All posts by Dave Gray

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Boutique hotel bathroom

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Boutique hotel bathroom

Photography By Erik Rotter

Whether it’s time spent getting ready in the morning, enjoying the ritual of primping for an evening out, or unwinding in the tub at the end of a long workday, we spend a generous amount of time in our master bathrooms each and every day. That’s why it’s equally as important to shower your master bathroom space with sophisticated design elements as it is in the rest of your home. Here are a few tips for creating a thoughtfully curated space that bathes your bathroom in beautiful design.

Be open to reinterpreting a typical layout

First things first: when looking to revamp your master bath, discard any pre-conceived notions and conventions related to interior space planning. By reinterpreting a typical master bathroom layout, you can create a space that is tailored to you and functions around your needs. For this particular design, the homeowners craved a hotel-inspired experience to help outfit their 1,200-sq.-ft. master wing. By combining the bathroom and walk-in closet within an open-concept space, their master bathroom became an expansive ensuite dressing room with the functionality of built-in storage space, and the beauty of a luxurious spa-like environment.

Create harmony by balancing stylistic and functional needs

We’re often juggling competing needs in a master bathroom space – whether those are stylistic or functional in nature. We all desire a little Zen, so ensure each partner feels like the bathroom is a space made just for them by incorporating elements that suit their style and needs. For example, double monolithic his-and-her rain showerheads and separate walk-in entryways were installed in this ensuite shower so it could be conveniently accessed and shared by both husband and wife. Separate floating vanity spaces on opposite ends of the room were incorporated to create individual pockets of relaxation, while also allowing each person to breeze through their morning routine without rubbing elbows or fighting for counter space. Combining feminine and masculine design details, like the dark and moody exotic wood, with jewel-like fixtures and lighting pendants, also helped to create a harmonious look that both partners love.

Layer materials and mix textures and shapes

Avoiding an all-white clinical approach helps to make any bathroom space feel more inviting. You can still preserve that coveted spa-like look, but do so by adding a mix of materials and layering of textures and shapes, which creates more visual interest and adds a greater sense of warmth to the space. This bathroom design balances a number of contrasting shapes throughout – from the round vanity mirror and circular pendant lighting, to the sharp square and rectangular shapes of the custom floating vanity, deep soaker tub and built-in shelving systems. Softer, rounder elements were incorporated to add contrast and visual relief to an otherwise masculine space. Incorporating a repeating element, like the exotic wood running through the base of the vanity, which is replicated throughout the dressing area’s wall panelling, helps to ground the design. Don’t be afraid to play with contrasting tones like charcoal grey and white, warm woods, smooth glass, and shiny metals. While fundamental elements of the design may differ in palette, shape, or material, it’s important that they all tie back to a cohesive theme. In this case – that was Zen.

Incorporate stylish storage – but first, catalog your belongings

A gorgeous bathroom can easily be taken to the next level by adding practical and stylish storage. Bathrooms tend to get overloaded with cosmetics and grooming products. Before getting started on a renovation, catalog your storage requirements, whether it’s makeup and other grooming products, or, if combining a master bath and walk-in, garment and accessories requirements. Creating a catalog of your belongings before starting a renovation helps ensure every drawer, closet, and shelf works for you to neatly and efficiently conceal clutter.

Statement details

Think of fixtures, faucets, lighting and art as the jewelry of your home. Once the space has been planned and laid out, each of these accessories provide the opportunity to truly personalize your bathroom space, and help to create a visual focal point. Take the custom round pendant installed above the soaker tub in this master bath for example – it’s a simple yet unique design element that adds flair and draws your eye to the magnificent soaker tub.

Take note of the little things

Finally, add the finishing touches to your master bathroom space by upgrading to high-quality, spa-like bath linens and robes, incorporating incense or aromatherapy to create a unique sensory environment, and pressing play on a calming playlist. Your master bathroom will soon become your favourite place to luxuriate.

With over 30 years of industry experience, Melandro Quilatan is president and co-founder of Tomas Pearce, and leads creative direction in all aspects of the firm’s residential design practice area. As principal design lead, Melandro believes that through the discipline of interior design, designers have the power to enhance people’s lives and heighten the enjoyment of their environments. tomaspearce.com

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What To See at Toronto’s Interior Design Show 2020

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What To See at Toronto’s Interior Design Show 2020

Every year we look forward with much anticipation to IDS to discover so many great new design products and ideas. Here are a few things to see and do….

Reno & Décor Magazine and Ontario Design – Come See us at Booth # 738

Homes Publishing Group is proud to be a Media Sponsor of IDS20 and has been with the show since it began 22 years ago. This year, we have teamed up with The Collective, a new innovative designer workspace located in Toronto’s design district.

Please visit our booth #738 and pick up copies of our 2020 edition of the Ontario Design Trade Sourcebook and the latest issue of RENO & DECOR magazine and enter our booth contest for a chance to win BLANCO’s NEW Rivana faucet.

Caesarstone Canada

Leading quartz brand Caesarstone is one of the shows biggest sponsors and can’t be missed. Their latest designer collaboration is truly a dream partnership. Caesarstone is thrilled to be working with celebrated potter, designer and author Jonathan Adler. It’s a deeply engaging and highly Instagrammable installation that transports you into a vibrant fantasy world called Dreamland.

Drop by their booth as well to check out some of their new products and drop by to listen to some the many conference speakers on the Caesarstone Stage.

https://www.caesarstone.ca/

BLANCO Canada (Booth # 1444/1448)

Always an innovative booth to visit, BLANCO will immerse the industry and consumers in a romantic tale with the kitchen sink through an experiential space, while underscoring the company’s reputation and dedication to quality, service, design, and innovation. They will also provide visitors with an empathic, voice-activated exhibit. A mini outdoor oasis titled “As Well”

Two new product lines will be on display. BLANCO’s CATRIS FLEXO faucet and their new RIVANA Collection. Both are semi-professional faucet lines with unique styling.

RIVANA Faucet
RIVANA Faucet

https://www.blanco.com/

Fleurco (Booth #1644)

Fleurco will be showing several new products including their Latitude Pivot shower doors, Luna lighted medicine cabinet and the uniquely shaped, Lucite acrylic, Aria Rhapsody bathtub.

Latitude Pivot
Latitude Pivot
Luna
Luna
Aria Rhapsody
Aria Rhapsody

The Latitude Pivot has the stylish, black grid, silk screen design we love in their other shower door models but with an in and out 90°pivoting system and their shatter retention technology (S.r.t.) glass for added protection.

Their Luna lighted medicine cabinet features soft close hinges, LED lighting with an on/off touch switch with dimmer and can be wall mounted or recessed.

http://fleurco.com/

Cosentino Canada (Booth #2016)

Cosentino a global leader in surfaces, will have an interactive outdoor kitchen display designed by Urban Bonfire featuring Dekton and highlighting beautiful surface aesthetics available for outdoor living and entertainment.

New products include their ultra-compact Dekton Liquid Collection featuring 3 new colours – Liquid Sky, Liquid Shell and Liquid Embers. This new collection visualizes and makes tangible the power of liquid through swirls, ripples and fluidity. Also being shown will be the latest colours to join the Silestone quartz line – Et Bella and Et Do’r in the popular Eternal Collection.

Dekton- Liquid Sky
Dekton- Liquid Sky

https://www.cosentino.com/

And last but not least, a reminder to pick up your copy of the latest issue of Reno & Decor magazine, Canada’s home idea book at our booth 738 or throughout the show floor.

See you there!

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Small space, big style

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Small space, big style

Photography By Provoke Studios

A brand-new build comes with its pros and cons. On the plus side, developers today are creating some really stunning and efficient spaces that make the most of every inch. And with the rising price of real estate these days, that is a good thing. On the con side, new construction homes sometimes get a bad rap as “cookie cutter.” Fortunately, all a space needs to really feel like home is your own personal touch.

TIP ~ In a small space, opt for light colours to enhance the overall sense of space, and keep them consistent throughout to create continuity between rooms

FUNCTION FIRST

This family of three had a lot to squeeze into this 840-sq.-ft. condo. Our clients, a couple and their newborn baby, required two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a sleek living area, dining area and what’s become the most common ask we get as professional designers: function.

Small spaces come with their challenges, but with some strategic techniques and tried-and-true design principles, we definitely make the most out of every inch.

TIP ~ Who doesn’t love a big TV, right? While it might be ideal for binge-watching weekends, this bulky piece of tech poses a challenge from a design perspective, and this is particularly true in small spaces. Try positioning the TV diagonally in a corner, to help minimize its physical footprint and its visual impact.

PICTURE-PERFECT VIEW

One benefit of high-rise living is the view. The living room is wrapped in floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that open to a 346-sq.-ft. patio and views as far as the eye can see – an instant focal point. To keep attention where it belongs, we positioned the furniture in such a way that allowed the homeowners and their guests to sit, socialize and overlook the city, or watch television – if they can tear their eyes away from that view.

MODERN MEETS CHARM

This living room is decidedly contemporary, with neutral walls, simple furnishings and a modern light fixture overhead. Offsetting the coolness of the space, vibrant floral artwork and an antique coffee table bring character while telling the homeowners’ story.

NO-FUSS FORMALITY

The modern style and neutral colour palette flows into the adjoining dining room. Originally, this unit didn’t allow for a proper dining area. This is common with the popularity of open-concept spaces, where dining often takes place in the kitchen or the living area. The homeowners really wanted a formal dining area, and were open to tucking the table up to the wall when not in use. In place of traditional chairs, we used two chairs and a bench to add function and versatility to the space. To add further interest to the dining area, personal photos were framed and hung gallery-style above the table, to create a feature wall and conversation piece. Overhead, a chandelier suspended from a millwork ceiling defines the dining space. We chose a style that was mainly clear, so that it wouldn’t be visually “heavy” or overwhelming.

DOUBLE DUTY & STRIKING A BALANCE

The master bedroom was large enough for a king-sized bed, but we had to sacrifice the traditional side tables to make it work. We chose slim-lined, lean and leggy nightstands from West Elm, which were slightly smaller in scale and much airier in their look and feel. The bed came from Mobital and features lift-up storage for hidden function and flexibility. The wallpapered wall is dramatic and strong, balanced with lighter bedding and furniture to give the space light and brightness.

AND BABY MAKES THREE

Last but certainly not least, the nursery was a special focus for these new parents. Even though the room itself was smaller in size, we still managed to incorporate all the essentials of a sweet and functional baby’s room, including a crib, dresser/change table, glider and a bookcase. A jungle-themed wall mural from Lulu & Georgia was a fun accent for the room.

Small spaces can pose some design challenges, but with some careful thought and inspiration, even a small home can be big on style and function.

SOURCES:

Master Bedroom NIGHTSTANDS, West Elm, Bed, Mobital; Nursery WALLPAPER, Lulu & Georgia

Award-winning designers, Phyllis Lui & Aleem Kassam, are the principal designers for Kalu Interiors. For more than a decade, this Vancouver-based design firm has become known for creating thoughtfully curated interiors that enhance and inspire how you live. The firm provides bespoke design services for clientele throughout Canada. kaluinteriors.com

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In praise of pink

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In praise of pink

Photography By Stephani Buchman

Pink is the classic choice for little girls; sugar and spice, and everything nice, right? But why has this precious palette been relegated to nurseries and little girls’ rooms alone? And what do we do with all that pink once they’ve grown up? In my experience, there’s so much to love about this hot hue. The right pink can be powerful, soothing or lively, depending on the shade and tone. Here are a few of my favourite ways to get all grown up, adventurous and even luxurious, and still be “pretty in pink.”

PLAYFUL PINKS

Pink is a highly versatile hue, from the barely-there, whisper-of-pink off-whites such as Benjamin Moore’s 2020 colour of the year, First Light, to the boldest and brightest variation, like Pantone’s 2019 colour of the year, Living Coral. This vibrant variety has become an interior mainstay, adorning everything from paints and wallpapers, to accessories and furnishings. Kick your pinks up a notch by pairing them with modern geometric patterns and edgy accessories. Think Walhol-inspired oddities.

50 SHADES OF PINK

As we already know, pink is a multi-faceted colour, encompassing everything from subtle off-white shades to saturated, acidic pinks and those bordering on burgundy. Try layering different shades and tones of pink for a fail-proof, monochromatic interior. Balance all that pink with black and white, and add further interest with some textural and pattern play.

“The right pink can be powerful, soothing or lively, depending on the shade and tone.”

Benjamin Moore’s 2020 COLOUR OF THE YEAR, First Light 2102-70

NEUTRAL PINKS

Soft, subtle shades of pink are a stunning and unexpected alternative to beige. It’s also a little more exciting, as far as neutral colour options go. Pink can be the picture of sophistication when tinting white, and when paired with white walls, it brings warmth and depth to the design.

TIP ~ Pair white walls with pink pillows, throws and a key piece of furniture. The pink will instantly provide a focal point, without the commitment.

LUXURIOUS PINKS

Pink lends itself well to luxury. It works wonderfully with pops of gold, which has been the trending metallic for a few years now. And the beauty of this combination is you don’t need much of either to make an impression. Pink and gold both land on the warm side of the colour spectrum, and complement each other beautifully. For the ultimate in indulgences, choose pink luxury materials, such as suede, velvet and marble.

Pink is one of my favourite colours, and with its wide range of options, it can be one of yours, too! Few other colours have the scope of esthetics and emotions that pink can invoke, and from a designer perspective, that is a beautiful thing. Almost every room has a place for pink in my opinion, which shouldn’t be thought of as feminine or otherwise. Pink can be soft or strong, powerful or playful, and one thing’s for certain – it’ll always be on my must-have list.

Sara Bederman, Principal Designer for Sara Bederman Design, is known for creating stylish, thoughtfully curated and livable interiors for over a decade. The Toronto-based firm provides residential design services for projects of all sizes. Sara Bederman Design works throughout Toronto, GTA and beyond. For more information, sarabedermandesign.com, follow her on Instagram: sarabstudio

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Brad & Jen’s former newlywed mansion for sale!

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Brad & Jen’s former newlywed mansion for sale!

Few things are worth staying in an inconvenient marriage to hold on to, but in the case of a classic Beverly Hills mansion once owned by Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt, the breakup might have deserved a second thought. The A-list couple owned the home from 2001 to 2006, and it is once again on the market priced at $44.5 million.

One of Southern California’s most romantic homes, the French Normandy Revival-style estate includes canyon views, dreamy hedged landscaping and a lighted pool, as well as a meandering stoned courtyard and patios and multiple fireplaces, including ones in the bedroom, the dining room and bar, the outdoor living room and an outdoor bedroom over the tennis court. It was going to be their forever love nest when Jennifer and Brad bought it soon after their Malibu marriage. The super couple immediately started a three-year renovation replacing the kitchen floor with heated marble, designing and installing a pub with floors sourced from a 200-year-old French château and adding a private screening room. They also added a tennis court and pavilion, with guest house on the upper level. In January of 2005, their separation was announced and the home sold in 2006 to a hedge fund executive who completed the renovation and added some features of his own.

The 11,173-square-foot home is nestled on a quiet cul-de-sac (just over an acre) with gated entrances on two streets, five bedrooms and thirteen baths between the main house and the one-bedroom guest house. Formal rooms are large, with the dining room capable of seating 20 guests. There’s an eat-in gourmet kitchen, a gym and the bar room includes the original fireplace. The lower-level living room and bar opens to the swimming pool terrace. Grounds are tropical and thickly planted with mature greenery.

The home was originally built in 1934 for actor Fredric March, one of the first movie star mansions in Beverly Hills. March was as big a star, whose 52-year career totalled more than one hundred films, including such classics as The Best Years of Our Lives and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

The former home of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston is on the market priced at $44.5 million.

The listing agent is Susan Smith of Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills. www.hiltonhyland.com

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Bringing an old home back to life

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Bringing an old home back to life

When my clients purchased an older Craftsman-style house, they had no interest in razing the property and replacing it with an infill. They loved the bones of the home and planned to update and improve upon what was already there.

AFTER – The custom vent hood, backsplash and cabinetry are all in white to keep the visual space light and airy.

The chopped-up floor plan had been partially addressed in a previous renovation. An addition in the back created a sunken family room with skylights and a patio door to the backyard. This was the main access directly into the house from the driveway and garage.

BEFORE

THE CONS

The kitchen, perched over the family room, was dated and lacked storage.

Original Craftsman-style gum wood trim and built-in cabinetry preserved at the front of the house, and the open — but dated — back part of the home, conjured up images of a bad ’80s haircut, a mullet. Business in the front, party in the back.

To preserve the original charm and increase the useful square footage, they debated how to work around what they had. Even the dated skylights above the addition negated a second storey extension unless they were removed. Did they want to preserve an older addition or start from scratch?

The new open-concept kitchen moved to the south side of the house to take advantage of the light.

EFFICIENCY RULES

Scratch being the operative word. As soon as they looked behind the walls, the scope of work exploded. Although the plan was to maximize the floor space without harming the integrity of the home, they knew to make the home efficient, they needed to start over. Sadly, that meant most of the original features, like windows, would need to be replaced.

The new mudroom lets in plenty of light and increased the storage 100 per cent from the previous layout.

THE PROS

After gutting the house, they expanded the second floor, adding a master ensuite and walk-in closet to the master. The main floor was levelled out, the floor plan reworked, which also helped gain ceiling height below in the basement for a new laundry room.

They added a bright, open mudroom at the back of the house to access the garage and driveway. This bright, well-organized space is a welcoming entry with heated floors and plenty of storage.

The new family room, located at the back of the house, benefits from being on the same level as the rest of the main floor.
The reconfigured staircase and an overhead skylight brightened up the entry.
The master bedroom suite now expands across the back of the house and includes an ensuite bathroom and walk-in closet.

IMPROVED FLOW & FUNCTION

The family room, now at the back of the house, still feels connected to the now-open main floor. The kitchen, which is in the centre of the home, was kept purposefully light. Although there are few upper cabinets, the kitchen plan functions more efficiently with the added floor-to-ceiling pantry behind the reclaimed, custom-made barn door. A bold swath of navy on the island adds personality without overwhelming the space, it’s also an accent colour throughout the home.

AFTER – The dining room, now at the front of the house, is a perfect place to feature panel moulding. Here it flanks the fireplace and adds interest.

The dining room, now at the front of the home, was made cosy with a new electric fireplace. The marble-like porcelain slab was an indulgence the homeowners couldn’t resist and makes a big statement in blue. The built-in window bench offers extra seating.

BEFORE

CUSTOM STAIRCASE

Upstairs, the staircase was moved to add two new bedrooms with full-sized closets at the front of the house. Unable to preserve the original, my clients vowed to find a beautiful custom solution so the staircase would still be an outstanding feature.

The layout is more practical now and an abundance of custom cabinetry discourages clutter. It’s a testament to the homeowner’s passion for the past that this updated home now offers more space but feels as cozy as it was originally meant to be.

Jane Lockhart

Designer, spokesperson, author and television personality, Jane Lockhart is one of Canada’s best-known experts in the world of design and colour. janelockhart.com

SOURCES:

FLOORING, throughout White Oak Nautilus Vintage Flooring TILES, throughout Cercan Tile CABINETRY, HANDLES, kitchen, bathroom, pantry, mudroom Aya Kitchens STAIRCASE, Deluxe Stair and Railing WINDOWS, Anderson Windows PANEL MOULDING, Estate Interiors CEILING TRIM, Mouldex Mouldings PAINT, Collingwood OC-28 Benjamin Moore KITCHEN COUNTERTOP, Calcutta Gold, Silestone Counter STOOLS, Wayfair LIGHTING, Kitchen and dining room pendants, “Rotterdam” Savoy House MASTER BEDROOM: BEDDING, Pottery Barn.ca SIDE TABLES, Wayfair.ca Lamps and RUG, Homesense DINING ROOM: TABLE, Wayfair CHAIRS, Structube FAMILY ROOM: SOFA AND CHAIRS, Pottery Barn PILLOWS, COFFEE TABLE, SIDE TABLE, Carpet Urban Barn MUDROOM: ACCESSORIES, Homesense

 

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Outlook 2020 – 5 things you need to know about real estate this year

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Outlook 2020 – 5 things you need to know about real estate this year

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Outlook 2020 – it’s a new year and a new decade, and with that come new challenges and opportunities. When it pertains to the housing industry and homebuying, we’ve boiled it down to a handful of items to keep your eye on. Here are five things you really need to understand about real estate – specifically the GTA market.

1 REAL ESTATE IS LOCAL

This is a good place to start, because it’s a simple but important fact that escapes many consumers: Real estate is local. There is no such thing as a Canadian housing market, just as there’s no Canadian traffic or Canadian weather.

Sure, organizations such as the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) are mandated to analyze what goes on across the country. But what’s most important to you is what’s happening in your market. When you buy a home, you don’t buy a national market. You buy one property, on one street, in one neighbourhood, in one city and region.

If you live in Ontario, why do you care that Alberta’s ongoing oil industry struggles are affecting sales and prices in markets in that province? Or that Vancouver’s affordability challenges are even more serious than those in Toronto?

Forget the national headlines. Examine what’s happening in your market. The same applies to the economy.

Why does this matter? Read on.

2 THE ECONOMY

Globally, geopolitical uncertainty and softening economic growth will mean Canada faces some challenges with export and investment, leaving the heavy lifting to the consumer, according to Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist at RBC.

RBC forecasts the economy to grow about 1.6 per cent in 2020. The unemployment rate remains at fourdecade lows, though may rise to 5.9 per cent in 2020 from 5.7 per cent in 2019. Companies are having difficulty finding skilled workers, leading to stronger wage growth.

Ontario’s real GDP growth is forecast to slow to 1.6 per cent for 2019 and 1.5 per cent in 2020, according to the Conference Board of Canada. Job creation remains strong, with the province adding more than 200,000 new jobs over the first 10 months of 2019, much of them in full-time work.

Ontarians are among the most positive about the economic outlook, according to a recent public opinion survey from the nonprofit Angus Reid Institute, with 22 per cent of respondents indicating they believe the economy will improve. Only residents in Quebec, at 30 per cent, and BC at 23 per cent, are more optimistic. In Alberta, by contrast, 79 per cent of residents expect their economy to deteriorate over the next year.

Keeping in mind what we wrote about real estate – and even the economy – being local, Ontario is looking strong on both counts for 2020.

Craig Wright, RBC
Craig Wright, RBC

“We continue to see strong employment gains, Ontario is leading Canada in terms of employment growth on a year-over-year basis, and strong population growth,” Wright told Homes Publishing. “So, strong fundamentals supporting it, in a low rate environment.”

The GTA’s robust population growth will continue to drive demand for both ownership and rental housing, Wright says.

Housing markets in Southern Ontario, in fact, led in home price growth last year, and are expected to continue to do so in 2020, according to a new report from ReMax.

ALSO READ: OUR TOP 7 REAL ESTATE STORIES OF 2019 

Oshawa housing to move into buyers’ market thanks to GM closure

Forecast 2019 – where are Canada’s hottest housing markets?

In Conversation With Deena Pantalone of National Homes

In Conversation With Niall Collins, President of Great Gulf Residential

7 factors that will affect GTA housing in 2019 – and 5 reasons to consider buying NOW

Behind the numbers, Breaking down the market in March 2019

HPG golf tournament cracks $300K in funds for Raising The Roof

“Southern Ontario is witnessing some incredibly strong price appreciation, with many regions still seeing double-digit gains,” says Christopher Alexander, executive vice-president and regional director, ReMax of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Thanks to the region’s resilient economy, staggering population growth and relentless development, the 2020 market looks very optimistic.”

Toronto is set to experience a strong housing market this year, thanks to lower unemployment rates, economic growth and improved overall affordability in the GTA. ReMax is forecasting average sale price growth of six per cent, two points higher than the increase from 2018 ($835,422) and 2019 ($880,841).

The Niagara region is also showing strong growth, with average residential sale price increasing almost 13 per cent, from $378,517 in 2018 to $427,487 in 2019. Value-conscious consumers from the GTA are buying in droves, with many choosing to live in the region and commute to Toronto.

3 INTEREST RATES

In its most recent interest rate announcement, the Bank of Canada maintained its target for the influential overnight rate at 1.75 per cent, where it has been since October 2018. Though there is some global uncertainty, the Bank says, the Canadian economy is resilient, citing moderately expanding consumer spending, stronger wage growth and housing investment, increasing population and continuing low mortgage rates.

Many experts foresee mortgage rates holding where they are throughout 2020 – if not declining.

Indeed, James Laird, co-founder of Ratehub Inc. and president of CanWise Financial mortgage brokerage, predicts BoC will cut the overnight rate by a quarter point in the second half of 2020.

In 2019, central banks around the world cut their rates, but Canada was not among them. Facing somewhat slowing economic growth driven by decreased exports and a slightly higher unemployment rate, Canada will follow this trend and cut the overnight rate by 0.25 per cent in the latter half of 2020, Laird says.

“These savings will be passed along to variable rate mortgage holders in the form of a lower prime rate,” Laird says. “Therefore, Canadians who are in a variable rate will see their interest rate drop in the second half of the year.”

The Bank’s rate policy will cause fixed mortgage rates to remain low throughout the year, he adds. This should provide peace of mind to Canadians who have a mortgage up for renewal or those who have plans to purchase a new home in 2020.

4 GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association, Ontario Home Builders’ Association, Building Industry and Land Development Association, Toronto Real Estate Board – and other relevant industry bodies – are all lobbying hard for the various levels of government to address the issues facing housing. Ranging from the First-Time Home Buyers’ Incentive Program, the mortgage stress test or land-use policies that affect the level of homebuilding – and therefore buying – one thing is clear: Federal, provincial and municipal levels of government are listening.

(Many of the executives in our Outlook 2020 Q&As in the following pages touch on these issues, and we’ll have another related special feature in our February issue.)

At least one major source says governments have little choice but to take action. The Real Estate Investment Network (REIN), a real estate investment education, analysis and research firm, cites increasing immigration as the catalyst for change.

“An increase in the influx of migrants amounting to over one million people in three years is tantamount to increasing rental demand,” says Jennifer Hunt, vice-president of research at REIN. “This is good news for rental housing providers, as migrants have higher tendencies to rent property rather than to purchase their own homes, especially within the first four years of settling in Canada.”

Once settled and secure in employment, however, many of these new Canadians want to become homeowners, which leads to higher demand for housing, including new homes and condos.

5 FTHBI & THE STRESS TEST

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive is a shared equity mortgage through CMHC. The program is intended to reduce monthly mortgage payments for first-time homebuyers, without increasing the amount they need to save for a down payment.

Though some recent adjustments to the program, including raised purchase limits for high-priced markets such as Toronto and Vancouver, have helped, some are calling for further improvements to the plan.

REIN, for one, suggests watching for a potential increase of the FTHBI’s purchase price limit to nearly $800,000 in high-priced markets.

Ratehub is not convinced, expecting that the FTHBI will not be enhanced, and the existing program will see minimal traction.

“Less than five per cent of Canadians who are eligible for the FTBHI program will elect to use it,” says Laird. “Most Canadians do not want the government to own part of their home.”

REIN and Laird agree the mortgage stress test, which many in the industry have been calling to be changed, will likely remain unchanged.

Special Report: Outlook 2020:

Jordan DeBrincat, Director of Operations, Altree Developments

Fan Yang, Deputy General Manager (Eastern Canada), Aoyuan Property Holdings (Canada) Ltd.

Nick Carnicelli, President, Carriage Gate Homes

Jared Menkes, Executive Vice-President, Menkes High Rise

Anson Kwok, Vice-President Sales & Marketing, Pinnacle International

Angela Marotta, Director of Sales & Marketing, Solmar Development Corp

Samson Fung, Vice-President Marketing, Tridel

Jim Andrews, Director of Sales & Marketing Fieldgate Homes

Shakir Rehmatullah, President Flato Development Inc.

Mike Parker, Vice-President Sales & Marketing Georgian International Build Corp.

Brad Carr, CEO Mattamy Homes Canada

Deena Pantalone, Managing Partner and Director of Marketing & Innovation National Homes

Art Rubino, Contracts Manager & Marketing Manager Regal Crest Homes

 

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Outlook 2020 – Jim Andrews, Director of Sales & Marketing, Fieldgate Homes

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Outlook 2020 – Jim Andrews, Director of Sales & Marketing, Fieldgate Homes

Part of our series of Outlook 2020 Q&As with building industry executives

What is the outlook for the new home industry in 2020?

We see continued growth in lowrise developments, owing partly to a resurgence in consumer confidence in the past six months. With aggressive pricing and lower interest rates, consumers seem to have eliminated some of the concerns that were more evident in the first part of 2019. To meet the needs for a renewed demand in housing, more lands should be released, thanks to streamlining the approval process by the Ontario government.

Jim Andrews
Jim Andrews, Director of Sales & Marketing Fieldgate Homes

Affordability will remain a challenge, so there will be more innovations designed in different forms of housing to try and keep prices within reach for the maximum number of purchasers. More growth in outer suburban areas such as Hamilton and Oshawa and areas outside the GTA (such as Shelburne) where affordability is still strong, will help.

And for Fieldgate?

We have 10 new communities coming in Markham, Milton, Vaughan and elsewhere, so it will be a very exciting year for us.

What is your company doing to address the issues facing the homebuilding industry – namely, affordability and new home supply?

The land development team at Fieldgate acquires new parcels of land on a regular basis and works as efficiently as possible to deliver them to the marketing team. The marketing team spends a lot of time working and reworking our floorplans and elevations to ensure quality engineering that is more efficient in smaller designs. We strive to introduce unique, modern elevations which are efficient to build and have low maintenance features, rather than the same elevations that have been in use for decades.

We also pay attention to changing trends in how people live in their homes – looking beyond our borders into other markets to see what innovations in housing design we can incorporate here. We are developing new designs of single-family homes to assist all of our market segments. We are introducing rear-lane townhomes and singles with double car garages to satisfy the demand for homes in commutercentric neighbourhoods. Smaller lot townhouses with three storeys will produce more affordable interiors for first-time buyers.

What more could the industry do to address these issues?

Release more land! GTA land supply has become extremely tight and therefore more costly. Reviewing the cost of levies, development charges and the lengthy approval process would be beneficial for both builders and consumers. It often takes more than 10 years from acquisition of land to bring homes to market. The various levels of government need to work with the builders to reduce the red tape.

What should prospective new-home buyers know about Fieldgate Homes for 2020?

Fieldgate Homes has been building new homes in the GTA for more than 60 years, and we take pride in what we do. It gives us great pleasure to have previous Fieldgate homeowners come to one of our new communities because they enjoyed the previous experience and want another Fieldgate home. We have a great many repeat purchasers!

Why should prospective new-home buyers consider buying from your company in 2020?

Choice, quality, reputation, more than 60 years of new-home building, excellent service, a vertically and horizontally integrated company, where we do our own land development, planning, design and building. Also, we develop community infrastructure so that when you buy from Fieldgate, you’re buying a complete community, with respect for the customer and setting a standard that makes Fieldgate Homes proud of the homes we build.

Special Report: Outlook 2020

Outlook 2020 – Shakir Rehmatullah, President, Flato Development Inc.

Outlook 2020 – Mike Parker, Vice-President Sales & Marketing, Georgian International Build Corp.

Outlook 2020 – Brad Carr, CEO, Mattamy Homes Canada

Outlook 2020 – Deena Pantalone, Managing Partner and Director of Marketing & Innovation, National Homes

Outlook 2020 – Art Rubino, Contracts Manager & Marketing Manager, Regal Crest Homes

 

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Outlook 2020 – Shakir Rehmatullah, President, Flato Development Inc.

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Outlook 2020 – Shakir Rehmatullah, President, Flato Development Inc.

Part of our series of Outlook 2020 Q&As with building industry executives

How do you see the outlook for the new home industry in 2020?

It’s bright. The economy is getting better and more homes are being sold, financial and mortgage markets are improving and the federal government is a little easier to deal with. However, the affordability for new-home buyers, especially firsttime buyers, is a challenge because of the stress test. We need to help these buyers, not make it more difficult.

Shakir Rehmatullah
Shakir Rehmatullah, President, Flato Development Inc.

And for Flato Developments?

Similarly, the outlook is strong, largely because our target market is firsttime buyers and young families, and the homes we build are lower than the $1-million price point. For Flato Developments, most of our new homes will be outside of the GTA, from mid $400’s to $1 million, so affordability is key. People don’t mind driving outside the GTA as long as the location is right, the community is good, and they are getting value for their homes. It’s not just because home prices are lower, the cost of living is, as well. Living outside of GTA will be a trend.

What is your company doing to address the issues facing the homebuilding industry – namely, affordability and new home supply?

Affordability is the key. Most people can’t afford homes in the GTA. They are becoming too expensive too quickly, especially in last five years. All associated costs keep going up, such as developing charges, parkland levies, cost of construction, infrastructure and taxes. But personal incomes haven’t risen accordingly, so there is a gap and affordability has been affected.

In addition, the mortgage market has become very difficult and very tight. Most young families can’t afford to buy a home in the GTA. For example, single-detached homes in Markham are about $1.5 million. At Flato, we are stepping outside the GTA and going to place such as Dundalk, Beeton and Shelburne. We are exploring those areas because of the lower development charges, and we can afford to build the houses that people can afford.

What more could the industry do to address these issues?

The biggest thing is to work with the government, and we are fortunate to have the Conservatives in Ontario. They are cutting the red tape, and they are open for business. The less red tape, the better the market will be. The sooner we can bring homes online, more choices and more supply will bring down the prices. So, we need more supply, and the supply can only come with the government’s help. We also need to cut the red tape at the municipal level. The industry should continue to work with BILD on these initiatives.

What should prospective new-home buyers know about Flato Developments for 2020?

We are going to continue to build our Canvas on the Rouge condos in Markham, where construction just began, and the goal is to complete the project as soon as we can. We are continuing to build our master-planned communities in Dundalk and Beeton. Every year, we are looking to finish a part of the subdivision of these projects. In Dundalk, we have Edgewood Greens and we are excited to release Carriage House. In Beeton, we have Beeton Village and going to release another one, Green Ridge. We will have Grand Openings for Carriage House and Green Ridge early this year. They are all townhomes and single-detached. We are going to release the first senior apartment building, called Edgewood Suites, in Dundalk.

Why should prospective new-home buyers consider buying from your company in 2020?

We are building communities, not just homes. We spend a lot of time on master-planning the communities. We consider everything that homebuyers will need, from amenities to accessibility to facilities to transit. We consider where the parks and schools will be, and how residents can walk to these places safely. Wherever we can do safer plans for them, save greenspace, plant more trees and work with the conservation authorities… we do it. We take all of these things into consideration at Flato.

Our customers have chosen to trust us when it comes to making the biggest investment of their lives, and we strive to return that trust – from the moment we meet them, to the time we hand over the keys, and beyond.

Special Report: Outlook 2020

Outlook 2020 – Jim Andrews, Director of Sales & Marketing, Fieldgate Homes

Outlook 2020 – Mike Parker, Vice-President Sales & Marketing, Georgian International Build Corp.

Outlook 2020 – Brad Carr, CEO, Mattamy Homes Canada

Outlook 2020 – Deena Pantalone, Managing Partner and Director of Marketing & Innovation, National Homes

Outlook 2020 – Art Rubino, Contracts Manager & Marketing Manager, Regal Crest Homes

 

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Outlook 2020 – Mike Parker, Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, Georgian International Build Corp.

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Outlook 2020 – Mike Parker, Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, Georgian International Build Corp.

Part of our series of Outlook 2020 Q&As with building industry executives

What is the outlook for the new home industry in 2020?

New housing starts have declined from the elevated levels of 2016 and 2017, however, we anticipate a more stabilized average in 2020. The average resale home price is expected to rise, and combined with an anticipated low risk of mortgage rates increasing, this is positive for consumers considering a new home closing one to two years out.

Mike Parker
Mike Parker, Vice-President Sales & Marketing Georgian International Build Corp.

And for your company?

Many of our homeowners are from the 905 and 416 area code regions. Our value proposition in terms of price, lifestyle and location will continue to be a favorable option for GTA buyers looking to escape urban congestion. Our new home construction pipeline is full for 2020, based on positive sales results in 2019.

What is your company doing to address the issues facing the homebuilding industry – namely, affordability and new home supply?

Homeownership should be attainable for all Canadians. We are currently providing a product mix that consists of condominium suites, semi-detached and single-detached homes with varying prices. Offering a wider range of home styles opens up more doors for consumers based on their affordability. We continue to study opportunities to provide housing that suits the needs of an even wider range of Ontarians.

What more could the industry do to address these issues?

All members of local, provincial and national home building associations should continue to raise awareness of the challenges builders face in providing housing that is attainable for all Canadians. We’re lobbying to reduce unnecessary legislation, and policies that create red tape for developers and additional development soft costs should be eliminated. All levels of government need to be supportive in creating positive changes in the industry. Developers need to be seen as partners to the townships and cities in which they build.

What should prospective new-home buyers know about your company for 2020?

If living an active lifestyle and a love of nature is important, we have three different options new-home buyers should consider. All of our developments will be releasing new ownership opportunities this year.

Windfall at Blue, located slope-side on 148 acres in Blue Mountain, is set to deliver The Shed in 2020 – a rustic yet refined community gathering space for neighbours to come together to socialize and create traditions. There’s parkland, outdoor pools, a sauna and more for our residents to enjoy.

Right next door to Windfall, Mountain House at Windfall will be opening its final phase. This community offers chalet living without the maintenance. Mountain House features an exclusive amenity area comprised of hot and warm pools with a waterfall feature, a sauna and a relaxation and fitness room, all with Blue Mountain as the backdrop.

Braestone Horseshoe Valley offers distinctive and timeless architectural style, one that combines the elements of early Oro-Medonte farmhouses, barns and sheds. Residents have access to the neighbouring Braestone Farm, which features a maple sugar shack, skating pond, pumpkin and berry patch and more. In addition, there are kilometres of trails on the 566 acres that make up Braestone, with 60 per cent of the land preserved in its natural state.

Why should prospective new-home buyers consider buying from your company in 2020?

We focus on providing a remarkable lifestyle for our residents. Our communities offer thoughtful amenities that are inspired by the natural landscape and the environment in which we build. We are building small-town Canada, and this is reflected in our streetscapes and timeless architectural style. Recognized not only locally but nationally, we are creating something unique in the Simcoe and Grey County regions.

Special Report: Outlook 2020

Outlook 2020 – Jim Andrews, Director of Sales & Marketing, Fieldgate Homes

Outlook 2020 – Shakir Rehmatullah, President, Flato Development Inc.

Outlook 2020 – Brad Carr, CEO, Mattamy Homes Canada

Outlook 2020 – Deena Pantalone, Managing Partner and Director of Marketing & Innovation, National Homes

Outlook 2020 – Art Rubino, Contracts Manager & Marketing Manager, Regal Crest Homes

 

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