Tag Archives: condos

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Why condo co-ownership is gaining popularity

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Why condo co-ownership is gaining popularity

More Canadians are partnering up with friends and family to buy a condo. New data from Teranet, the provider of Ontario’s online property search and registration, shows co-ownership in condominiums specifically was more than 37 per cent in 2018. With condo prices continuing to rise year over year, for many, pooling their money is the only option to get into the condo market. For others it’s a more creative way to manage a huge responsibility, like owning real estate. Here is what the latest data shows.

The trend is growing

Compared to data from 2012 more condo purchases are being made with more than one person on title. Condos with only one person on title in 2018 was 48 per cent. That is down from 57 per cent in 2012. Parents are pitching in more too. For example, units owned with parental assistance is at more than 14 per cent. Compare that to 2012 when only nine per cent of condos were purchased with help from mom and dad.

Owners close in age

The data from Teranet show co-owners are relatively close in age. That number has also risen slightly. In 2012, 50.1 per cent of the province’s homes had several owners on title, with the age gaps being 20 years or less. This proportion went up to 51.6 per cent by 2018. The rise is small, but shows more people, young or old, are choosing to buy together, whether it be young people buying their first home, or retirees deciding to downside together.

Financing options

Owning a house with a friend of family member means you will need to apply for a co-mortgage. Some financial institutions are now launching products that are specifically aimed at this group of people eager to find a way to buy their first home. There are many factors to consider in a co-ownership situation. This will include how the regular monthly bills will be handled, who will get what room and how emergency costs can be covered. As well, have an exit plan if you co-own a property.

Consider the future

Unlike when you buy with your spouse or long term partner, life can change at different times. One co-owner may meet someone and want them to move in. Another may get a new job and want to sell the home and take the equity to buy a house elsewhere. Draw up a plan now of how you will handle the sale of the home and what each co-owner’s expectations are.

With co-ownership of condos on the rise, more needs to be done to protect all those involved in the transaction to make sure the real estate purchase is worth it for everyone.

Rubina Ahmed-Haq is a journalist and personal finance expert. She is HPG’s Finance Editor. She regularly appears on CBC Radio and TV. She is a contributor on CTV Your Morning and Global Toronto. She has a BA from York University, received her post graduate journalism diploma from Humber College and has completed the CSC. Follow her on Twitter @alwayssavemoney.

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The Davis Residences, Newmarket

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

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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

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Women buyers a force in the condo marketplace

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Women buyers a force in the condo marketplace

According to Statistics Canada, the number of single-person households has more than doubled over the past 35 years, and many of the people in this group are women. Although at one time, this group was largely made up of widowed seniors, these days women living alone come from every age group, especially between the ages of 35 to 64. According to a StatsCan report, one in five people who live alone do so in condominiums. Last year, a report in the U.S. showed that single women are the second-largest group, after married couples, of home purchasers.

At Baker Real Estate Inc., we regularly see this trend in action, with women choosing condominium suites as their primary residences, vacation residences and/or investment properties. One-bedroom suites sell like hotcakes, and I estimate that about a third of our sales for our clients are to female buyers. They may be young first-time purchasers who understand the value of owning a home, and who choose condos because of their relative affordability in the Greater Toronto Area. We have even helped women buy a condominium suite in partnership with another female in order to afford a larger suite than they would be able to carry by themselves, – a great way for both to build equity.

Seasoned professionals often want to live closer to where they work. Other scenarios include single mothers, or any women who have become widowed or separated and are now facing life on their own. Condos also offer a sense of freedom for women who travel extensively. They can just lock the door and leave, knowing they don’t have to worry about snow removal, lawn mowing and the cleaning and upkeep on the condominium’s amenities. In addition, there are savvy investors who recognize a tremendous return-on-investment opportunity.

Many who intend to live in the suites they buy appreciate the community and security aspects of condominium living. The concierge, for example, provides screening for visitors and “eyes on the street.” Today’s buildings are also equipped with advanced security features such as monitored cameras in the underground parking garage, entry phone and in-suite security systems.

Condos in essence are vertical neighbourhoods, and women appreciate the sense of community they find in these residences. If and when they need help with anything, plenty of neighbours live close by. Over time, they get to know each other in the elevators, hallways and amenity spaces. They may trade favours such as watering plants and caring for pets while away.

New condos also appeal partially because of the “new” aspect. I believe that every woman has a decorator in her soul, so being able to select your own colours and materials for flooring, countertops and other finishes is appealing.

Women of all ages and walks of life benefit from all aspects of condominium living. Buying instead of renting is a wonderful investment in their financial and lifestyle future, and they can enjoy the fruits of this investment every day.

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

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

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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.

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CL June 19 News BILD

GTA new home market shows encouraging signs in March

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GTA new home market shows encouraging signs in March

CL June 19 News BILD

The GTA new home market continued to show some encouraging signs in March, according to the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

Total new home sales, with 2,314 new homes sold, were up 20 per cent from last year, though still 36 per cent below the 10-year average, according to Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new home market intelligence. There were 886 new single-family homes sold in March, including detached, linked and semi-detached houses and townhouses, up from last March’s low of 295, but still 38 per cent below the 10-year average. This is the fifth month in a row that new single-family home sales have increased year-over-year.Sales of new condominium units in low-, medium- and highrise buildings, stacked townhouses and loft units, with 1,428 units sold, were down 13 per cent from March 2018 and 34 per cent below the 10-year average.

Broader availability

“The desire to own a new single-family home never went away, but many would-be buyers have been taking a wait-and-see approach in the past two years,” says Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s executive vice-president, Data Solutions. “While the affordability of single-family homes in general remains a challenge, the broader range of product at more favourable price points that is starting to emerge has attracted some of these buyers into the market.”

The 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 7.6 per cent over the last 12 months, while the benchmark price of new condominium units was $780,839, up 5.1 per cent over the last 12 months.

Affordability still an issue

“Despite the recent slight moderation in new home prices, affordability is an issue for many people in the GTA, as we have learned from our Building Answers campaign, which encourages residents to ask questions about development,” says David Wilkes, BILD president and CEO. “Affordability will continue to be a challenge until structural remedies are introduced to fix the GTA’s housing supply shortage. It is clear that we all – industry, government and public – need to look for ways to build more housing faster and to mitigate unnecessary delays and costs on new housing.”

Remaining inventory in March included 11,744 condominium units and 5,054 single-family homes. Remaining inventory includes units in preconstruction projects, in projects currently under construction and in completed buildings.

 

March new home sales by municipality

Condominium units Single-family homes Total
Region 2019 2018 2017 2019 2018 2017 2019 2018 2017
Durham 35 14 188 173 66 209 208 80 397
Halton 70 64 110 107 59 296 177 123 406
Peel 84 99 197 307 126 366 391 225 563
Toronto 953 1,081 3,628 88 5 93 1,041 1,086 3,721
York 286 382 442 211 39 372 497 421 814
GTA 1,428 1,640 4,565 886 295 1,336 2,314 1,935 5,901

Source: Altus Group

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

Development in the GTA

 

 

 

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Enter the new home marketplace sooner rather than later!

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Enter the new home marketplace sooner rather than later!

They say that timing is everything, and in the new condominium market, that statement is true. Think about the people who purchased condo suites a decade or two ago, or even five years ago, and how much return-on-investment they have enjoyed. Mortgage interest rates are still amazingly low, and those who act soon can purchase at similar single-digit rates our parents and grandparents enjoyed. The moral of the story is to get into the new condo ownership market sooner rather than later.

First-time buyers today usually turn to condominiums for financial attainability, and owning a new condo is one of the wisest moves they can make toward their future. Building equity opens the door to numerous options as people age and life circumstances change. Nowadays, families are opting for condos as well, because the condo lifestyle frees up precious time they can spend together. Buyers who are right-sizing their lives to a condominium suite can achieve a more compact, convenient and fun lifestyle.

When considering timing, look at where condos are in the marketing /selling cycle. Projected occupancy dates may or may not fit in with your plans. If you buy early in the cycle shortly after a community is announced, you enjoy the best price and the most choice of suites, floors and views. Ask, too, about Grand Opening specials that can save you thousands. Again, depending on your plans, you may be happy to wait anywhere from three to six years to move in. This time can be used to save money toward your purchase and to plan for the move. And remember that you might earn equity even before you move in!

Then again, waiting until construction begins offers a lot of peace of mind to some purchasers. Once there is an obvious acceptance by the public and the developer can go ahead with construction, we typically see a jump in sales. You are wise to ask sales representatives whether you can still choose features and finishes if you wait for the onset of construction.

We also see a lot of condo buyers who prefer to buy late in a condo’s sales process so they can have a quick move-in, as the suites may already be built. Developers often offer the final few suites with special incentives that are incredibly attractive. You may have to select a suite finished with standards, but today’s level of standard appointments is so high, you are sure to enjoy beautiful, luxurious surroundings. Buying at this stage means you can start your carefree condo lifestyle right away.

You may also want to time your purchase with respect to location. For example, investors tend to buy in communities that are located in up-and-coming neighbourhoods, because prices are better before amenities are in place and the area’s revitalization is complete. Or perhaps you want to move into an already established location, and the increased price is well worth it to you.

So, when is the best time to buy a condo in the GTA? No matter how you slice it, the answer is NOW!

BARBARA LAWLOR is president and CEO of Baker Real Estate Incorporated, winner of the pinnacle 2017 Riley Brethour Award from BILD, and an in-demand 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

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Menkes Sugar Wharf

Menkes’ Sugar Wharf Canada’s top selling condo in 2018

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Menkes’ Sugar Wharf Canada’s top selling condo in 2018

 

Menkes Sugar Wharf

Sugar Wharf Residences by Menkes Developments Ltd., part of the upcoming mixed-use development on Toronto’s Waterfront, was the best-selling new condominium project in Canada for 2018, according to Altus Group, a leading provider of real estate data and advisory services.

In a year where buyer confidence and sales activity downshifted, Menkes sees this is a major feat.

“We are so pleased that buyers were as passionate about this project as we are,” says Jared Menkes, executive vice-president, Highrise. “The strong response to Sugar Wharf is especially meaningful coming out of 2018, where many builders experienced a shift in market conditions. Increasingly, there has been a flight to quality by prospective homeowners, opting for brands they know and trust, and we are fortunate to be one of those brands.”

Located in East Bayfront at the northeast corner of Queens Quay East and Freeland Street, the Sugar Wharf community will encompass 11.5 acres and include luxury residences, offices, restaurants and shops, Toronto’s first vertically integrated school, and will be anchored by a new two-acre park.  Once complete, Sugar Wharf will be the largest mixed-use development on the Toronto Waterfront, home to 7,500 residents and 4,000 office workers. All buildings will be connected to Toronto’s indoor PATH pedestrian system, as the development includes plans to expand the PATH east of Yonge Street.

ALSO READ: Sugar Wharf by Menkes a well-connected waterfront community

ALSO READ: Menkes Breaks Ground on Waterfront Innovation Centre on Toronto Waterfront

The residential component of the community, designed by architectsAlliance, will include five condominium towers, varying in height from 64 to 90 storeys, and a midrise rental building. In summer 2018, Menkes launched the first two residential towers and sold 1,241 of a total 1,463 condo units (85 per cent).

According to Altus, new condominium sales fell 38 per cent from the record high in 2017, though they remain close to the 10-year average for the market. Industry experts predict new condos will remain the primary source for additional housing needed to keep up with the pace of immigration.

Construction is well underway at Sugar Wharf Residences. Excavation at the site progressed to over 40 feet below grade. Completion of the towers is slated for 2022.

The Sugar Wharf community officially broke ground in January 2018 with the first phase of the project, 100 Queens Quay East, a 25-storey office tower, featuring approximately 690,00 sq. ft. of Class AAA space. In addition to the new office building, the community will include approximately 300,000 sq. ft. of multi-level commercial retail space, including the new flagship LCBO store. Expected occupancy for the office tower is spring 2021.

 

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New home sales

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

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

New home sales

Last year saw the lowest total sales in almost 20 years in the GTA new home market, the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) reports.

Overall in 2018, there were 25,161 new homes sold in the GTA, according to Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new home market intelligence, making 2018 the year with the lowest number of new home sales in the GTA since Altus Group started tracking new home data in 2000.

New record low

There were 21,330 condominium units sold in 2018, including those in low-, mid and highrise buildings, stacked townhouses and loft units – down 38 per cent from 2017 but only four per cent less than the 10-year average. Setting a record low since Altus began tracking new home data in 2000, there were only 3,831 single-family homes sold in 2018, including detached, linked and semi-detached houses and townhouses (excluding stacked townhouses). This is down 50 per cent from 2017 and down 74 per cent from the 10-year average.

“A number of factors combined to produce the drop in GTA new home sales in 2018,” says Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s executive vice-president, Data Solutions. “More stringent mortgage stress testing, rising interest rates and lack of single-family product affordable to a broader range of buyers all played a role. As well, the record new condo apartment sales in 2017 brought forward some demand that would otherwise have occurred in 2018.”

In December, the benchmark price for new condos was $796,815, up 11.2 per cent over the last 12 months. The benchmark price for single-family homes was $1.14 million, down 6.7 per cent over the last 12 months.

Out of balance

“From our point of view, the market is out of balance,” says David Wilkes, BILD president and CEO. “We must continue to work with all levels of government to ensure that policies don’t artificially price consumers out of the market.

“We commend the provincial government for taking action toward increasing housing supply in Ontario,” Wilkes adds. “We join other industry groups in calling on the federal government to revisit the stress test and allow a longer amortization period for first-time buyers. And we look forward to working with our municipal partners on removing barriers to development such as excessive red tape and outdated bylaws.”

At the end of December, there were 15,768 new homes available for purchase, comprised of 10,687 condominium units and 5,081 single-family homes. Remaining inventory includes units in preconstruction projects, in projects currently under construction, and in completed buildings.

 

December New Home Sales by Municipality

December 2018 Condominium apartments Single-family Total
Region 2018 2017 2016 2018 2017 2016 2018 2017 2016
Durham 40 17 50 44 15 75 84 32 125
Halton 48 163 59 21 47 93 69 210 152
Peel 108 89 130 32 11 152 140 100 282
Toronto 479 404 1,684 9 8 31 488 412 1,715
York 129 195 345 30 62 274 159 257 619
GTA 804 868 2,268 136 143 625 940 1,011 2,893

Source: Altus Group

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GTA Condos

GTA resale condo listings and sales dip to end 2018, but prices rise

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GTA resale condo listings and sales dip to end 2018, but prices rise

GTA Condos

GTA condominium sales declined 9.9 per cent to 5,191 in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to the last quarter of 2017, according to the latest statistics from the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).

New condo listings entered into TREB’s MLS System were down by more than sales on a year-over-year basis – dropping 11.2 per cent to 7,272 in Q4 2018 from 8,186 in Q4 2017.  his points to tighter market conditions at the end of 2018 compared to late 2017.

Price growth leader

“The condominium apartment segment was the best-performing segment in terms of annual average rates of price growth in 2018,” says TREB President Garry Bhaura. “Condos represent a relatively affordable housing option. With a substantial decrease in listings in 2018, competition between intending buyers remained strong.  This supported average price growth well-above the rate of inflation and annual rates of price growth reported for other ground-oriented home types.”

The average price of a condo unit increased by 8.3 per cent to $558,728 in Q4 2018 from $516,086 in Q4 2017. Year-over-year price growth in the city of Toronto, which accounted for 72 per cent of transactions, was slightly higher at 8.9 per cent, resulting in an average price of $598,664.

Lack of supply

“The condominium apartment segment continued to be a key entry point into the GTA home ownership market in 2018,” says Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis. “Higher mortgage qualification standards meant that many first-time buyers were looking for more affordable housing options.  Moving forward, the concern is that a continued lack of listings supply, despite relatively strong new condo completions as of late, will hamper the ability of potential home buyers to meet their housing needs.”

 

Condo market summary

Fourth quarter 2018
2018 2017
Sales Average Price Sales Average Price
Total TREB 5,191 $558,728 5,760 $516,086
Halton Region 222 $510,946 202 $461,200
Peel Region 654 $424,860 767 $389,446
City of Toronto 3,728 $598,664 4,188 $549,927
York Region 453 $498,198 482 $481,307
Durham Region 117 $383,872 108 $381,893
Other Areas 17 $391,265 13 $343,069
Source: Toronto Real Estate Board

 

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New home market

GTA new home market back to typical sales and openings levels in November

Latest News


GTA new home market back to typical sales and openings levels in November

New home market

The GTA new home market saw more typical activity levels in November, both in new home sales and new project openings, after a relatively strong October, the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) reports.

There were 2,823 new homes sold in November, according to Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new-home market intelligence. Condominium apartments in low-, medium- and highrise buildings, stacked townhouses and loft units accounted for 2,454 new home sales in November, down 24 per cent from November 2017, but only sixper cent less than the 10-year average. Single-family home sales, with 369 detached, linked and semi-detached houses and townhouses (excluding stacked townhouses) sold, were up eight per cent from last November but down 71 per cent from the 10-year average.

Remaining inventory increased month over month, to 16,797 units, comprised of 11,254 condo apartment units and 5,543 single-family units. Remaining inventory includes units in preconstruction projects, in projects currently under construction, and in completed buildings.

Strong finish

“The condominium apartment market in the GTA is finishing off the year on a stronger note than it started,” says Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s executive vice-president, Data Solutions. “Both builders and buyers have re-engaged in stronger numbers in recent months, signalling that the downturn that followed record activity last year may be coming to an end.”

The benchmark price for both condo apartments and single-family homes increased slightly in November compared to the previous month. The benchmark price for condo apartments was $786,602, which was up 11.9 per cent over the last 12 months. The benchmark price for single-family homes was $1,150,823, down 5.9 per cent over the last 12 months.

Although the housing market continued to show signs of recovery in November, it will continue to operate below capacity until fundamental issues that are restricting supply and demand are addressed through government policy, according to David Wilkes, BILD president and CEO.

No more talk

“The time for talk is done and our region needs action now to ensure we build the more than 50,000 new homes needed annually to support the GTA’s growing population,” says Wilkes. “Our industry is encouraged by the provincial government’s commitment to unlocking supply. We will continue to call on municipal governments to expedite approvals of new developments, and on the federal government to undo the negative effects of the outdated stress test on consumers’ ability to purchase homes.”

 

November new home sales by municipality

November 2018 Condominium Apartments Single-Family Total
Region 2018 2017 2016 2018 2017 2016 2018 2017 2016
Durham 404 16 57 54 75 171 458 91 228
Halton 101 204 114 107 88 415 208 292 529
Peel 736 181 231 52 61 132 788 242 363
Toronto 1,124 2,425 2,678 17 21 110 1,141 2,446 2,788
York 89 387 317 139 97 837 228 484 1,154
GTA 2,454 3,213 3,397 369 342 1,665 2,823 3,555 5,062

 Source: Altus Group

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