Tag Archives: Durham Region

EDITOR'S CHOICE: Podium Developments

New home buying opportunities abound in Oshawa and Durham Region

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New home buying opportunities abound in Oshawa and Durham Region

EDITOR'S CHOICE: Podium Developments
Ironwood Towns in North Oshawa by Podium Developments and Urban Capital

Despite the bad news this week that General Motors Canada plans to close assembly operations in Oshawa, there are some good new home buying opportunities in the city and elsewhere in Durham Region.

As various levels of government and the Unifor trade union vow to somehow keep the plant open or otherwise deal with the fallout of the decision, the housing sector in Oshawa is expected to shift into a buyers’ market.

That could mean deals for buyers in a market where home prices have already been under pressure.

 

Also read: What the GM plant closure means for Oshawa economy and housing

Also read: Oshawa housing to move into buyers’ market thanks to GM closure

 

For those looking to buy a new home, know that there are still plenty of good opportunities in Oshawa and surrounding area.

First, let’s look at recent new home buying activity in the area, courtesy of statistics from Altus Group, theofficial source for market intelligence for the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

 

Total new home sales, units

Oshawa Durham Region
Annual
2013          682       2,376
2014       1,108       3,130
2015          971       3,433
2016       1,149       5,344
2017          490       2,385
Jan-Oct
2017          483       2,262
2018            83       1,065
Source:  Altus Group

 

Naturally, the GM news is a sensitive topic to an industry such as home building, where companies dedicate years to planning and construction development projects. So don’t expect a comment any time soon from BILD, the voice of home builders in the GTA, or individual companies.

Might developers at some point offer deals – be they discounts or upgrades – in order to move an unsold inventory in a market not feeling the strongest at the moment?

It never hurts to ask.

 

A selection of new home and condo inventory

Ironwood in North Oshawa, Building Capital and Podium Developments, contemporary freehold townhomes

Harmony Creek, Conservatory Group, townhomes and detached homes

Daniels FirstHome Oshawa, townhomes

Brook Phase 2, Delpark Homes, detached homes

Fields of Harmony Phase IV, Greycrest Homes, detached homes

Harmony Gate, Sundance Homes, townhomes

Kingsview Ridge, Treasure Hill, 30-, 36- and 40-ft. singles

Park Ridge, Tribute Communities, detached homes from the low $900’s

U.C. Towns 2, Tribute Communities, townhomes form the low $600’s

Top of Townline, Woodland Homes, detached homes

For more new home buying opportunities, visit MyHomePage.ca

With files from Natalie Sicilia, New Home Research Manager & Map Editor

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Oshawa

What the GM plant closure means for Oshawa’s economy and housing market

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What the GM plant closure means for Oshawa’s economy and housing market

Oshawa

General Motors Canada has confirmed that it plans to close all assembly operations in Oshawa, Ont. after next year, leaving the community reeling with concern for the local economy and housing market.

And with good reason.

Auto manufacturing in the city of about 170,000 dates back as far as 1907, and the plant is still a major employer. It employs about 2,500 hourly and 400 salaried workers, with many more engineers working at GM’s adjacent Regional Engineering Centre.

Oshawa Mayor John Henry has said the closure would have ripple effects well beyond the city, hurting businesses and families throughout the Durham Region.

“From a personal finance perspective, this news is devastating for the people of Oshawa,” says Rubina Ahmed-Haq, personal finance expert. “Not only the ones whose jobs will be affected and have the obvious financial impact of losing a steady income. But, also those who depend on those workers to run their businesses – everything from restaurants to dry cleaners to places of interest around the area will be impacted. As well as property values, which are already much lower in Oshawa compared to other parts of the GTA, will take a further hit.”

Durham Region home prices

Illustrating Ahmed-Haq’s point, home prices in the Durham Region have already been feeling the pinch.

 

Historical average home prices, Durham Region
2018: $591,739 (as of October)
2017: 624,225
2016: $528,475
2015: $439,842
2014: $388,610
2013: $354,548

Source: Canadian Real Estate Association

 

Values continued to decrease during the third quarter of 2018, according to the latest Royal LePage House Price Survey. Over the three-month period, the aggregate home price in Oshawa and Ajax decreased 2.8 per cent and six per cent year-over-year to $538,757 and $664,640, respectively. Home values in Pickering also depreciated when compared to the same time last year by 4.4 per cent to $709,260, and the aggregate price in Whitby decreased 3.5 per cent to $677,243.

Oshawa median home prices

Standard two-storey homes
Q3 2018 $557,071
Q3 2017 $576,922
Q/Q % change 0.8
Yr/yr % change -3.4

Detached bungalows
Q3 2018 $512,001
Q3 2017 $517,237
Q/Q % change 2.3
Yr/yr % change -1.2

Standard condos
Q3 2018 $278,224
Q3 2017 $281,864
Q/Q % change 0.3
Yr/yr % change -1.3

Aggregate
Q3 2018 $538,757
Q3 2017 $554,070
Q/Q % change 1.2
Yr/yr % change -2.8

Source: Royal LePage National House Price Composite, October 2018

 

What we can expect in the housing market

“After an announcement such as this, we often witness an immediate softening of purchase demand in the city and its surrounds, while the shock and reality of the situation settles in,” Don R. Campbell, real estate expert and author told HOMES Publishing. “This slowdown doesn’t hit the stats immediately, as there are a lot of deals that are already in the process of closing in the next couple of months. However, come February, the numbers begin to reflect the new reality. That is phase one.

“Phase two is when average sale prices begin to fall, as confidence in the market begins to slip further. In other scenarios, it is just a sign of a move ‘down-market’ or to lower priced properties. However, in today’s world, the existing ‘stress-test’ will be combined with this lack of confidence to exacerbate the normal situation.”

A third phase may follow eight months to a year after the actual closure, when EI benefits begin to run to the end of their course, confidence in the potential return of the GM jobs begins to fade and families have to start making big decisions of relocation to find new appropriate jobs.

“In other words,” Campbell says, “the announcement of and the subsequent closing of the plant kicks off a predictable but sad ripple effect that will last for years.”

If there is one potential saving grace in this news, it’s that Oshawa and the surrounding area has a more diverse economy than in the past, which will help slightly buffer the pain, says Campbell.

“However, the pain is coming and it is real and far reaching.”

The Oshawa plant is not the only facility to be affected by GM’s decision to “accelerate its transformation for the future.” Two locations in the Detroit area are also scheduled to be shut down, which could have spillover affects in related industries across the border in the Windsor, Ont. area.

RELATED READING

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

New home buying opportunities abound in Oshawa and Durham Region

Focus on Whitby and Oshawa

6 Ontario municipal elections to watch regarding housing

 

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Drive

Drive till you qualify? Sure, but it WILL cost you

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Drive till you qualify? Sure, but it WILL cost you

Drive

You may have heard the old real estate adage, “Drive till you qualify.” The idea being that buyers who can’t afford to buy a home in the city, should drive to surrounding areas to find more affordable and larger homes, with potentially more appealing lifestyle and environmental benefits.

At least that’s the idea.

In practice, however, such a plan may not be quite so simple. A new study from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) shows that increased commuting costs and time could offset any financial savings of buying a cheaper home in an outlying area.

“By assessing the combination of commuting costs and housing costs, one can gain a more comprehensive gauge of the total cost of location choices,” says Andrew Scott, senior analyst, economics, for CMHC.

Drive3
Source: CMHC

 

In 2016, there were approximately 2.6 million commuters in the GTA, with 1.3 million of them commuting to a place of work in the city of Toronto. This made it the most common destination for GTA commuters. Roughly two-thirds of these commuters lived within the cityitself, while the remaining commuted from the 905 areasof the GTA. Pickering had the highest share of people commuting into Toronto, at 52.6 per cent, followed by Ajax (48.4 per cent), Markham (46.9 per cent), Vaughan (40.8 per cent), Richmond Hill (39.1 per cent), Whitby (32.2 per cent) and Mississauga (26.7 per cent).

Most commuters to Toronto drove, at 49 per cent, while 40 per cent took public transit. Of 905 residents who commute into the city, 67 per cent drove a car, and 21 took public transport.

Areas with longest commutes

Average duration of commutes is clearly on the rise, CMHC says, particularly among those who commute 60 minutes or more, one way. Between 2011 and 2016, this was the fastest growing segment of the commuter population, growing by 16 per cent, followed by those who commuted 45 to 59 minutes (14 per cent). Areas with one-way commutes longer than 60 minutes include Aurora, Burlington, Milton, Newmarket, Oakville and Oshawa.

Lower home prices, increase commuting cost

The most likely home type to lure buyers to the suburbs is single-detached homes, CMHC says. However, when the estimated monthly mortgage carrying cost and monthly commuting cost are combined, relatively lower priced municipalities such as East Gwillimbury, Newmarket, Mississauga, Whitchurch-Stouffville and Caledon end up costing morethan or nearly as much as the city of Toronto.

Drive1

Notably, some GTA municipalities did retain their cost advantage. Even with significant commuting costs in areas such as Georgina, Oshawa and Clarington, a large cost advantage remains due to the considerably lower cost of housing.

Drive2

Based on estimates of the cost of commuting to Toronto from municipalities in the GTA, areas with lower mortgage carrying costs for single-detached housing often had significantly higher commuting costs, CMHC says. In many cases, these increased commuting costs completely offset lower home ownership costs.

Bottom line

The bottom line? Do all the math, and make sure that if you’re considering buying outside the city, your decision is based on more than money. The savings might not be there.

RELATED READING

Pent-up demand for townhomes building in the GTA

GTA new home market shows some improvement in September

5 affordable neighbourhoods for detached homes in 416 and 905

 

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HarbourTen10

Harbour Ten10 emphasizes quality of life as one of Whitby’s first condo projects

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Harbour Ten10 emphasizes quality of life as one of Whitby’s first condo projects

HarbourTen10

Close to Whitby’s waterfront, with its beaches and trails and with a diversity of parks, recreation facilities, downtown shopping, schools and public transit all nearby, the appropriately named Harbour Ten10 Condominiums in Whitby could deserve a 10 out of 10 when it comes to providing prospective homeowners with exceptional quality of living.

Whitby is one of Canada’s fastest growing communities, and with good reason with its historic small town, a thriving entertainment scene, proximity to nature (including 950 acres of parkland and 65 km of trails), Iroquois Park Sports Centre (Canada’s largest municipally owned recreation facility) and such unique attractions as the massive Nordik Spa Nature Whitby that’s scheduled to open in the fall of 2019.

In sharp contrast to homes priced beyond the reach of most buyers in the GTA, the suites at Harbour Ten10 are not only affordable – starting in the mid-$300’s, but they also offer tremendous value, with such premium features as nine-ft. ceilings, laminate plank flooring throughout and textured granite countertops. Adding to this value proposition, is an impressive list of onsite amenities that include: A social lounge with fireplace, an onsite greenspace with playground, a barbecue terrace and dedicated rooms for yoga, games and parties. In addition, the five-storey condominium project features an upscale hotel-like lobby with concierge as well as guest suites.

HarbourTen10 2

Consistent with the Harbour Ten10 name and address (1010 Dundas St. E.), the site is less than a 10-minute drive from what buyers ranging from young families to empty nesters would ever need, with attractions ranging from: Whitby’s historic downtown (just one km away) as well as the Oshawa Centre (with 230 stores), the Whitby Public Library, the Oshawa Golf and Curling Club, Lydee Shores Conservation area on Lake Ontario and local public and high schools as well as Trent University – Durham campus, the Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College. Port Whitby Marina and Iroquois Beach Park with its long sandy beach and picnic areas are also minutes away.

In addition to all that’s at your doorstep, Harbour Ten10 is a short drive from Hwy. 401, 407 and the 412 and just six minutes from the GO Train Station, which gets you to Union Station in just 20 to 25 minutes.

“With any project we build, we put a great deal of thought into what today’s homeowners are looking for, so that when people hear about a community like Harbour Ten10, right away they know the homes are affordable, they offer good value and when you add up all of the onsite amenities and local attractions, it really is a great place to live,” says Nizar Walji, vice-president of Castle Group Developments.

Harbour Ten10 is Castle Group’s fifth GTA project, including Vida at Bayview Village which is currently under construction. Consistent with building great places to live, Castle Group has won two prestigious best-design awards from BILD.

Visit Harbourten10.ca to register or for more information

 

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LOCAL FOCUS: Whitby & Oshawa

LOCAL FOCUS: Whitby & Oshawa

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LOCAL FOCUS: Whitby & Oshawa

by Gale Beeby

The eastern anchors of the Greater Toronto Area

HOUSING OPTIONS

Both the City of Oshawa and the Town of Whitby have historic downtowns with the requisite collection of century homes, but new subdivisions are quickly changing the landscape.

Click here for a fill list of new homes for sale in Oshawa.

Click here for a full list of new homes for sale in Whitby.

LEISURE PURSUITS

Oshawa is a hockey town and it’s not the Maple Leafs that residents are cheering for, it’s the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League. The team has many successful alumni, including Bobby Orr, Eric Lindros and Rick Middleton, to name but a few.

For those seeking more genteel pursuits, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is the largest in Durham Region and features a collection of more than 4,000 works of art.

The Whitby Public Library is a state-of-the-art building that offers an extensive array of collections and programs as well as the Whitby archives. The Whitby History Museum and Children’s Centre has a unique collection of artifacts that tell the story of early life in Southern Ontario. One of Whitby’s best-known historic sites is the infamous Camp X, which was a secret spy training facility during World War II. Established by Sir William Stephenson, the “Man Called Intrepid,” British and allied forces also used the camp as a communications link between Britain and the United States with overseas information passing secretly between allied nations.

PARKS & REC

The Oshawa Botanical Gardens is a beautiful oasis that is home to North America’s largest contemporary peony collection. Oshawa also boasts beautiful and pristine wildlife preserves, including the Pumphouse Marsh, Second Marsh and the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve. On Oshawa’s Lake Ontario shoreline you will find Lakeview Park with many picnic areas, playgrounds, sports fields, a waterfront pier and sandy beaches.

There are over 100 parks maintained by Whitby and over 60 kilometres of trails, including the Bio-Diversity Trail, the Cullen Central Park Trails, Otter Creek Trail and the Whitby Shores Waterfront Trail. The 670-acre Lynde Shores Conservation area, together with the adjacent Cranberry West Tract, is known for its wildlife and provides habitat for nesting birds.

RETAIL THERAPY

The Oshawa Centre is the largest shopping complex in Durham Region and is home to over 230 establishments that include retail, food outlets and a variety of services. In downtown Oshawa, you’ll find a variety of unique shops and restaurants and its here you will find the annual Original Downtown Sidewalk Sale, and the Festival of Murals.

In Whitby, Pearson Lane is a historical development that houses boutiques, cafés and services.

EASY ACCESS

Public transit is provided by Durham Region Transit, which connects it with the other cities in the region, including Pickering, Ajax, Clarington, Brock and Uxbridge. Highway 401 runs through the south of region and Highway 7 runs across its northern edge. Highway 407 ETR is being extended to Highways 35 and 115 and will cross the top of Durham Region.

BY THE NUMBERS

Whitby population: 128,400

Oshawa population: 159,500

Whitby slogan: Community of Choice … for Business

Oshawa slogan: Prepared to be Amazed

Walk Scores:

Whitby: 43 average

Oshawa: 51 average

Whitby.ca

Oshawa.ca


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Orchard East by Jeffery Homes in Bowmanville

Jeffery Homes will release Orchard East on February 3, 2018

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Jeffery Homes will release Orchard East on February 3, 2018

Orchard East by Jeffery Homes is the perfect community to raise your family or enjoy your empty nest. Located in the new Bowmanville with rolling hills bordering the site, you always expect the best from Jeffery Homes and Phase II of this new community will be no exception.

The official opening of Orchard East is Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 190 William Fair Drive, Bowmanville, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Price lists will be given on that date only.

Jeffery Homes is an award-winning second-generation company that has been building spectacular homes in Durham Region for over 55 years. Choose from relaxed yet sophisticated exteriors that incorporate a variety of materials such as natural stone and contemporary finishes — all with the unmistakable Jeffery touch their fans have come to expect.

A wide variety of amenities await just minutes from your door in the town of Bowmanville. This charming and vibrant town offers every convenience you desire from big box stores to small boutiques, grocery stores and more. Choose from family or fine dining in the many eating establishments located in the town centre. This amazing community offers your choice of health care centres, hospital, sports and recreation facilities. In addition, you are within minutes of the spectacular countryside, golf courses and conservation areas.

jefferyhomes.com


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January 2017 eNewsletter

Huge success for small units at University Studios

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Huge success for small units at University Studios

By Anita DeVries – DRHBA

I never thought I would see it here in Oshawa.

But yes, the millennial phenomena of smaller is better has been spotted in the spacious, beautiful, green Durham Region at University Studios, located at Durham Region’s Education Hub.

Podium Developments and Building Capital are building SmartStudios and, at 275 to 400 square feet, they are an efficient use of small spaces that creates comfortable lifestyles.

Built within walking distance to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Durham College, these compact units are very functional and affordable and offer better living spaces than traditional dorm life or room rentals.

For example, the Murphy bed — with the military quality hinges — can be pulled down over a kitchen table. The bed is made and ready to snuggle into with your laptop or book and there are reading lights and USB connections built right into the wall unit. In the kitchen area you will find a two-element cooktop and a clever height-changing desk, which can be used as a stand-up table, extra counter space or regular sit-down breakfast nook. The kitchen and hall cabinetry is combined into a single sleek bank on one side of the apartment, providing storage and functional space.

This new building will be highly energy efficient as it will be built under the new building code.

There are 308 studio units being built in the eight-storey mixed-use building — just south of UOIT and Durham College — at 1900 Simcoe Street North. Commercial units on the main floor provide convenient access to shopping and restaurants.

The starting price for a fully furnished unit — including bed, refrigerator, washer, dryer, stovetop, dishwasher, standing desk, dining table, four chairs, loveseat, side table and LCD television — was $150,000 and they were gobbled up by eager buyers in the first weekend that sales opened. The project is under construction and will be occupied by September 1, 2018.

Due to the desirability of the location on a main public transit route, the developers negotiated with the City of Oshawa for reduced parking space allotments from more than one space per unit to 0.22 spaces per unit. There will be four car share spaces and residents will be able to have membership in the car share program. This will encourage tenants and owners to use public transit and active transportation, which leads to cleaner environments.

“Today’s millennials don’t have an interest in owning cars,” said Christian Huggett, one of the masterminds at Podium who researched and designed the suites. “They are more socially responsible and environmentally conscientious.”

Building an entire building full of micro suites is not a traditional approach to a multi-storey condominium building. Generally, a range of unit types are provided for variety and to reduce sales risk. But the Podium team discovered that there has been no bachelor units built in Oshawa since before 1989, so the market for these units was wide open. After studying micro suites built in New York, San Francisco and Tokyo, and realizing the new mindset of people who have grown up in an era where owning a home and two cars means working your life away, Huggett pitched the exclusively micro-suite project and soon everyone was excited about it.

“The proximity to campus will mean that most residents will be students, who will live better than we did in university,” said Huggett, noting that they have their own bathrooms and kitchens at University Studios.

It is difficult to make small units function well, but Podium’s design team had a wealth of life experience in living small — from dorm rooms to sailing and living in Scandinavia. The team also came up with a flexible design to make units accessible; as a result, 49 of the 308 units will be fully accessible, meeting CSA and ADA standards.

“The accessibility committee was very excited about this project,” said Huggett.

Podium Developments has an established reputation for building student housing; they have already built towns and condos in north Oshawa geared for students. As land prices continue to increase, and household sizes continue to decrease, we may be seeing more of these types of smaller functional units — and not just near universities.

Due to the strong demand for the units at University Studios, Podium and Building Capital are teaming up again to build on the success of the SmartStudios with the launch of the lowrise University Towns on the same stretch of Simcoe Street North.

universitystudios.ca

universitytowns.ca

Anita DeVries is the executive officer at the Durham Region Home Builders’ Association.

drhba.com

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