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Get some Design Intervention at the GTA Home & Reno Show

Get some Design Intervention at the GTA Home & Reno Show

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Get some Design Intervention at the GTA Home & Reno Show

by David Wilkes

GTA Home & Reno Show presented by RE/MAX coming February 16 to 19, 2018 at the International Centre in Mississauga

I love investing in my home. It’s where my family and I start and finish our day, it’s where we relax and entertain — it’s where we live our lives.

I have picked up inspiration and ideas for home improvement projects from home shows over the years. And now I work with the team that creates the four annual events because they are a part of BILD.

With the GTA Home & Reno Show presented by RE/MAX coming up on February 16 to 19, 2018— the Family Day weekend — at the International Centre in Mississauga, I sat down with Toronto Home Shows’ online community manager, Anna Rocoski, and answered a few questions to help explain how visitors can get the most out of the show — and make their next home renovation a success.

Anna Rocoski: How has the GTA Home & Reno Show helped you with your own renovations?

David Wilkes: We were looking to change the exterior of our house, so we went to the show not really knowing what to do or what the cost would be. We talked to a couple of people who were in the renovation business, specializing in stucco and other exterior work, and we were pleased to leave with some ideas. These ideas led to a follow-up visit to another home show and finally to doing business with the renovators. They ended up doing a great job of changing the exterior of our home and we’re happy to this day with the work they’ve done.

AR: What is the best approach when planning a visit to the GTA Home & Reno Show?

DW: There are two ways to go. One way is to go to explore possibilities for making your home different and the other is to go with an idea or plan in mind. We’ve often gone to get ideas and have come away with exactly what we needed to start making a concrete plan. The show is a great investment of your time because you see new things you didn’t think about and learn very specific information on how to undertake a project.

AR: Have you ever tried a DIY home improvement?

DW: Yes, but it didn’t go well. Do-it-yourself takes many forms, from hanging a picture to completing a big kitchen renovation. I tend to let the professionals do the bigger ones, whether inside or outside the home, because I recognize that larger projects require skills that I don’t have. DIY is fun, but you have to have the right tools, the right equipment, the right confidence, and that’s not who I am. I stick to hanging pictures.

AR: What are you most excited about seeing at this year’s GTA Home & Reno Show this year?

DW: I can’t wait to meet RenoMark renovators at the Destination Renovation booth. They’re offering free, 15-minute consultations and I am looking forward to getting professional advice. I’m also a huge fan of Handyman’s Corner, where I can pick up tips on how to improve my picture-hanging skills and tackle other small fixes around the house.

My turn to ask a question: As an insider, what other features of the show would you recommend to people?

AR: In addition to more than 300 vendors, we have expert speakers like HGTV’s Scott McGilligvray, Cityline’s Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault, handyman Chris Palmer, a feature home built by Bonneville Homes, interior designers offering free consultations at Design Intervention (sponsored by Reno & Decor magazine), family activities on Family Day and so much more.

And from experience, I’d say plan your day online at gtahomeandrenoshow.com — and be sure to bring your smart phone for photos, a notebook and a pen.

Dave Wilkes is president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), the voice of the homebuilding, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA.


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Michael Rosset named to BILD Hall of Fame

Michael Rosset named to BILD Hall of Fame

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Michael Rosset named to BILD Hall of Fame

HOMES Publishing Group founder joins ‘illustrious industry leaders’ in BILD Hall of Fame.

Michael Rosset, the founder and publisher of HOMES Publishing Group, was named to the Building Industry and Land Development Association’s (BILD) Hall of Fame during the Chair’s Dinner on January 31, 2018.

Michael Rosset, centre, with Darren Steedman, left, and David Wilkes of BILD.
Michael Rosset, centre, with Darren Steedman, left, and David Wilkes of BILD.

“Last evening I had the extreme and unexpected honour of being inducted into the BILD Hall of Fame,” Rosset said. “They acknowledged many contributions and achievements. But please know that I share this honour with all of my current staff and those who have previously been a part of the HPG team.”

Rosset has been a member of BILD since 1985, served two terms (four years) on the board of directors, was the Member of the Year in 2008, won the Riley Brethour Award in 2016 and helped found BILD’s Builder Baseball charity event.

As well as publishing HOMES Magazine, Condo Life, Active Life, RENO & DECOR, Ontario Design and Renovation Contractor, HPG also produces a special attraction at BILD’s home shows called “Design Intervention,” produces the BILD Contact Member directory, produces the official guides for the BILD home shows, has donated hundreds of pages of editorial and promotion space to BILD, was the founding sponsor of the BILD Renovation and Custom Builder Awards and is a Silver Sponsor for BILD. In 1985, Rosset created HOMES Magazine, the first regular new home magazine in Canada and the first real alternative print vehicle for the GTA market.

“I am deeply humbled by this honour, to be joining so many illustrious industry leaders and pioneers in the Hall of Fame. For 33 years, it has be a joy to work in an industry with so many entrepreneurs and mavericks who embrace and celebrate new ideas and solutions. The support and friendship over the years has been extremely rewarding.

“And of course, none of this would have been possible without the fabulous team at HOMES Publishing Group, who make all things possible.”

During the Chair’s Dinner, other awards were handed out. Jon-Carlos Tsilfidis, president of Fairside Homes and Renovations, won Member of the Year and Corey Libfeld of the Conservatory Group won the Chair’s Award of Merit. As well, Rodney Ikeda of GSNH LLP, George Przybylowski of Construct Canada, Steven Hurst of Yellow Sheet Analytics, and Allan Steedman of Schaeffers Consulting Engineers were named to the Hall of Fame.

The HPG team, from left, Sonia Presotto, Amanda Bell, Jessica MacInnis, Michael Rosset, Frances Mangos, Trish Sutton and Josh Rosset.
The HPG team, from left, Sonia Presotto, Amanda Bell, Jessica MacInnis, Michael Rosset, Frances Mangos, Trish Sutton and Josh Rosset.

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GTA Home & Reno Show

GTA Home & Reno Show

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GTA Home & Reno Show

GTA Home & Reno Show will inspire homeowners to use smart technology, master their next design project and make their home more energy savvy.

Steer your home renovation into the right lane at the GTA Home & Reno Show, presented by RE/MAX at the International Centre in Mississauga on February 16 to 19, 2018. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore more than 300 exhibitors, meet with the GTA’s top contractors, suppliers and design experts and be inspired by renovation and DIY celebrities.

“The GTA Home & Reno Show is a great resource for your next home project, big or small,” said show manager Tina Holmes. “There is always something to do at home, whether inside or outside. From a simple hardware upgrade to a massive renovation, consumers are looking for advice and the hands-on experience they need to tackle any project with confidence.

“This year’s stage lineup and onsite experiences ensure you are on route to transforming your house into a dream home.”

Turn Right at Inspiration

The GTA Home & Reno Show has an amazing lineup that will inspire homeowners to integrate smart technology into their space, master their next design project with ease and make their home more energy savvy.

Control 4, a mini starter home on wheels, showcases new smart home technology and how it can work behind the scenes to complement the decor of any residence.

The cheekily named Granny’s House shows that not all oldies are goodies. Tour this interactive space and experience everything that could be wrong with your home – from drafty outlets to inefficient windows – and learn how to make the right upgrades, saving you energy and reducing your monthly bills.

Inspiring new reno projects and DIY ideas is a stimulating lineup of Canada’s favourite design and renovation celebrities at the CasaLife Main Stage. Presented by Thomasville Cabinetry, HGTV’s Scott McGillivray will be sharing his top do-it-yourself tips. If you’re planning a renovation in 2018, don’t miss TV handyman Chris Palmer, CityLine’s Leigh-Ann Allaire and carpenter craftsman Jordan Spear. If craving design inspiration, don’t miss designers Linda Mazur and Rebecca Hay, as well as colour trend Expert Janice Fedak.

Turn Left at Expert Advice

Once inspired, start planning by sitting down one-on-one with an expert. Test your skills, or gain new skills at one of the show’s many interactive spaces, or bring your pictures, sketches and more for a free consultation with some of the industry’s best personnel:

DIY Tooling Centre: Chat with experts to learn how to handle the tools you need to undertake your next DIY project, from painting to plumbing.

Handyman’s Corner: Canada’s ultimate handyman, Shawn Monteith, will be here to share his secrets, from patching walls to tackling trim.

Destination Renovation presented by BILD & RenoMark: Meet face-to-face with renovators and builders alike for a no-nonsense, one-on-one construction consultations that will save you valuable time and money.

Design Intervention presented by Reno & Decor Magazine:  Celebrity interior designers and decorators will be on hand to offer individual consultations, free advice and expert tips.

Ask a Certified Landscape Design Expert: Transform your outdoor space with a custom 15-minute complimentary talk with top garden and landscape experts.

Feature Home Straight Ahead

Walk through the “Axelle” Feature Home. Built by Bonneville Home, this full-scale home offers inspiration you can see and touch, fusing three design styles into one and showing that traditional beauty can be mixed with a full range of contemporary features.

When you visit the GTA Home & Reno Show you will have arrived at your destination.

The GTA Home & Reno Show

The International Centre
6900 Airport Rd, Mississauga

Friday, February 16  =  10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, February 17  =  10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday, February 18  =  10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Monday, February 19  =  10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

gtahomeandrenoshow.com


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Real Estate Sales 2017 Year-End and 2018 Forecast

Real Estate Sales: 2017 Year-End and 2018 Forecast

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Real Estate Sales: 2017 Year-End and 2018 Forecast

In the GTA, 2017 set a record high in new condo apartment sales and a record low in single-family home sales

In the GTA new home market, 2017 was a year of declining inventory, high prices and strong sales, setting a record high in new condo apartment sales and a record low in single-family home sales, the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) announced January 26, 2018.

Overall in 2017, there were 44,143 new homes sold in the GTA, according to Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new home market intelligence. That makes 2017 the fourth strongest year for new home sales in the GTA since Altus Group started tracking in 2000. Only 2002, 2011 and 2016 had stronger new homes sales, with 2002 being the highest at 53,660 units sold.

Of the new homes sold in 2017, 82.5 per cent (36,429 units) were condominium apartments in low, medium and highrise buildings, stacked townhouses and loft units, the highest number of condo apartments sold in any year in the GTA, while 17.5 per cent (7,714) were single-family homes, including detached, link, and semi-detached houses and townhouses (excluding stacked townhouses), the lowest number sold since Altus Group started tracking in 2000.

“Low inventory and escalating prices across the board are behind the highs and lows of the sales numbers we saw in 2017,” said David Wilkes, BILD’s new president and CEO. “Our industry wants to build new homes to increase the housing supply in the GTA, but we need municipalities to work with us to expedite the process by simplifying the development approval process, updating zoning by-laws to align with provincial policies and servicing developable land with critical infrastructure.”

The supply of new housing is typically measured by the number of new homes available for purchase in builders’ inventories at the end of the month and includes units in pre-construction, under construction and completed projects. At the end of December 2017, there were 11,397 new homes available for purchase, down 13.2 per cent from 13,136 at the end of December 2016 and 60.3 per cent below the 28,739 new homes available 10 years ago. Since 2000, the total inventory at the end of each month has typically been between 20,000 and 30,000 units. For over a year and a half now, it has been below 20,000 units.

The decline in single-family home inventory has been even more dramatic. At the end of December 2017, there were 3,481 new single-family homes available for purchase, down 74.4 per cent from 10 years ago.

New home prices rose again in December 2017, with the benchmark price for available new single-family homes at $1,225,774, which was 23.2 per cent above last December’s benchmark price of $995,116. Meanwhile the benchmark price for available new condo apartments was $716,772 in December, 41.3 per cent above the December 2016 benchmark price of 507,128.

“While many end user buyers have been looking to the new condominium apartment sector for more affordable homes, some are now starting to be priced out of this segment as well,” said Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s executive vice president of Research Consulting Services.

Wilkes said BILD will be raising issues of housing supply and affordability as the municipal elections approach this fall.

“As the GTA prepares for unprecedented growth, we must get this right to ensure the region continues to be one of the most dynamic and vibrant places to live,” he said. “We are calling on governments at all levels to ensure that people who choose to live in the GTA can afford to purchase a new home.”

December 2017 New Home Sales by Municipality

Dec. 2017Condominium ApartmentsSingle-familyTotal
Region201720162015201720162015201720162015
Durham17504321759438125137
Halton1705947539385223152132
Peel87130501215219699282246
Toronto3521,6921,031832173601,7241,048
York21834515565277226283622381
GTA8442,2761,32615962961810032,9051,944
Source: Altus Group

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Robust Activity Will Continue In 2018

The “2018 GTA Flash Report,” which provides a comprehensive review of the real estate market in the GTA based on 2017 data, was released January 26, 2018 by the Altus Group. The report highlights another record-breaking year for total investment property sales volumes, and looks at the performance of commercial leasing, land and residential sectors in the GTA.

Investment property sales, including land sales, as well as sales of office, retail, industrial, hotel and rental apartment properties, reached a total of $23.5 billion in 2017, a 38 per cent increase from 2016 and a record for the seventh consecutive year. Residential land sales contributed a record $8.5 billion to the total, up $2.8 billion over 2016.

In the office-leasing sector, the GTA-wide office vacancy rate fell in 2017 to 8.9 per cent (including vacant but leased space), even with the completion of 13 new office buildings that have added two million square feet of inventory. Most of the new office supply under construction is in the downtown submarket, where the vacancy rate at the end of 2017 was below 6 per cent.

Turning to the new home sector, Altus Group’s data shows that total new home sales in the GTA reached just over 44,000 units in 2017, the fourth highest level on record. New condominium apartment sales, which includes apartments in low, medium and high-rise buildings, lofts and stacked townhouses smashed the previous annual record set in 2016 with just over 36,400 units in 2017.

“Altus Group data show that homebuying intentions remain strong in the GTA, despite the many roadblocks that have been put in potential buyers’ way due to factors such as price escalation in recent years, rising interest rates, tighter lending criteria and additional stress testing,” said Matthew Boukall, senior director at Altus Group.

The buoyancy in the GTA real estate sector in 2017 is poised to continue this year according to Altus Group experts. Below are key predictions for 2018:

Office shared work spaces: The trend of renting workstations within a larger office space will grow in the GTA as low vacancy rates lead to higher rents. Look for this segment to grow not just in the downtown market, but throughout the GTA, as employers look to accommodate staff pushed further out in search of more affordable housing options.

Land sales: Residential land sales are expected to be strong in 2018, although higher prices and various policy changes have introduced more uncertainty to the land market. High-demand areas are likely to remain expensive, which could push some developers to seek more affordable options outside traditional core areas.

New homes market: New condominium apartment sales are expected to remain elevated in 2018. However, surpassing 2017 levels will be a challenge. While investor interest continues to be strong, some end user buyers who have been looking to the new condominium apartment sector for more affordable homes are now starting to be priced out of this segment as well. Some modest increase in new single-family sales is possible, however sales in this segment will continue to be challenged by lack of available product, in particular options that are affordable to a broader range of buyers.

Industrial and Retail: Demand for industrial space will remain strong as online and traditional retailers seek warehouse space to support their e-commerce business strategies. Retailers will continue to shrink their brick and mortar footprint and traditional retail space will continue to evolve as retail centres focus on consumer experiences, especially food themes, to draw in traffic.

Investment Property: Investor appetite will remain strong in 2018. With interest rates moving up, there is potential for some shift away from debt-financed buyers toward more cash-focused institutional buyers.

Download the full “GTA Flash Report 2018” at datasolutions.altusgroup.com/gta-flash-report-2018

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Industry Report: Building Industry Continues to be Undervalued by Government

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Industry Report: Building Industry Continues to be Undervalued by Government

Despite considerable efforts, we have not succeeded in achieving a full, public understanding of the reasons why housing prices are so high

Writing this — my last column for HOMES Publishing Group — conjures bittersweet feelings for me since I retired from the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) on January 1.

What brought me to BILD was the desire to have a positive impact on public policy. I thought this industry should have a voice that is heard by government decision makers. I wanted to elevate the debate that public policy is contributing to the cost of homes in the GTA.

As the president and CEO of BILD, I had the constant support of the members, the board of directors and BILD staff, all who allowed me to tell the industry’s story and do what was right. Their patience allowed me to persevere and to execute my vision, while having fact-based discussions.

I am proud of the progress we have made over the past five years. However, my biggest frustration is how undervalued the industry continues to be perceived by the province of Ontario and many municipalities.

Despite our considerable efforts, we have not succeeded in achieving a full, public understanding of the reasons why housing prices are so high in this region. Housing affordability and the ability to own a home are important components in quality of life, which — along with livelihood — are at risk for our future generations.

The residential and land development industry is one of the most regulated in the country and the prices of homes reflect the policy our industry must follow, and how those policies are implemented. At some point, policy makers will have to say “our policies are creating outcomes that are not in the public interest,” and they will have to listen to the experts that are responsible for building communities. Because what the development and building industry wants to do is to build homes people can afford to purchase — especially first-time buyers.

I have advocated for a streamlined approvals process, shovelready land with proper infrastructure and to update out-of-date zoning bylaws. It is time for all governments to show a true commitment to their promises to make things happen and enact policies that meet the challenges of the rapidly growing population. With that, housing people can afford to purchase may continue to be a reality.

I want to leave this message for young people and new residents who choose to make their homes in this great region: No matter how difficult the situation may seem, continue to maintain the dream of homeownership.

Looking back, what I am most proud of is that BILD has never been more stable from a business perspective with the purchase of the home shows in the GTA. This will enable the organization to be a champion of the industry and have an impact on public policy in Ontario for years to come.

Another important advancement for the building industry occurred on January 1, 2015, when our advocacy efforts were rewarded when the provincial government approved the construction of six-storey wood buildings. It will take time to see the true impact of this policy change, but initial results are very encouraging.

In closing, the best part of my five years has been the amazing people I have met and the wonderful relationships I forged. We really do work in the best industry, in the best city, in the best province and in the best country in the world.

BRYAN TUCKEY is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and is a land-use planner who has worked for municipal, regional and provincial governments. He can be found on Twitter (twitter.com/bildgta), Facebook (facebook.com/bildgta), and BILD’s official online blog (bildblogs.ca).

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Industry Expert: Conquering a Winter Renovation

Industry Expert: Conquering a Winter Renovation

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Industry Expert: Conquering a Winter Renovation

The woes of a winter renovation are vanquished with proper planning and working closely with a professional renovator

Winter might seem like an unusual time to undertake a renovation but, with the right knowledge and a bit of preparation, it can be a great time to add value to your home. “The secret to a successful winter renovation is good planning and working closely with your renovator,” says Sam Lapidus, RenoMark renovator and chair of BILD’s Renovation and Custom Builder Council. Talking to your renovator in advance about potential challenges can help you save time and money in the long run. Snow and cold weather are two of the biggest factors in a winter renovation and they require precautionary measures so nothing is left to chance.

photography: bigstock.com
photography: bigstock.com

CLEAR THE WAY

Major renovations often require you to move out of your home for a few weeks. To ensure that your contractor has easy access to and from your home, you’ll need to make arrangements for shoveling snow and salting steps in your absence. Some renovation companies may offer the service but you’ll need to discuss it in advance. It may come at an added cost, so make sure it is noted in your renovation contract.

WATER HAZARD

When you move out of your home, it will likely cool down significantly even if the heat is still on. This increases the chance of water freezing inside your pipes, which could cause them to burst. To minimize the risk, have a plumber heat the water line coming into your house, or call your municipality to shut the water off at the street side.

BE A GOOD NEIGHBOUR

Homeowners doing a winter renovation in semi-detached houses or townhomes need to be mindful of how it may affect their neighbours. These types of homes have shared walls, and if the temperature in your home drops significantly, it can affect the comfort level of those living on the other side of the wall. If the shared wall is not properly insulated, talk to your renovator about installing some temporary insulation to prevent heat loss. This is another issue that should be discussed in advance as it may result in additional fees.

FLAT ROOF SAFETY MEASURES

Special precautions may be required when renovating homes with flat roofs. Major renovations or additions may compromise the structural durability of the home. Snow can build up on the roof, and if your home is not structurally finished, it may not hold up the weight. For an added fee, your renovator can have someone shovel the snow or have an electrician install a specialized heater. After the renovation, you can choose whether to remove the heater or leave it to prevent snow permanently.

It is very important that your contract outline the full scope of work and all associated costs. Avoid renovators who urge you to forego a written contract. It’s a sign that you are not working with a professional. Verbal agreements make it hard for you to hold your renovator accountable for sub-par work, and you will not have a point of reference if there is a conflict over payment.

Make sure you always work with a professional renovator. There are hundreds of them across the GTA. A good place to find one is at renomark.ca — home of the national RenoMark program. All RenoMark renovators agree to abide by a code of conduct, which holds them to a number of obligations. In addition to providing a written contract, they offer a minimum two-year warranty, are covered by at least $2 million worth of liability insurance and carry all applicable licenses and permits.

Your home is your largest asset, so it deserves a professional, no matter what time of year it is.

Bryan Tuckey is president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association and a land-use planner who has worked for municipal, regional and provincial governments.

Follow him on Twitter @bildgta, facebook.com/bildgta, and bildblogs.ca.


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Predictions for the 2018 real estate market

Welcome to 2018!

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Welcome to 2018!

The only safe prediction for the real estate market for this year is that it will be unpredictable.

by Gale Beeby
HPG Editor-in-Chief

As we head into the Year of the Dog, the only thing I can predict with absolute certainty is that are as many diverse opinions about the state of the real market in the GTA as there are breeds listed by the Canadian Kennel Club.

According to the Chinese zodiac, the dog — full of energy, faithful and intelligent — has a long-held position as the protector of the home and as man’s best friend. So, regardless of what the economists say will happen, perhaps it is an auspicious year for the homebuyers.

MY TOP FIVE PREDICTIONS

Rough Time For First-Time Buyers

This is the sector of the market that is being hit hardest by new government policies, especially the new mortgage qualification stress test imposed by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OFSI). The rule requires anybody buying a property with less than a 20 per cent down payment of their own money (not mom and dad’s) be qualified for their mortgage at either the Bank of Canada’s rate of 4.99 per cent or with an extra 2 per cent added to their approved mortgage rate. Experts think this might eliminate about 10 per cent of buyers out of the market. Many will put off buying a new home until they can save enough money for a down payment under the new rules.

Interest Rates Will Rise

I know, we’ve been hearing that interest rates will increase the last few years, but the Bank of Canada raised the rate in July and September to its current rate of 1 per cent, up from a record low of 0.5 per cent. Experts differ on when — and how much — the Bank of Canada will raise rates, but they do all agree that rates are going up. I’m betting they are and I’m locking in my mortgage in the first quarter of 2018.

Condos Will Be The New Norm in Family Housing

As prices of ground-related housing (detached, semi-detached and townhomes) has escalated to point where most buyers can no longer consider anything but a condo unit in a midrise or highrise building, buyers are looking at multi-residential buildings, not just as an entry into the market, but also as their permanent home.

According to Altus Group, the average price of a condo apartment in the GTA in November was $702,992, while new single-family homes grew to $1,223,610. Builders are responding by designing larger condo units suitable for family living and Toronto is responding by building more schools and community centres around areas of intensification. Growing up in condo will become the new normal for many families in the GTA.

Detached Home Prices Will Continue to Escalate

Supply cannot match demand resulting in a squeeze for anybody with the dream of a owning a detached home anywhere in the GTA. In November, the average price of a new single-detached home was over $1.2 million, 25.1 per cent above November 2016’s benchmark of $977,890, according to Altus Group, adding that single-family home sales represented only 17.3 per cent of the new homes sold in the GTA in November 2017.

But the lower sales do not represent a decline in interest, warns the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD). “Single-family housing is still the first choice for many people, especially for those with families,” said BILD CEO and president Bryan Tuckey.

The reasons for the lack of land supply is complicated — Places to Grown policy, Greenbelt restrictions, lack of serviceable land to name a few — but the fact is there are fewer detached homes being built.

Buyers will be moving out of the GTA in order to afford a new house. Hotspots will include the Kitchener-Waterloo area, Burlington, Hamilton, the Niagara Region and Bowmanville.

New Appeals Process Will Continue to Slow Development

In December, the province passed legislation to eliminate the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and replace it with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT). Over the years, the OMB suffered from a reputation that was less than stellar, with many believing that the board sided with the developers in most appeals, which is, in fact, not the case. And, of course, an OMB appeal caused a lengthy delay, costing the builder/developer money, which is passed on to the homebuyer.

The government says that LPATs, on the other hand, will be an independent tribunal with the hopes of making the land-use planning appeal process faster, fairer and more affordable, and allowing community members have a say in how their neighbours are shaped. That’s a good thing, really, as community involvement should always be welcomed by developers.

However, I don’t believe that the LPATs will take any less time to resolve an appeal than the OMB. These things take time, and with more people involved, and more depositions to hear, LPATs could actually take longer. And when the tribunal is no longer made up of independent members who decide on a development using fact-based planning principles, then decisions are bound to be based on the dreaded NIMBY code rather than on whether the proposal has merit in and of itself.

Just remember, the Distillery District would not have come into existence if it were up to the City of Toronto — the OMB gave it the green light. And that’s just one example of a good planning decision made by the OMB.

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY

New Housing

The Conference Board of Canada expects an overall modest increase for single-family homes in 2018 and predicts the economy to grow by only 2 per cent in 2018, which will inhibit Canadians’ ability to buy new homes. The building industry has responded by making the shift toward multi-residential buildings, with two out of three new homes built today multi-family. However, Toronto’s real gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow 2.5 per cent in 2018, showing few signs of problems on the horizon for the region. The real estate sector will continue to benefit from this robust economic performance. People still crave the live-work-play lifestyle in the core and companies, eager to be close to talent, are moving into new office spaces nearby to fill the new tech and research jobs they’re creating. Urban intensification will continue, especially in Toronto, where the GTA will see significant densification efforts.

PWC reports that the condominium market will perform steadily in the near term, with demand steady in most markets. Downtown cores remain most attractive to young professionals, retiring boomers and young families. The size of condo units has been slowly increasing, the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) reports, in answer to the demand of family-sized units.

Resale Housing

According to research by the Bank of Canada and reported by the Canadian Real Estate Association, which oversees the resale housing market in Canada, tightened mortgage rules will reduce sales activity across Canada in the first half of 2018, particularly in and around Toronto and Vancouver. Some homebuyers will stay out of the market as they save for a larger down payment. Taking these factors into account has led CREA to revise its sales forecast for 2018. CREA also anticipates that tighter mortgage regulations will lead some buyers to opt for a smaller, lower priced home.

Re/Max predicts national home prices will increase by 2.5 per cent in 2018, with the GTA facing a flat year except in downtown Toronto and some suburban areas west of Toronto, including Oakville and Brampton.

Royal LePage predicts a 4.9 per cent price increase nationally and a price increase of 6.8 per cent in the GTA.



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The View From Inside: The Ups and Downs of 2017

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The View From Inside: The Ups and Downs of 2017

By: Boaz Feiner, Geranium

There is no crystal ball to predict precisely what will happen and when it will occur in the real estate market. Despite builders’ best efforts to examine existing conditions and deduce from the past, there are many government and economic influences over which we have no control. This past year has been especially unpredictable for housing across Canada, in Ontario and, here, in the GTA.

During 2017, housing has been affected by the implementation of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan. Among the 16 measures, many are focused on the rental market. However, included in the plan is a 15 per cent Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST), which applies to homes purchased in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area (GGHA) by non-citizens or non-permanent residents of Canada. This measure had a greater initial impact in “cooling” the market than is justified by the 5 per cent of the GGHA’s new sales attributed to nonresident buyers.

Additionally, the continued rise in house and condo prices creating red hot markets became a focus of the federal government, prompting an increase in lending rates, followed by a tightening of eligibility measures, and ultimately causing a ripple of buyer concern. On top of this, a multitude of confusing and conflicting media reports about what was happening in the resale and new housing market fueled further uncertainty among buyers and sellers alike.

With summer’s approach, many potential resale homebuyers in the GTA, perhaps fed up with bidding wars, sat on the sidelines waiting to see what would happen. Meanwhile, sellers gleefully believed in the rising price of their existing home despite sales to the contrary. By September, home prices had either leveled or were rising again, depending upon specific location. Throughout fall, sales in certain price ranges gained momentum and it now appears that some stability is returning.

Turning to the new home market, the picture is a little different. The price of land continues to rise; municipalities are increasing development charges; and the cost of building, including skilled labour and materials, is holding or rising. These all have an impact on the end purchase price of a new home.

Here’s a snapshot of new home statistics from the Greater Toronto Area New Homes Monthly Market Report to the end of September 2017, according to data released by Altus Group: lowrise sales year-to-date were down 3 per cent over the same period in 2016, yet lowrise prices were up 21.4 per cent over September 2016.

Those of us involved in the industry are optimistic that 2018 will bring further stability. Our economy is strong and lending rates remain historically low, which is good news. Our company is planning for continued demand for new homes, which we’ve done successfully for the past 40 years. The privilege of owning a home remains a Canadian dream for those who have been here for generations and newcomers alike.

On behalf of Geranium, we wish you and your families a safe and happy New Year.

Boaz Feiner, is president of Geranium and a former member of the BILD Board of Directors. Celebrating 40 years in business, Geranium has created many superb master-planned communities including more than 8,000 homes in Ontario.

Geranium.com

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BILD - Building Industry and Land Development Association

BILD names David Wilkes to post of president, CEO

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BILD names David Wilkes to post of president, CEO

The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) board of directors is pleased to announce the appointment of David Wilkes to the position of president and chief executive officer effective January 3. Wilkes takes over from Bryan Tuckey, who has been at the helm for five years.

“We are thrilled that David will join BILD and lead it through its next period of growth,” said Darren Steedman, chairman of the board of directors. “This is the culmination of an extensive search process. We are pleased to have found an individual with the background, skills and leadership to take BILD to new levels of advocacy.”

“This is an exciting time for BILD and I am delighted to be taking on the role of president and CEO,” said Wilkes. “I’m ready for the challenge of leading an industry that employs over 197,000 people and brings $30 billion in investment value to the Greater Toronto Area.”

Wilkes was most recently the senior vice president of government relations and grocery at the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) where he provided leadership to a national team that was responsible for RCC’s government relations activities at the national, provincial and municipal levels.

In 2011, he established RCC’s Grocery Division and the unique CEO-based forum known as the Grocer Manufacturer Collaborative, both of which were precedent-setting initiatives.

Wilkes brings more than 25 years of senior management experience and has provided strategic leadership for the retail industry as a passionate spokesman, appearing in front of parliamentary committees, senior cabinet ministers and industry groups.

Wilkes has a longstanding commitment to volunteer activities and currently serves on the Ryerson School of Retail advisory board and the Ontario Curling Association board of directors. He served on a variety of industry boards and committees including GS1 Canada Grocery, Foodservice and General Merchandise Boards, Toronto Food Incubator Board of Directors, George Brown College Board of Governors and Ministerial Advisory Committee on Underground Economy.

With more than 1,450 member companies, BILD is the voice of the homebuilding, residential and non-residential land development and professional renovation industry in the Greater Toronto Area. BILD is proudly affiliated with the Ontario and Canadian Home Builders’ Associations.

http://www.bildgta.ca/

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Record October 2017 for new condo sales

Record October 2017 for new condo sales

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Record October 2017 for new condo sales

Average price for available new detached homes rises to $1,548,888

New construction home sales soared in the GTA in the month of October, primarily driven by sales of multi-family homes, condo apartments in highrise and midrise buildings and stacked townhomes, the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) announced November 24.

There were 5,377 new homes sold in October, according to Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new home market intelligence. About 91 per cent of them (4,884 units) were multi-family homes and only 9 per cent (493) were lowrise single-family homes such as detached and semi-detached houses and townhomes. Condo sales for October were 81 per cent above the 10-year average of 2,697, and the highest October yet recorded, while lowrise sales were 64 per cent below the 10-year average of 1,388.

As of the end of October, 39,476 new homes have been sold in the GTA in 2017, 82 per cent of them condo apartments in highrise and midrise buildings and stacked townhomes.

“October data shows that the new homebuyer is left with very little choice when it comes to purchasing a new home,” said BILD president and CEO Bryan Tuckey.

“Provincial intensification policy has our members building more high and midrise dwellings making housing choices a challenge. The cost of a single-family home is out of reach for many consumers pushing them to buy a condo over a house. As a result we are seeing record-breaking condo sales and higher prices this year for new lowrise homes.”

While supply of new housing increased again in October and reached 12,500 units, it is still well below what is considered a healthy level. Supply of new housing is typically measured by the number of new homes available for purchase in builders’ inventories at the end of the month. At the end of October, there were 9,308 multi-family homes and 3,192 single-family homes available in the GTA.

“Demand for newly-built condominium apartments is being fueled by three key buyer groups – small investors who have become the de facto providers of new rental housing supply in the GTA; end user buyers who might prefer a single-family home but are seeking out more affordable options; and the more traditional end users who value the lifestyle and amenities of well-located projects,” said Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s executive vice president of research consulting services.

Prices of available new homes in October increased slightly for both single-family lowrise homes and multi-family homes. The average for available new single-family homes was $1,217,428 up from $1,204,829 in September, and 29.8 per cent above last October’s average price of $937,689. The average price for available new detached homes was $1,548,888 and the average for available new townhomes was $995,571.

Meanwhile the average price of available new condo apartments in highrise and midrise buildings and stacked townhomes was $677,456 in October, up from September’s $661,188. The average price per square foot was $791 and the average unit size was 857 square feet.

October 2017

Highrise

Lowrise

Total

Region

2017

2016

2015

2017

2016

2015

2017

2016

2015

Durham

15

97

26

209

329

325

224

426

351

Halton

158

375

199

75

514

246

233

889

445

Peel

89

203

174

62

178

486

151

381

660

Toronto

3,994

1,509

2,307

2

22

66

3,996

1,531

2,373

York

628

687

573

145

625

695

773

1,312

1,268

GTA

4,884

2,871

3,279

493

1,668

1,818

5,377

4,537

5,097

Source: Altus Group



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