Tag Archives: new home


Look for the condo market’s hidden gems this spring

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Look for the condo market’s hidden gems this spring

We can almost see the end of winter, and with spring tantalizingly around the corner, perhaps this is the year to buy your new home.

The market is changing daily; our city continues to grow and the shortage of new homes and new condos continues; demand still far outweighs supply. New detached housing took it on the chin a little, although there is little available, and little on the horizon. Average pricing across the GTA still exceeded $1 million.

With my three kids still to buy their first new home, I guess retirement isn’t on the horizon for me and many others as soon as I expected. They’ll need help getting into the market. Rents are forecasted to increase about 11 per cent citywide, so owning will still look like a better option if you can get in. I predict a return to a strong detached new home market in the not so distant future. Builders are feeling the pain of the buyers’ inability to get in; new mortgage rules are good in a general sense, but not making it any easier for would-be buyers. Still, we need more housing and it will bounce back and get absorbed faster from the buying public.

The condo market remains robust, although pricing has crept up significantly in recent years. Pricing is still well below the average freehold home that’s out there for the taking. Look for continued interest on all of the condo apartment projects that get launched or reintroduced to the market. While the builders have to protect themselves for the future by building in anticipated increases in costs of all kind, the market remains competitive and perhaps more of a buyers market than we’ve seen in some time. Lots of great choices are expected; make sure you do your homework and see what’s out there before you buy.

Winlock townhomes
Winlock townhomes

Look for some hidden gems out there as well. The urban townhome, or stacked townhome continues to grow in popularity. For those who want more space than a typical highrise condo, yet less than, a typical detached house, these fall nicely in the middle. There are lower maintenance fees and a larger space spread out over two or three floors, separating the living areas from the sleeping areas, all the bells and whistles you’ll find in our highly competitve marketplace and, perhaps most importantly to many, certainty as to timing. Builders can start them earlier as the presale requirements are smaller; the buildings or clusters of buildings have far fewer units than a typical highrise. And the construction process is simpler and much shorter. This provides more certainty as to when they will start and, more importantly, when they will be completed.

Some of these new townhome opportunities are presenting themselves in prime locations, places you never thought had any room for more development. One prime example will rise soon in the prestigious Bayview and Finch neighbourhood. Crown Communities, a company with deep roots, is introducing Winlock Towns, a collection of 30 new homes, 20 urban towns and 10 more traditional. An opportunity to live in a neighbourhood that commands very high resale values, with older product in the one, $2 million to $3 million range. Winlock offers a good selection of two- and three-bedroom plus urban and traditional townhomes starting at less than $800,000, ranging to slightly more than $1.2 million. The builder has thrown in all those bells and whistles, with over height ceilings, the best in finishes, appliances, free parking and, unlike many of the townhomes on the market old and new, concrete construction. All this, right in the heart of an established neighbourhood, minutes from Bayview Village, Fairview Mall, North York Centre and public transit, GO, the 400 highways and everything you need. Look for this and other hidden gems this Spring. It will be an exciting one for sure.

Mark Cohen is a founding partner of The Condo Store Marketing Systems, a firm specializing in the design, marketing and sales of condo and new home communities in and outside of the GTA. condostorecanada.com mark@condostorecanada.com


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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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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
2013          682       2,376
2014       1,108       3,130
2015          971       3,433
2016       1,149       5,344
2017          490       2,385
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

Brook Phase 2, Delpark Homes, detached homes

Fields of Harmony Phase IV, Greycrest Homes, detached homes

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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