Monthly Archives: December 2014

High Rise Development in Toronto

Toronto’s Real Estate Market in 2014: A Year in Review – Part 1

The old saying is that you can see where you’re going by looking back at where you came from. If that logic holds true, we will be in a good position to predict the performance of the Toronto real estate market in 2015, by examining what happened in the year that just passed.

The first big trend of 2014 was that the construction was rampant, in many major Canadian markets, throughout the year. Back on January 22, a report published by Emporis suggested that four of the five top cities in North America for high-rise construction were Canadian: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary. Information released by Statistics Canada (read the article written by Greg Quinn and published on the Financial Post website) revealed an interesting trend in housing permits issued in July, in Toronto and Vancouver specifically, that exceeded expectations. The value of municipal permits for multi-unit housing increased to 43.4%, to approximately $2.54 Billion, with the total permits in Toronto increasing by 29.6% to $1.65 Billion. A review conducted by Move Smartly, a record number of “condo completions” (new condo constructions) was achieved in 2014, with Realnet reporting 19,722 new completions from Q1 to Q3 alone, surpassing the previous annual record of 16,668 set in 2013.

Toronto at nightThe flooding of the Toronto market with newly built condominiums was so pronounced, it forced the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to withdraw their offering of mortgage loan insurance for the financing of multi-unit condominium construction (read the full CMHC article). The decision did not affect individuals looking to purchase a condo, whose insurance for mortgage loans remained unchanged. The move was made as a result of blatant lack of demand, with no insurance of its kind issued since 2011, citing competition with private firms, such as MCAP.

Condo sales, thankfully, set new records in the GTA, offsetting some of the massive inventory build-up taking place. George Carras of The Toronto Star posted back on August 2 that condo sales in the GTA increased by 33% compared to a year prior, with 37 new high-rise projects under development totalling 7,588 new units. Over 70% of these units are being built within the Toronto boundaries, another record high for development within the region relative to its neighbouring municipalities.

For the year as a whole, 2014 also saw the affordability of homes plummet, as the average price of a single-family home rose significantly in every major market across the country. Back in February, a report issued by TD Economics that made its way around the internet, stated that Canadian homes were overvalued by 10%, a figure supported by research financed by the International Monetary Fund. The Financial Post noted that the report compared the income and rents of Canada’s major markets to other “advanced economies,” and found that as home prices remain high, even as home sales have stalled.

36 Hazelton Ave., Toronto

Celebrities That Call Toronto Home

What is it about Toronto that makes it so appealing to celebrities who, for all intents and purposes, could afford to live anywhere they wanted? Toronto has a certain charm and appeal that tropical locations and beach front properties simply can’t match.

Rachel McAdams on bicycle

The home of actress Rachel McAdams (Mean Girls, Wedding Crashers, The Notebook) can be found in downtown Toronto’s South Annex neighbourhood. According to Alana Charles of Curbed has it Rachel prefers to zip around town on her bicycle over driving or taking a cab. Rachel shares her semi-detached Victorian-style house with her brother, which was originally built back in the 1800’s, and renovated several times over. The backyard has been extended, and boasts a private rooftop patio. The estimated value of the home is somewhere in the $750,000 range; relatively inexpensive considering the amount other celebrities have paid for home in Toronto.

McAdams told Leigh McEachran of North Stars, in regards to her reasoning for moving to the city:

“I like living where we have socialized health care. I don’t have to own a car, I can ride my bike around the city, and I can potter about in my garden. The longer I’m there, the fewer reasons I have to leave.”

Back in 2011, news began to spread about the purchase of a luxury 4,600-square-foot penthouse at 36 Hazelton Ave., at a price of $12 Million, by actor-producer-director Mark Wahlberg. His suite has a 360-degree view of the city’s downtown skyline, and occupies the entire seventh floor of the complex. The penthouse also includes two levels of private outdoor space, adding another 2,800 square feet.

Some of the building’s amenities and features do help to justify the extraordinary price tag. According to Janice Bradbeer of the Toronto Star, the suites at 36 Hazelton include custom kitchens by Marana with Miele appliance packages and individual wine refrigerators, warming drawers and the latest speed ovens (and this is just in the kitchen). The complex itself will also boasts a 24-hour concierge, billiards room, executive boardroom, fitness centre, as well a holistic room equipped with massage table, sink and lockable cabinets, which enables residents to have their own personal masseur come in.

Niagara-born and internationally renowned DJ Deadmau5 (a.k.a. Joel Zimmerman), also calls Toronto home. The condo Zimmerman owns just off Ryerson campus, which has come to be known as the “Mau5Haus.” Zimmerman told Toronto Life, that the decision to buy a home there was all about location, being close to many 24-hour menities tht are ideal for a performer who is on the road most of the year.

“It’s all location, location, location for me. I’m taking a massive f***in’ tax hit by living in Canada, but oh well.”

The magazine goes on to describe the downtown pad as a “teen’s fantasy,” with a red spiral staircase that connects the living room to the upstairs bedroom, which opens onto a patio. The kitchen is unique in that it’s said to have Jägermeister on tap, with the rest of the unit being “setup for sound,” with keyboards and speaker equipment practically everywhere. The luxury of the suite is overshadowed by the fact that it still has the feeling of a decked out “basement rec room.” The YouTube video below provides a glimpse into Deadmau5’s private pad.