Tag Archives: condominiums

cl_jul2020_condo_pro_fi

Outdoor lovers love condos

Latest News


Outdoor lovers love condos

If you are an active person who loves the outdoors and think you have to live in a lowrise home to be happy, think again! Condominiums offer ample opportunities to stay active and enjoy being outside without ever leaving the building.

First, today’s condominium suites have extra-large windows that bring the outdoors in on a daily basis. Gorgeous city, tree and/or lake vistas help to keep condo residents grounded, no matter what floor they live on. And then of course, there are balconies where residents can place outdoor furniture and planters to grow everything from flowers to herbs and tomatoes. Unless you plan on growing giant pumpkins, gardening is no longer the exclusive pastime for people in lowrise homes with backyards.

On a more public level, new condominiums feature gorgeous common areas that offer outdoor recreation and enjoyment. Landscaped courtyards at ground level are perfect for sitting in the sun using a personal electronic device or even … gasp … reading a paper publication. Oh, and sipping on a coffee or tea enriches that experience.

In the buildings themselves, you may find any number of other outdoor or indoor/outdoor spaces such as Zen gardens and yoga areas. Rooftop terraces are beautiful and exciting. Discover barbecues, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, loungers or pools; the possibilities are fascinating. Imagine sitting and lapping up the views under a clear blue or dramatic evening sky.

As for the keeping active part of the condo lifestyle, that begins at ground level with location. Today’s new condos are situated close to amenities. Residents can usually walk or ride a bicycle to run a variety of errands or dine out or visit attractions or shop – you get the picture. In the City of Toronto, condos are are required to contain a certain number of bicycle parking spots to accommodate this healthful trend.

Then, of course, there are fitness facilities in most, if not all, new condominiums – and they are so well equipped that residents can give up expensive gym memberships. They can throw on some workout clothes, take the elevator to the fitness room, exercise and then go back to their suite without braving the weather or having to start the car. Today’s state-of- the-art fitness rooms have high ceilings, massive windows and elaborate equipment. Some even enable team sports in a gymnasium, and many have Pilates/yoga areas or climbing walls. They may include change rooms, saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, plunge pools and/or swimming pools to vary the experience. Keeping active is so important to people today, that some condominium corporations are hiring recreational coordinators to organize classes and events. Who needs a commercial fitness club, when you have all of this right at home?

Whether you prefer a brisk walk, a vigorous weight workout, an energetic aerobics class, a feel-good yoga session, basketball game, swim or some green-thumb bending and stretching, in a condominium, the fulfillment of your exercise needs is at your doorstep.

Barbara Lawlor is president and CEO of Baker Real Estate Inc., winner of the pinnacle 2017 Riley Brethour Award from BILD, and an indemand columnist and speaker. A member of the Baker team since 1993, she oversees the marketing and sales of condominium developments in the GTA and overseas. Keep current with The Baker Blog at blog.bakerrealestate.com

SHARE  

Featured Products


GTA new home market understandably slow in April

GTA new home market understandably slow in April

Latest News


GTA new home market understandably slow in April

The GTA new home market saw record low new home sales numbers in April, according to the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

It was the lowest April for total new home sales, as well as single-family and condominium unit sales, since Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new home market intelligence, started tracking in 2000.

“As we expected, the April new home sales numbers reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the GTA economy,” says David Wilkes, BILD president and CEO. “The good news is, the residential and commercial building and development industry, along with the professional renovations industry, is positioned to play a significant role in the recovery of our region and Ontario. In the coming weeks, we’ll be putting forward recommendations for all three levels of government that can accelerate the healing of our economy.”

A total of 771 new homes was sold in April, down 80 per cent from April 2019 and 78 per cent below the 10-year average. Single-family homes, including detached, linked and semi-detached houses and townhouses (excluding stacked townhouses), accounted for 301 new home sales, down 62 per cent from last April and 79 per cent below the 10-year average.

Sales of new condominium suites, including units in low-, medium- and highrise buildings, stacked townhouses and loft units, at 470 units sold, were down 85 per cent from April 2019 and 78 per cent below the 10-year average.

“The plunge in new home sales in April came as both builders and potential buyers stepped back from the heated activity of the first quarter, adjusting to the new reality ushered in by COVID-19,” says Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s executive vice-president, Data Solutions. “Most planned new project launches were put on hold, sales programs for existing projects moved to virtual or by-appointment-only models, and short-term homebuying plans were disrupted by employment uncertainty, as well as the challenges of stay-at-home routines.”

Benchmark prices for both new condominium apartments and new single-family homes increased slightly in April, compared to the previous month. The benchmark price for new condo units was $984,369, up 29.8 per cent over the last 12 months. The benchmark price for new single-family homes was $1.11 million, down 0.2 per cent over the last 12 months.


SHARE  

Featured Products


Tridel Ten York Innovation Suite Living room

The future of condominium living on display at Tridel’s Innovation Suite at Ten York

Latest News


The future of condominium living on display at Tridel’s Innovation Suite at Ten York

The future of condominium living, with every bell, whistle and Jetsons-like home tech gadget is on display at Tridel’s Innovation Suite, one of the Signature residences at Ten York.

Tridel Ten York Innovation Suite Living room

Expanding on the developer’s smart home integration features within Ten York, the Innovation Suite seamlessly merges technology and design, providing incredible connectivity, comfort and convenience for residents.

Luxury home experience

“The Innovation Suite at Ten York represents the incredible possibilities that occur when design and technology meet,” says Stella Salvador, principal interior designer, Tridel. “When we conceptualized this project, our vision was to create a luxury home experience unlike any other.”

The pathway to the Innovation Suite began when Tridel started exploring smart home technology, despite the lack of existing research or infrastructure within the space. The company sought to garner a deep-rooted understanding of how smart home technologies could meet to exceed the needs of future residents. The Signature Suite, as the “crown jewel” of the existing Tridel Connect smart home system, boasts additional features and amenities without compromising the elegance of the interior feel and finishes.

Immediately upon entering the suite, residents will be able to activate key features through voice control, such as centralized lighting, audio visuals and motorized blinds. The suite’s system control panel can be controlled by voice, phone or touch, and can be programmed with different scenes to customize the suite experience at key times throughout the day – opening or closing blinds, or turning lights on or off.

Voice-control features

Leading into the central living area, the first of four wireless charging pads throughout the suite make access to device power consistent and easily accessible. All features of the Innovation Suite are seamlessly tied into the overall concept and design of the space and most are synchronized with the assistance of smart home assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa.

In the kitchen, meal preparation is made easy thanks to smart home appliances, controlled through the associated mobile app. Plumbing fixtures such as the kitchen faucet can also be controlled to helpfully complete tasks on request, such as pouring a specific amount of water for a recipe, making everyday living easier than ever before. The powder room features a smart toilet with built-in speakers to play music, as well as a heated seat and foot warmer.

Smart shower

The smart home features are at their peak in the master bedroom, where a glass partition goes from opaque to transparent with the touch of a button, offering opportunities to enjoy natural light or disconnect in privacy. An entertainment wall provides a smart TV system along with an electric fireplace, which uses mist and special lighting to create realistic looking flames. The ensuite bathroom creates an indulgent setting, with heated floors, a smart mirror with voice-controllable lighting adjustment, a smart shower with voice-controllable water temperature and flow rate, and an AV-connected vibracoustic bath which can use sound to vibrate the water in the tub.

“As our lives get busier and more hectic, we’re all looking for ways to simplify the everyday and find more time to pursue leisure or spend time with loved ones,” says Adrian Wang, director of innovation and sustainability, Tridel. “We’re using smart technologies to find modern conveniences and enjoy new luxuries, while also introducing new opportunities to build community and connection with the rest of the building’s residents and amenities.”

Technology is even integrated into the flooring, with the warm wooden herringbone floors throughout the suite coated in titanium oxide that is activated by light and motion, filtering and cleaning the air in the suite regularly. Large windows mean an abundance of natural light and a connection to the outside world, while the balcony features stunning views of Toronto’s Centre Island.

tridel.com

SHARE  

Featured Products


BILD February new home stats

GTA new home sales strong in February

Latest News


GTA new home sales strong in February

In what might be the last surge for a while, GTA new home sales were exceptionally strong in February, according to the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

BILD February new home stats

There were 4,665 total new home sales in February 2020, which was up 211 per cent from February 2019 and 57 per cent above the 10-year average, according to Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new home market intelligence. It was the highest number of new homes sold in February since 2002 and the third highest in the past 40 years.

Single-family surge

It was also the strongest February since 2004 for sales of new single-family homes, including detached, linked and semi-detached houses and townhouses (excluding stacked townhouses). With 2,247 new single-family homes sold, sales were up 228 per cent from last February and 44 per cent above the 10-year average.

Sales of new condominium apartments, including units in low-, medium- and highrise buildings, stacked townhouses and loft units, at 2,418 units sold, were up 197 per cent from February 2019 and 48 per cent above the 10-year average. It was the second strongest February of the past 40 years for new condominium apartment sales, after the record high of February 2017.

February new home sales by municipality

February 2020

Condominium units

Single-family homes

Total

Region

2020

2019

2018

2020

2019

2018

2020

2019

2018

Durham

89

21

4

489

97

49

578

118

53

Halton

227

22

46

380

275

113

607

297

159

Peel

545

127

103

289

193

35

834

320

138

Toronto

1,300

587

1,050

10

4

6

1,310

591

1,056

York

257

57

641

1,079

117

55

1,336

174

696

GTA

2,418

814

1,844

2,247

686

258

4,665

1,500

2,102

 Source: Altus Group

“Following on a month of strong new home sales in February, our industry and our customers are facing a time of challenges and uncertainty due to COVID-19,” says David Wilkes, BILD president and CEO. “We are working diligently to coordinate responses with provincial and municipal authorities, protect workers and customers and ensure that we continue to fulfil our responsibilities to new-home buyers. One of those responsibilities is building enough homes to top up depleted inventory and ensure our region’s new home supply keeps up with demand.”

Pent-up demand

“Prior to the uncertainty due to the COVID-19 situation, the new-home sector in the GTA was on track for a strong sales performance in 2020,” adds Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s executive vice-president, Data Solutions. “Low mortgage rates were triggering the release of pent-up demand that had been building on the back of strong employment and population growth, which helped boost February sales.”

In February, the benchmark price for new condo units was $961,268, which was up 21.3 per cent over the last 12 months, and the benchmark price for new single-family homes was $1.09 million, down 2.2 per cent over the last 12 months.

RELATED READING

GTA resale sales see drastic drop in March due to COVID-19

GTA home price growth to hit 10 per cent this year: TRREB

Get ready for a hot market in the GTA this spring

 

SHARE  

Featured Products


cl_mar2020_condo_pro_fi

How to buy in a time of escalating prices

Latest News


How to buy in a time of escalating prices

Affordability is a hot topic today when it comes to new home real estate, including condominiums. Yes, prices are prohibitive for many prospective buyers. The thing is, however, that people are purchasing with enthusiasm, as they recognize what a great lifestyle and financial investment a condo in Toronto or the GTA is these days.

How can they afford it? The down payment is often the deterrent to buying, but perhaps the bank of mom and dad can help with that. Sometimes, parents of grown children purchase a condo suite for their offspring to live in temporarily while in college or university, then hand over ownership once the young people finish their post-secondary education, are employed and can afford to keep up mortgage payments.

Then again, some buyers are harnessing out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to affordability. For example, co-ownership has become an alternative for many. Co-ownership involves non-related (often) people or relatives sharing ownership of a home. Although it is not an entirely new concept, it is gaining such popularity that the Province of Ontario has developed a guide called “Co-owning a home.” You can find the guide at ontario.ca/document/co-owning-home.

Part of More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan, this guide was developed after roundtable discussions with stakeholders to determine best practices and what advice people would need. The benefits of co-owning include more than just affordability; buyers can have access to living quarters larger than they could on their own. Someone who can afford only a compact one-bedroom suite may be able to go for a larger two-bedroom suite by co-owning.

The guide is, however, not the ultimate when it comes to the rule of law. The Province advises that it is important to obtain legal advice to protect your interests when co-buying. There should be a legal contract that all co-ownership purchasers sign to clarify rights and responsibilities. This legal agreement may possibly support an application for mortgage financing as well.

Financial outlays include mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, repairs and home insurance. How will these be divided? In addition, there is a lot to consider besides who pays what, when. For example, how will the workload to keep up the suite be divided? How and when can the suite be used to entertain guests? If life circumstances change, can the co-ownership agreement be altered? What happens if and when one of the parties wants to leave the co-ownership arrangement?

Work with an experienced sales person who is familiar with co-ownership, as well as a real estate lawyer who understands the process. Co-ownership of a condominium suite can be an effective and smart way to enter the new home real estate market to build equity together. The great news is that mortgage interest rates remain low, so the moral of the story is to get in now, rather than later. I always say, a happy purchaser is an educated, informed one.

BARBARA LAWLOR is president and CEO of Baker Real Estate Inc., winner of the pinnacle 2017 Riley Brethour Award from BILD, and an indemand columnist and speaker. A member of the Baker team since 1993, she oversees the marketing and sales of condominium developments in the GTA and overseas. Keep current with The Baker Blog at blog.bakerrealestate.com

SHARE  

Featured Products


The Davis Residences, Newmarket

In Conversation With… Daniel Berholz, President, The Rose Corporation

Latest News


In Conversation With… Daniel Berholz, President, The Rose Corporation

Daniel Berholz, The Rose Corporation
Daniel Berholz
President
The Rose Corporation

Attainable homeownership options are growing more and more important each day, as rising prices and tightening new home supply severely limit buying opportunities and locations.

The Rose Corporation is intent on doing something about that.

With – to get further insights into how The Rose Corporation plans to achieve these objectives.

Condo Life: The Rose Corporation seems like a bit of a different real estate company… What is it readers really need to understand about your firm?

Daniel Berholz: The Rose Corporation has had a diverse history over almost 40 years and has had experience and expertise in many forms and tenures of real estate and other businesses as well. Currently, however, Rose is a developer of visionary residential communities (both condominium and freehold) and a developer/owner of purpose-built rental properties.

CL: What is your primary focus in the GTA, in terms of both geography and product type?

DB: Newmarket has been a big focus for us recently. We just introduced Newmarket’s first new highrise condominium in more than 30 years – The Davis Residences at Bakerfield. We’ll be hosting our Grand Opening sales event on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 11 a.m. The Davis is part of a master-planned community that will consist of other similar buildings which will be high end rental buildings or condominiums.

The Davis Residences, Newmarket
The Davis Residences, Newmarket

Our King George School Lofts & Town Homes development is another community in Newmarket that we’re really proud of. It comprises 11 condo lofts within the old school building surrounded by 14 two-storey freehold townhomes.

As well, we recently completed the first privately funded, purpose-built market rental apartment tower in York Region since the 1980s, called 212 Davis Apartments – a 15-storey, 225-unit building.

In Kitchener, we are active in the purpose-built rental development market with the introduction of our first project, Woodside Terraces, which included 103 suites. The second phase will include 91 units and will feature a new wing being built on excess land.

And at 388 King St. in downtown Kitchener, we recently broke ground on a seven-storey, 70-unit purpose-built rental apartment.

CL: Who are your target clients? Purely investors? Homebuilders? Or homebuyers who want to become real estate investors?

DB: Our target clients are homebuyers who are looking for valuable, quality homeownership opportunities. We are focused end-users – from first-time buyers looking for their first home purchase, families who need more room to grow and even empty-nesters who are seeking more maintenance-free housing options with plenty of lifestyle amenities.

Our target clients also include investors who are seeking to diversify their real estate portfolio.

CL: How’s the market these days for the products that you offer?

DB: The market is strong for condo developments, which provide more affordable homeownership opportunities for first-time buyers and turnkey options for empty nesters who want to sell their large homes and keep a tidy savings for their retirement.

The Davis Residences lobby, Newmarket
The Davis Residences lobby, Newmarket

As more people are looking to move out of the GTA due to affordability, municipalities such as Newmarket, that were once viewed as bedroom communities, have been attracting more people to the area because buyers can get better value.

And with companies such as Celestica and York Region headquarters moving into Newmarket, this only adds to the demand of alternative to lowrise housing, such as condos and purpose-built rentals, which are more attainable options for commuter employees seeking to live closer to work.

CL: For residential offerings, affordability and “missing middle” type housing are key issues. How does The Rose Corporation address these issues in its projects?

DB: One of our primary focuses is working collaboratively with all levels of government on all of our projects so that together, we can deliver the type of housing that is needed to provide a complete community in the areas we develop.

Increases in prices for ground related housing have made ownership unattainable for many people over the past number years in Newmarket. The Davis Residences will provide the area the first opportunity to own new quality housing at affordable prices.

As well, Rose’s purpose-built rental housing developments provide affordable alternatives within their communities. This includes 212 Davis Apartments in Newmarket. This building leased up quickly due to its attractive and affordable price point relative to other options in the area.

CL: The Rose Corporation was nominated for the People’s Choice Award in the 2019 BILD Awards for your King George School Lofts & Town Homes development. What was it about this project that made it so special?

DB: King George School Lofts and Town Homes repurposes one of downtown Newmarket’s oldest and most beloved properties. The creation of this trendsetting new address, offering 11 condominium lofts within the old school building surrounded by 14 two-storey freehold townhomes, sets a new bar for innovative design.

Loft homes range from 640 to 1,250 sq. ft., while townhomes offer nearly 2,200 sq. ft. of magnificent living space. Both lofts and towns feature exceptional architecture and finishing features designed to reflect the ultimate in contemporary living. The architecture combines Victorian and Edwardian heritage with modern luxury. The project is set within a lush perimeter of 100-year-old trees, century old heritage buildings and iconic historical landmarks just steps from the historic downtown core of Main Street offering extensive amenities, shops, cafes and restaurants.

CL: What did you learn from that project, or the experience of being nominated for an award that consumers vote on, that you’re carrying forward to future projects?

DB: It’s always important to validate that what you think you’re doing well is widely recognized as such. We are still thrilled to win awards, but that’s not what we set out to do. Rose prides itself as an innovative developer.

Our big push now is to develop purpose-built rental apartments and condominiums to address the critical shortage of housing that is affordable that seniors, single and families alike need – and need now.

The Rose Corporation management team
Left to right, The Rose Corporation’s Project Manager David Bannerman; President Daniel Berholz; and Vice-President Andrew Webster

CL: What’s next for The Rose Corporation? Ideally, tell us something that isn’t largely publicly known…

DB: What most don’t know is that we are growing our executive management team. Rose has been active since 1983, and now a new generation of managers is transitioning as the old guard cedes authority and responsibility.

Fortunately, several senior members will remain with reduced roles. Now we will have the experience of a generation and the energy, skills and enthusiasm that a youthful team brings.

We are very excited to soon announce new partnerships with some experienced and well-known financial entities. These partnerships will allow us to advance our development aspirations with landowners we are in active discussion with.

The geography remains outside Toronto and includes locations in Peel, Halton and York regions, as well as new deals within the communities we are currently active in, Kitchener and Newmarket.

rosecorp.com

SHARE  

Featured Products


GTA new home sales

GTA new home sales in July remain strong

Latest News


GTA new home sales in July remain strong

GTA new home sales

It was a busy month by July standards, as sales for both condos and single-family homes were up year-over-year, according to the latest statistics from the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

There were 566 new single-family homes, including detached, linked and semi-detached houses and townhouses, sold in July, according to Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new home market intelligence. Although sales increased 136 per cent from last July, they were 29 per cent below the 10-year average.

Sales of new condominium apartments in low-, medium- and highrise buildings, stacked townhouses and loft units, with 2,297 units sold, were up 22 per cent from July 2018 and 42 per cent above the 10-year average.

Brisk openings

“Typically, buyers take a bit of a vacation from the new condo apartment market in July” says Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s executive vice-president, Data Solutions. “This year was no different, although the decline in sales was less pronounced than usual, resulting in the second strongest July on record. While few new projects launched in July, sales at projects opened in June were brisk.”

The benchmark price of new condominium apartments increased from last month, to $838,824, up 8.3 per cent over the last 12 months. The benchmark price of new single-family homes decreased slightly from last month, to $1.09 million, down 4.5 per cent over the last 12 months, continuing its moderating trend in 2019.

ALSO READ: Detached home sales and prices roar back to life in first half of 2019 – ReMax

Strong July sales, paired with traditional fewer summer openings, saw inventory decrease in July to 12,873 condominium units and 4,409 single-family homes. Remaining inventory includes units in preconstruction projects, in projects currently under construction and in completed buildings.

Total new home sales in the first seven months of 2019, at 20,268 units sold, are up 45 per cent from the same period in 2018 and nine per cent below the 10-year average.

Price gap narrows

“The price gap between single-family homes and condos continues to shrink, leaving new-home buyers with a lack of choice,” says David Wilkes, BILD president and CEO. “We must provide more ‘missing middle’ type development that can support transit in established neighbourhoods. More ‘gentle density’ housing in the form of midrise buildings, condos with street level retail, and stacked townhouses is needed to give consumers more choice.”

 

New home sales by municipality, July 2019

Municipality Condominium units Single-family homes Total
Region 2019 2018 2017 2019 2018 2017 2019 2018 2017
Durham 29 6 27 118 44 60 147 50 87
Halton 59 46 18 82 25 18 141 71 36
Peel 415 150 148 142 87 0 557 237 148
Toronto 1,522 1,557 1,118 46 8 6 1,568 1,565 1,124
York 272 120 461 178 76 34 450 196 495
GTA 2,297 1,879 1,772 566 240 118 2,863 2,119 1,890

Source: Altus Group

RELATED READING

What Bill 108 means for housing affordability in the GTA

Behind the numbers : The GTA housing market in June 2019

Examining the GTA affordable homeownership crisis

 

SHARE  

Featured Products


zev_mandelbaum_w_dec16

In Conversation With… Zev Mandelbaum, President and CEO, Altree Developments

Latest News


In Conversation With… Zev Mandelbaum, President and CEO, Altree Developments

Imagine growing up – quite literally – in the development industry, and becoming a third-generation builder. The lessons imparted by your father, and grandfather before him, and how such family mentoring would help shape who you are today and how you view not just developing projects but growing communities. Zev Mandelbaum, president and CEO of Altree Developments, is one such builder. We caught up with him to discuss two of the company’s new signature projects, and more.

Condo Life: What made Altree decide to choose The Queensway area in Etobicoke for your latest project, Thirty Six Zorra? Was it more a product of land availability, or is there something about the area in particular?

Zev Mandelbaum: Altree chose The Queensway for two principal reasons – ability for high-density development and ample surrounding amenities and entertainment for the public.

As Toronto expands and becomes a larger and more metropolitan city, fewer places are designated to allow for high-density development, and The Queensway was an area we could develop a community of this size. The land that spans from The Queensway to Islington, trickling into the Gardiner, is designated to allow for high-density condominium towers. So, when I saw that opportunity, I knew we would have the ability to build an entire neighbourhood from scratch.

In addition, the neighbourhood already has ample amenities, including the Cineplex Cinemas and Sherway Gardens just down the road, many restaurants and a tremendous parkland that was already planned and under construction at the time. We felt The Queensway would be the most optimal neighbourhood to live, work, play and grow a family. It’s the perfect opportunity to expand on a loyal community that was already present within the area.

CL: What do you foresee as the typical buyer profile? Singles, young families…?

ZM: As urbanization increases, condominium living will become the norm for the city dweller and lead to a whole new way of living. As people change their mindsets to own a home with a white picket fence and large backyard, the shift will be to a more urban lifestyle where amenities are at the tip of ones’ fingertips, with less worry about the maintenance of the property.

Thirty Six Zorra is going to contain a wide selection of amenities that will target all different types of buyers, from singles, to young couples, as well as those looking to downsize. This building will also cater to a larger mix of buyers because of the price point and affordability that will come with these units (compared to those found in the downtown core). Toronto is seeing a year-over-year increase in price per square foot of condominiums within the core, making condo options downtown less and less feasible to many working Torontonians. As a result, we also see a lot of Millennial demographic and end users gravitating to this particular building.

CL: Amenities are becoming an increasingly important part of any condo project – features that speak to the character of the local area and the target buyer demographic. What are the key differentiating amenities at Thirty Six Zorra?

ZM: The way we’ve approached this project is recognizing that The Queensway already has a great mix of retail amenities. For Thirty Six Zorra, we wanted to communicate that this building is really somewhere where prospective buyers can live, work and play on a daily basis. The Queensway offers a plethora of shopping and culinary experiences, and we wanted to bring this vibe into the building. We wanted to create something that really unites people by adding amenities focused on enjoying the company of others – getting off our phones and tablets and hanging out with one another. The building features a gym, a dry sauna, outdoor pool, and a rooftop patio ideal for throwing a great summer party.

The most unique amenities include a rec room that features a social space with various games for everyone to relax with friendly competition after a long day of work. We also added in a demonstration kitchen to allow for a communal space for future homeowners to share their passions and creativity through cooking. With the freelance working economy becoming so popular, there will also be multiple cohesive working spaces where buyers can base their office and hold meetings from the co-working space, the lounges, outside patio or parks that surround the project.

CL: You recently entered into a strategic partnership with EllisDon for Thirty Six Zorra. What are the reasons behind this decision, and how will it benefit the project? 

ZM: As a developer, ever since childhood I have loved to watch buildings being constructed and grow. I sought a partnership with EllisDon Capital – the best to do just that – build this community. My goal has not been to merely build a building, but to team up with someone as part of a strategic partnership where we could align our values and goals, leading to a long-term working relationship.

EllisDon is the number one leader in the construction industry in Canada, has built more buildings than anyone else and is set on building the best buildings for communities. Being able to have a strong alliance with EllisDon, not only as a constructor, but also as a fully dedicated partner in the project, gives us the longevity not only to do this project spectacularly well, but also to create more fantastic buildings in the city of Toronto.

CL: Etobicoke certainly as a price point advantage over downtown Toronto and elsewhere in the 416. How long do you think this will last, given more and more developers are seeing the potential of the area?

ZM: As Toronto and the downtown core continues to grow and pierce new heights within the price range of condominium projects, the affordability of units in this area becomes a farther stretch for many people. The multiplier effect means that once a city gets more attention, it gets more amenities and attracts more people who want to live there, just like New York City.

An economist once told me, 30 years ago Manhattan was overpriced, 20 years ago Manhattan was overpriced, 10 years ago Manhattan was overpriced and it’s still overpriced today. I believe the lesson in that was when you have a city that is desirable and continues to g row, it just builds upon itself. As it happens, when the price in Toronto becomes more and more unaffordable, people are starting to look just outside the core to acquire something that is within their price range. Since the pricing in the downtown core is so high, it is only reasonable to think that a market just outside the city, where average square foot prices are in the mid $8 00’s per sq. ft., there is more room to grow.

However, even with this room to grow, these areas will still remain at a $300 to $400 per sq. ft. discount from the downtown core. This is exactly where The Queensway market is, and future homeowners will see this value as well.

CL: Altree has plenty of other projects in the Toronto area. What are the common qualities or characteristics about these that speak to Altree’s mission, vision… that really say, yes, this is an Altree project? 

ZM: Altree is all about understanding neighbourhoods! When we decide on a neighbourhood, we place importance on understanding the character and feel that is already in place, so we are able to blend in. The common denominator of all our projects is that we are generally not coming into an area where there are other buildings in the immediate vicinity, meaning that the architecture of the area really has no identity. We need to create an identity within that building that is unique to the character of that neighbourhood. Essentially, we marry a building with the neighbourhood around it.

The most important vision to Altree, is we look for where a community is going to be in the next five to 10 years, not where it is today. It is difficult to do this, as humans are very “touch and feel,” where if something is not there, it’s hard to visualize. When we first look at a site, we analyze the area and really understand the core values and characteristics of a neighbourhood and build on how we understand it to be in the future. Once we understand this, the sky’s the limit. So, if you look at all our projects, we are entrenched in neighbourhoods that have the fibre of growth already existing.

CL: Forest Hill Private Residences is another milestone project from Altree Developments, in a high-profile neighbourhood. What is it about Forest Hill that will stand out from other projects in the area?

ZM: Forest Hill Private Residences is a unique building. When we first saw the project and the piece of land and understood how the zoning would come to be, we noticed that this was a project that would not only be on the cusp of Forest Hill but would be a statement to the neighbourhood.

Seeing that every floor from the third to the ninth has terraces – units with tremendous outdoor exposure – this aspect is one that is missing in buildings in the area and elsewhere in Toronto. Usable personal outdoor space while not having the responsibility of a lawn or backyard. There seems to be quite the gap between condominium and lowrise housing living. There are towers that span up 30 to 40 storeys with great views and exposure, but without much personal outdoor space. There are lowrise houses that have large lawns and backyards, but have become completely unaffordable. Forest Hill Private Residences is a project where we are marrying that outdoor and indoor space. Merging that indoor-outdoor lifestyle together in condominium living is a type of living that is missing in Toronto. It’s the missing middle between a home and a condo, and we are so happy that Forest Hill Private Residences will be able to bring this happy medium to the future homeowners.

CL: What is the current status, in terms of planning, sales launch, suite sizes and price range? 

ZM: Currently Forest Hill Private Residences is at the tail end of its zoning. We hope to have that completed by the end of the year and be in the market early next year, with units starting from 900 sq. ft. and up, so there are units catering to everyone.

On a Personal Note…

CL: You’re a third-generation developer… how has essentially growing up in the industry, with a strong family legacy, formed who you are and what you want Altree to become?

ZM: I have learned everything I know from my family. It all started with my grandfather, Sandy Hofstedter, who started H&R Developments 70 years ago. All I remember from a young boy was talk about buildings, neighbourhoods, construction and development. Dinner table talks were all about neighbourhoods in Toronto, the planning context and what we were doing to change it. So, to me, the only thing I have ever dreamt of was building buildings that add to Toronto – buildings that have names that people would look at. The satisfaction of being involved in developments that added to the city skyline, is something words can’t describe. My goal is to make sure Altree continues that legacy for my children for generations to come.

CL: You’ve had some other executive level stops in your career, at Marlin Spring and Lanterra Developments, for example. What did you learn – about development, housing or homebuyers – that aids you in your current role at Altree?

ZM: I started off working in all the family businesses, from H&R Developments to Lanterra Developments, until I formed Marlin Spring along with my two brother-in-laws. In each role, I specialized in the development industry, from acquisition to zoning to marketing to sales to construction to registration to warranty and all the way to the end. At each phase, I was able to delve deep into each aspect of condominium development. Anyone who regularly develops land can tell you that, when you’re a builder it’s all about perfection! It’s all about specialization, working the kinks out of the design, taking that design and tweaking it until it’s perfect.

Working at Lanterra allowed me to see massive projects at macro levels and being able to work alongside the team. When I formed Marlin Spring, I was able to take everything I learned from my family and work on different projects and partnerships. Now with Altree, I’m able to work on specific projects that interest me, allowing me to put my own stamp on this world.

CL: Your greatest inspiration in the development industry is:

ZM: My father and grandfather. For as long as I can remember, I have been inspired and awed by what they have accomplished – from so many great buildings in Toronto and so many artistic styles, to communities that have changed the landscape of the way we live. From ICE Condominiums to Maple Leaf Square, which has totally changed the south core of Toronto, to Murano and Burano that has completely changed the Bay St. strip, to many other areas that both H&R Developments and Lanterra Developments have been involved in shaping.

CL: When not at the office or in the field…:

ZM: I’m spending time with my three children and wife, exploring Toronto’s neighbourhoods and parks and exploring off beaten tracks of Toronto’s gorgeous ravine systems.

SHARE  

Featured Products


Del Condominium Rentals

In Conversation With… Shanker Narayanan, General Manager, Del Condominium Rentals

Latest News


In Conversation With… Shanker Narayanan, General Manager, Del Condominium Rentals

Shanker Narayanan, general manager, Del Condominium Rentals
Shanker Narayanan, General Manager, Del Condominium Rentals

Condominiums are booming in the GTA, with an increasing number of owners choosing to rent out their units for investment purposes.

Del Condominium Rentals, setting a standard in suite rental management in the GTA since 1986, offers such owners suite leasing services without having to worry about the day-to-day concerns related to being a landlord. From marketing, tenant screening, leasing, maintenance and repair, accounting, insurance coverage, compliance enforcement and revenue retrieval, the company does it all.

We spoke to Shanker Narayanan, general manager of Del Condominium Rentals to learn a little more about this growing business.

Condo Life: What is the scope of the management services you offer to condo unit owners? Is it a one-size fits all package, or is there a range of services owners can choose from…?

Shanker Narayanan: We provide day-to-day management of the suites, including complete research and marketing for new owners, arranging insurance, utility transfers and other services – all for a fee of six per cent of the monthly rental. We plan to also introduce a tiered system involving additional services, such as rent guarantee, suite inspections and maintenance.

Del Condominium Rentals

CL: How much of a growing business category is this for Tridel? We’re hearing so much about the investor element in condominium ownership these days…

SN: We have 2,550 condos in our portfolio today and are planning to grow to 3,500 by 2024. We were primarily a company that provides leasing services for Tridel suite owners, and about 78 per cent of our business comes from their new builds. We have evolved over the past five years into a leading condo rental management company in the GTA. We are aggressively trying to grow the non-Tridel portfolio. If this happens, we would look at increasing the overall portfolio to hopefully 5,000 suites in five years.

For Tridel new builds, we provide lease-up services from interim occupancy to eventual unit registration. This period might vary from building to building. We are currently leasing about 35 to 40 per cent of the inventory in all new builds.

CL: What is your typical client profile? Investor-owners who want to be completely hands off? First-time investors who really need the help being a landlord…?

SN: About 90 per cent of our owners are first-time homeowners or single unit owners, who don’t have the time to self-manage their units. We do have a lot of seasoned investors who have multiple suites in their portfolio. On average, a homeowner stays in our program for five years. They usually have an investment cycle that culminates in either them selling, -self-occupying or in rare cases self-managing the unit.

Del Condominium Rentals

CL: What are the main benefits of using your services, that perhaps suite owners couldn’t do on their own?

SN: Most owners don’t know that there are a million things that could go wrong when managing a condo unit. We know this from experience and from managing a portfolio of more than 2,500 condos over the past decade. Most owners who self-manage condos have a belief that “this won’t happen to me.” Things get complicated at times, and that’s when expert knowledge comes handy. For example, an owner might have a new condo but there might be a water leak from a unit above and that causes water damage in suites below. There could be resulting claims from owners against this owner even though the problem isn’t with their unit. We manage these complex scenarios with the insurance adjusters and the condo property management.

We are a one-stop shop for homeowners, providing turnkey management and peace of mind.

CL: How do you arrive at the end cost to clients for these services? Does it depend on the unit size, rental rate, specific services they’re using…?

SN: Our management fees are very competitive. We have always been a market leader and have been looked upon as setting the benchmark. We also have preferred rates with vendors for services such as plumbing, electrical, HVAC and handyman work. In addition, we co-ordinate works for window coverings, flooring and window and door installation. We have synergies with Tridel and ensure that we pass on the benefits to suite owners.

CL: And how do you determine the rental rate for units?

SN: We do a thorough market evaluation. We are the rental experts, and as such, Tridel sets the rental benchmark for any community. Our expert team looks at trends on MLS and third-party Internet sites and comes up with the best practices to research and tabulate rentals.

CL: Ideally, suite owners would want to be cash-flow positive when renting out their investment condo. How do you help them achieve this goal?

Del Condominium Rentals

SN: Most suite owners have a set financial cycle that will allow them to realize market potential. We save them costs and the hassles of day-to-day management and they see the benefits over a period of time. While cash flow is key for many owners, they see the merit of us ensuring that the unit is well maintained and the equity grows over time.

CL: And when it comes time that they wanted to sell, how can you assist in that transaction, say, to another potential investor-owner?

SN: We typically refer owners back to their agent when they consider selling. This is our partnership with our realtor colleagues. We do, however, ensure the transaction and unit transition go smoothly. For example, we make sure all necessary restorations are completed and that things are co-ordinated with residents and property management.

CL: Any other key pieces of information potential clients should know about your services?

SN: We are leaders in the rental business. What sets us apart from others is that we are part of Tridel. We bring synergies from other group companies such as Del Property Management, DelSuites, Tridel Customer Care and Deltera (construction). This is invaluable and often beneficial for homeowners.

For more information, contact Del Condominium Rentals at the website, 4800 Dufferin St., Toronto, or call 416.296.RENT (7368).

 

 

SHARE  

Featured Products


Single-family homes web

New single-family home sales in the GTA jump in February

Latest News


New single-family home sales in the GTA jump in February

Single-family homes web

The GTA new home market in February saw the highest number of single-family homes sold since April 2017, according to the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

There were 639 new single-family homes sold in February, including detached, linked and semi-detached houses and townhouses, according to Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new home market intelligence. This was up 147 per cent from last February, though still 50 per cent below the 10-year average. Sales of new condominium apartments in low-, medium- and highrise buildings, stacked townhouses and loft units, with 772 units sold, were down 58 per cent from February 2018 and down 51 per cent from the 10-year average.

“Softer new condominium apartment sales in February can, at least in part, be attributed to the rapid increase in prices in the past two years, which has priced many would-be buyers out of the market,” says Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s executive vice-president, Data Solutions. “The good news is that, although still relatively low in historical terms, there is now more inventory available to purchase and this is curbing the upward pressure on prices.”

ALSO READ: Budget 2019 comes up short

Remaining inventory in February included 11,269 condominium units and 5,233 single-family lots. Remaining inventory includes units in preconstruction projects, in projects currently under construction and in completed buildings.

Benchmark prices of both single-family homes and condominium apartments moderated slightly compared to the previous month. The benchmark price of new single-family homes was $1.12 million, down eight per cent over the last 12 months, while the benchmark price of new condominium apartments was $792,709, up 8.6 per cent over the last 12 months.

“We are hopeful that the measures introduced last week in the federal budget will enable more first-time homebuyers to enter the market and purchase the type of home they want,” says BILD President and CEO David Wilkes. “However, these measures are only the first step, and BILD will continue to advocate for a review of the mortgage stress test so more first-time homebuyers can realize the dream of homeownership.”

Wilkes adds that the GTA is still grappling with challenges around supply. “BILD is continuing to call on the provincial government and municipal governments to take the steps necessary to facilitate additional housing supply to meet the growing need across the GTA.”

February New Home Sales by Municipality

Condominium units Single-family Total
Region 2019 2018 2017 2019 2018 2017 2019 2018 2017
Durham 22 4 113 54 50 302 76 54 415
Halton 39 46 96 269 113 457 308 159 553
Peel 120 104 384 189 34 201 309 138 585
Toronto 533 1,065 1,822 4 6 42 537 1,071 1,864
York 58 641 345 123 56 447 181 697 792
GTA 772 1,860 2,760 639 259 1,449 1,411 2,119 4,209

Source: Altus Group

RELATED READING

Budget 2019 comes up short

GTA new home sales begin 2019 on a positive note

2018 GTA new home sales drop to lowest mark in nearly 20 years

 

 

 

SHARE  

Featured Products