In May, BILD released the Altus Group statistics for April GTA new home sales, and once again, things looked great for condominiums. Condo sales were up 137 per cent from April 2018 and 37 per cent above the 10-year average. In fact, total new home sales were up 123 per cent from last year, and approximately even with the 10-year average. Overall, this bodes well for the new construction industry.

As for condos, the number of new towers launched had a lot to do with increased sales. The benchmark price was up 2.5 per cent over the past 12 months. Things are definitely on an upswing for this resilient market. With immigration continually bringing in new buyers, and with prices keeping many out of the low-rise market, condos will undoubtedly be the new homes of choice for years to come!

M2M - Master Plan Rendering

M2M Condos


Canada’s Federal Budget 2019 provides some help for first-time home buyers in the form of the CMHC First-Time Home Buyer Incentive. Qualified buyers will be able 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. Considering today’s prices in the Greater Toronto Area, this may still not be a deciding factor for many would-be homeowners. Nowadays, at Baker Real Estate Incorporated, we see the bank of mom and dad as a popular option for those who have parents to turn to. And condominiums are, by virtue of financial attainability, the choice for most first-time buyers.

Many parents are looking at the purchase of a condo for their children to live in while attending university or college, and then eventually, a retirement residence for themselves. They may also look at it as an investment they can bequeath someday as well. Condos across the GTA are increasing in equity quickly, often before owners actually move in. Encouraging children to enter the real estate market and making it possible to achieve that goal is one of the most loving things parents can do. Real estate is a cyclical business, and nothing can happen until people buy their first homes. They become the move-up buyers of the future and the right-sizers as they age. Smart parents buy sooner rather than later!


The United Building


Soon, history will be made on Toronto’s urban landscape when Davpart Inc. introduces The United Building at University Avenue and Dundas Street West. Registrations are now being taken for condominium residences in this spectacular mixed-use re-envisioning of the historic Maclean Publishing/Maclean Hunter building.

Davpart enlisted the impressive firms of ERA Architects and B+H Architects to design the exterior, which will create a new landmark on the cityscape. It will feature 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). Imagine the opportunity to live, work and play on one of the City’s most distinguished thoroughfares.

And the convenience! Residents will have direct access to the St. Patrick’s TTC station from right inside the building, and the 505 streetcar from the front door. And of course, they will be able to walk to an enviable array of local amenities including Nathan Phillips Square, the GAO, Ryerson University, University of Toronto and Eaton Centre.

Kudos to Davpart for working hard to preserve this beautiful building, which is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act and listed on the City of Toronto Inventory of Heritage Properties. Residential interiors by Tomas Pearce Interior Design Consulting are the icing on this lifestyle cake. Amenities will range from an absolutely stunning lobby housing 24/7 concierge service to lounges, a party room, fitness facilities, an idea room, a 4-season reflecting pool, plus a sauna and rain room. The opportunities for exercising, socializing and entertaining will be phenomenal. Suite choices will range from studios to three-bedroom + den designs – something for everyone! Register NOW at


The United Building


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. 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