at much lower corporate rates. It’s win-win all around, as it will make Ontario a North American leader in establishing professional standards for real estate professionals!

Things are happening quickly, so if you want to help make the “Trust in Real Estate Services Act 2019” a reality, you can contact your local MPP and ask that person to vote YES to Bill 145 www.REBBAReform.ca/action.html, and go onto social media and send emails to encourage others to contact their MPPs. To read the new act, visit The Legislative Assembly of Ontario at https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-145

ALTUS GROUP STATS SHOW OCTOBER CONDO SALES ABOVE 10-YEAR AVERAGE

It is always exciting to read BILD’s posting of the Altus Group statistics. The numbers for October show that condo sales in the GTA accounted for 3,424 out of the total 4,720 new home sales. The result was 13 per cent above the 10-year average.

In addition, the benchmark price of new condominiums was up to $833,827, which is 7.5 per cent over the last 12 months. As I always say, condominiums are a great lifestyle and financial investment for both end-users and investors.

I also agree with BILD President and CEO David Wilkes, who applauds the provincial government’s commitment to achieving long-term balance in the housing market. He, I and many other new home professionals have been saying that the process to bringing new homes to market should be faster and easier in order to fill the demand and be fair to everyone involved. To read the entire press release about the statistics, visit https://bit.ly/2qBtlZ7