≈ Comments Off on 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
To read the entire press release about the
statistics, visit https://bit.ly/2qBtlZ7
Once again, the City of Toronto is racking up impressive world rankings in a number of areas. Recently, Toronto was chosen by KISI (https://bit.ly/2M6R6RH) as one of the top 40 cities in the world for Best Work-Life Balance 2019. The parameters of the study included Work Intensity, Society and Institutions, and City Livability. Toronto came in 13th out of the 40 cities considered.
KISI is a mobile access technology company of keyless security experts.
To conduct this study, they began by choosing in-demand metropolitan areas
around the globe with “sufficient, reliable, and relevant datasets.” The
ranking was based on an assessment of how much time people dedicate to their
job, including commuting and working hours, along with several other considerations
such as equal treatment, health and welfare programs, overall happiness, safety
and access to leisure activities.
It is easy to understand why Toronto ranked high. Our city is a magnet
for immigrants because of the quality of life we enjoy. The purpose of KISI’s
study is to make municipalities and countries aware of how they can enhance the
happiness and productivity of their residents. I agree – they can all take a
lesson from Toronto!
Great news on the new home front! According to the Altus Group statistics
released by BILD in September, a strong new home market in the GTA continued
with total new home sales up 73 per cent from last September, and 6 per cent
above the 10-year average. Condominium sales rose 39 per cent from last
September and were also 6 per cent above the 10-year average. The benchmark (typical
condo) price was up 6.5 per cent over the last 12 months.
This is in keeping with the national trend occurring in home sales across
Canada. The Canadian Real Estate Association reports that in September, sales
in our large metropolitan areas increased 15.5 per cent from one year ago. The
national average price for homes sold in September was up 5.3 per cent from
September 2018. In addition, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s
recently released annual forecast increased its housing starts estimate to
204,300 (4 per cent higher) for 2020 and predicts Toronto home prices will rise
as much as 5 per cent next year.
Overall, the news is good, so if you are on
the fence about purchasing a new condominium, it is time to take the jump and
add a suite (or two or more) to your financial and/or lifestyle portfolios.
The United Building by Davpart Inc. ushers in a whole new
lifestyle at University Avenue and Dundas Street West in Toronto. This
mixed-use re-envisioning of the historic Maclean Publishing/Maclean Hunter
building now includes a new collection of suites, plus a hot new incentive
program – 10 per cent down and a three-year leaseback program.
What a spectacular opportunity for anyone considering
living in this new landmark on Toronto’s cityscape! ERA Architects and B+H
Architects have created a striking exterior featuring the restored heritage
structure housing office and retail at the base, with a new contemporary
residential tower rising above it (rising to 54 storeys in total).
Talk about location! The building will include direct
access to the St. Patrick’s TTC station, and the 505 streetcar stops at the
door. Even more convenient, there are numerous amenities within walking
distance. Skating at Nathan Phillips Square, taking in
an exhibition at the AGO, taking a course at Ryerson University or University of
Toronto, and shopping at Eaton Centre are all just a stroll away.
Right in the building, residents will enjoy the exclusive use of a
party room, fitness facilities, 4-season reflecting pool, sauna and rain room,
among other amenities. Suite choices range from studios to three-bedroom + den
The Presentation Centre is located at 481 University Avenue, at the
corner of Dundas, on the main floor. For more information, call 416-849-7700 or
register at www.theunitedbldg.com
≈ Comments Off on DISCOVER PRESTIGE PLUS AT 11 | YV
Coming soon from the visionary team of Metropia, RioCan and Capital
Developments, 11 Yorkville Residences will offer the ultimate in luxury living
at a prestigious Toronto address. This 62-storey condominium gets high marks
for everything from world-renowned architecture by award-winning Sweeney &
Co to its amazing location. In fact, 11 Yorkville rates a 100 per cent WalkScore®
and a 97 per cent Transit Score. From this iconic building, you can be at
University of Toronto in eight minutes, Ryerson University in 10, and Union
Station in 14.
This pinnacle residence is surrounded by a new community park and some of
Toronto’s most elite retail venues. From studios to three-bedroom layouts,
purchasers will find exquisite suite designs enhanced by elegant features and finishes.
When Miele appliances are standard in the kitchen, you know you can look
forward to sophisticated living. Kitchen appointments also include a marble
hood enclosure, a marble island with waterfall and integrated dining table, and
custom wine and stemware storage. With ceiling heights at 9’, 9’6” and 10’, the
effect of these beautiful designs will be stunning.
Add to that the impressive roster of building amenities, and you have an
irresistible package for the discerning purchaser. Among these are the Wine Tasting/Piano Lounge, Bordeaux Lounge, Theater,
Business Centre, Kids Recreation Centre, Pet Spa, Outdoor
Zen water feature, Outdoor lounge area with BBQ, indoor-outdoor infinity pool
and hot tub surrounded by a fireplace and black
marble, Fitness Studio, Men’s and Women’s Spa
with steam rooms, and a TV Lounge/Chef’s
are being taken for private appointments to tour the fabulous presentation
centre and model suite. Visit https://bit.ly/2kO5TVv
We hear so much
about new home affordability eroding in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area,
and how difficult it is for first-time buyers to realize homeownership – but I
wonder how many consumers realize that the fees imposed by our governments
contribute significantly to the cost. Recently, BILD commissioned a report by
Altus Group to examine government fees, taxes and charges on new homes in the
GTA, and it turns out they are among the highest in North America.
For the average
new single-family home, these charges add $222,000 to the cost, which on a
per-unit basis is nearly double those in other Canadian urban areas, and three
times higher than on average in six U.S. metropolitan areas. Government-related
fees in the GTA add around $124,000 to the cost of an average high-rise condo
suite, which is approximately 30 per cent higher than in other Canadian urban
areas, and one-and-a-half times those in six U.S. metropolitan areas. To say
the charges here are disproportionate is an understatement.
When it comes
to government, transparency is important. Canadians have the right to know
exactly what we are paying in the way of government-imposed fees, and why. All
three levels of government have the responsibility to help hard-working
Canadians, yet the existing new home scenario is counterproductive. At least in
the U.S., the government does not impose sales tax on new homes, whereas here
in Canada, that figure ranges from 5 to almost 15 per cent before applying
rebates. Even worse, our charges here continually increase as new fees and
development charges are imposed, making this scenario difficult to resolve.
extreme charges, the new home market in Toronto and the GTA has been, and
remains robust. Unless our governments at all levels take a more realistic look
at charges on new homes, there is no telling how long this can last. To read
BILD’s news release, visit https://bit.ly/2lX8RY5
Life in the vertical community we call a condominium involves meeting
neighbours on a regular basis in hallways, elevators and amenity spaces. In
order to keep things humming along on a positive note, following the “golden
rule” is paramount. Check the code of conduct your board of directors sets out
and abide by the guidelines. These exist to protect
your, and everyone’s health, safety, privacy, comfort and enjoyment. These may
cover restrictions on pets, what you can place on your balcony, conduct
when using the building amenities, etc.
Disagreements can escalate if not addressed, and communicating with
members of the board is critical. They are approachable and can mediate any
negative situations that arise. After decades in the new condominium industry,
I can tell you that it amazes me how well things run in these residences.
Living in a condo can be a lot of fun – and so can serving on the board of
directors. Board members often become friends, even though they typically hail
from a variety of backgrounds including sales, law, administration, landscaping
and the like.
Remember that your happiness and enjoyment in a condominium is really up to you. To find out more about the rights and responsibilities of condominium owners, check out Consumer Protection Ontario’s website on “Owning a Condo” at www.ontario.ca/page/owning-a-condo. And make the “golden rule” your day-to-day rule.
You don’t have to crane your neck to
see that Toronto once again holds the record for the most construction cranes
of any city in North America! We saw similar headlines in August 2018, and in
January and March of this year. Now, the Rider Levett Bucknall Crane Index
reports that in July, we had 120 active cranes in the city, ranking us as
having the most real estate development on the continent. That is 16 cranes
more than we had in January, and 23 more than 2018. In fact, we have twice the
number of cranes than the next cities on the list, Seattle and Los Angeles,
which tie for second place with 49 each. It is no surprise that in Toronto, the
peak has largely to do with high-rise condominiums.
Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area
are growing concerns when it comes to new home real estate. Condos remain the
most attainable choices, and sales are on the upswing this year since a slower
first quarter. Now, with the Bank of Canada stress test rate being changed in
favour of buyers, we should see increased sales and even more cranes up in the
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.
≈ Comments Off on 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/.