Tag Archives: Elliott Taube


A Return To Normal, It’s a great time to look for a new home

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A Return To Normal, It’s a great time to look for a new home

As has always been my intention for my contribution to this magazine, it is to tell the story from the sales floor. I am happy to report that after many months of slow sales in the lowrise sector, signs of life are appearing and we have seen some great openings throughout the GTA as 2018 came to a close. Markets like Brampton, Stouffville, Pickering and many other suburban communities have opened up with lineups and crowds ready and wanting to buy a new home.

Cachet Bradford
Cachet Bradford by Cachet Homes.

Sales in many of these new releases have done very well based on the absorption of the previous 12 months. What has also been nice to see, is that it is just not sales on entry level product such as townhomes and small singles, we have also seen the luxury market with homes in the multi-million dollar range selling again.

Norstar opening
October 2018 Norstar opening in Stouffville

Price levels have stabilized and purchasers are more confident that the new house market has corrected. What makes me most excited about the current state of the market is that we are seeing real people looking for a place to settle. Whether it’s to start or raise their families, people want to buy. The investors who fueled the crazy boom and sellouts in late 2016 and early 2017 have more or less disappeared.

This is not to say that lowrise preconstruction homes are not a great investment opportunity; I would say quite the opposite. With highrise preconstruction pricing hitting new heights with every new release. The continuing rental demand and pricing makes more sense in lowrise these days, certain pockets and products are a very smart place to invest these days.

I said in a previous article that pricing will not drop much lower and should increase based on the enormous costs involved with bringing a development to market and the costs of construction. A lot of the product on the market right now is being sold at a level that is below what it should be sold for; this is strictly to keep the engines moving in residential construction.

If you’re looking for a new home it is time to check out the new openings and existing communities and make that deal.

Elliott Taube is president of International Home Marketing Group, a full-service sales management and marketing firm. IHMG.ca


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Perspectives: Townhomes: Not What They Used To Be

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Perspectives: Townhomes: Not What They Used To Be

There are entry-level units as well as large luxurious townhomes

While looking for inspiration for this month’s article, I found myself first glancing back at the articles that have been written over the years in this publication. I find it interesting how trends evolve and then some return, while others just disappear. I also like to look at how many predictions have come true over time; we have managed a pretty good track record of getting it right so far.

We have seen many design changes over the years and our industry has worked very hard to adapt to the demands of the marketplace, while always trying to deal with the affordable housing question and making sure that the goal of homeownership stays alive and well.

Nowhere is it more evident than in the move of first-time buyers to now start off in condominiums, affording them entry into the housing market. Traditionally, for as long as I can remember, the first purchase was a townhome. Styles did not vary to a huge degree and the biggest difference was usually in square footage. We worked within a parameter that dictated our design philosophy and, after all, it was just a starter home. Fast forward to today and we can see that the townhome is a product with many variations and price points to suit every purchaser’s needs.

Through careful planning and innovation, we have brought to the market stacked, also know as urban towns, back-to-back towns, front-load (garage in the front) and rear-lane townhomes (garage in the back), just to mention a few. Builders offer homes with single- and double-car garages, some homes have underground parking, some with backyards and some without, some with roof decks and balconies to allow for personal entertainment and amenity space. There are entry-level products with just one bedroom right up to larger super-luxury townhomes.

Features and finishes of all levels are also available in the marketplace — if it’s an elevator you need or desire, that can be accommodated. I guess what I am trying to say is that there is something for everyone and in all price levels.

As consultants to the developers and builders throughout the GTA, we are listening to the demands of the buying public and working with amazingly talented architects to develop new plans and products to meet every families needs.

This fall promises to be a busy one with many new sites opening, showcasing some of the newest innovations in townhome design and use of space. We look forward to introducing you to many of these new homes in some of the best locations. Stay tuned for more information coming soon.

Elliott Taube is the president of International Home Marketing Group (IHMG), a fully integrated sales manage and marketing company. IHMG.ca


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Perspectives: We All Need Housing

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Perspectives: We All Need Housing

And there is no time like the present to get into the market

Before I get into this article, I want to express my thanks to HOMES Publishing Group for inviting the International Home Marketing Group team to be regular contributors to the magazine. After being a long-time reader, it is an honour to be a first-time provider of information from the sales floor.

Two common questions that we get asked all the time are: “Where are these home prices going?” and “Will it keep getting more expensive over the long term?”

Truth is, if I could answer these questions with complete accuracy I would probably be rich — and retired — by now. The market fundamentals in the GTA are strong and will continue that way. With immigration not slowing down, job growth rising and vacancies for rental properties staying at historic lows — we need housing.

Market forces propelling value upwards are the strongest in Toronto’s downtown core; people want live close to work, and their willingness to live in a vertical world for a lifestyle that puts them in the heart of the action, has fuelled the condo boom. The issue with pricing these types of homes is what it takes to deliver an amazing project in a desirable location.

It starts first with the price of land and where it has been going. If the purchasers think condos have gone up in price lately, you should see what some of the recent land transactions look like. A little over 18 months ago, we saw — and thought — that land price purchases were crazy, but those purchase prices now look like a steal as we have seen many recent transactions more than double what they were just a short time ago.

Selling over 25,000 units preconstruction means one simple thing: we now need to build these units. This puts pressure on the pricing of material, which continues to escalate. As well, well-trained trades and consultants come at a premium, which all adds to putting upward pressure on the ultimate sales price.

One of the biggest factors — and could not only take up a full article, but perhaps a full magazine — are the various levels of government that mire the industry in red tape and delays in timing. This is the industry’s greatest current constraint on being able to bring housing to market and deliver projects in a timely manner. The zoning process has moved well beyond frustrating and, with the current changes in policy, it is almost impossible to make a land deal with the confidence that you will be able to build what will be needed to make the land purchase worthwhile. Not to mention delivery-timing risks that could easily erase any possible profits.

The public never gets an explanation of the true costs involved and risks associated. When we’re pumping gas we can see the breakdown of costs associated with a litre of gas right on the pump, and the small amount left over as pure profit. These narrow margins are also true of our industry. It’s my personal belief that with such great risks, developers and builders will need to take greater profit margins in the future to ensure the sustainability of the industry.

In addition to this, knowing the high prices paid for future sites, the hard costs to build a project, as well as the soft costs and red tape, it’s clear that we cannot sell for less in the future. Supply and absorption may slow down due to economic factors. Supply will most certainly slow down based on government approval factors, but prices should continue to rise.

The key takeaway: if you want to buy and have the means, there is no time like the present.

The lowrise side of our business has many other factors to discuss. I look forward to examining that with you in a future issue.

Elliott Taube is president of International Home Marketing Group, a full-service sales management and marketing firm.



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