Monthly Archives: May 2015

Toronto condos

The “Places to Grow” Mandate and the Condo Market in Toronto

About a decade ago, the Ontario government launched an initiative that has since had an incredible impact on the real estate industry in Toronto and across the province, called Places to Grow. According to the official government website dedicated to this strategy, the idea behind it is to support development that promotes “economic prosperity, protects the environment and helps communities achieve a high quality of life across the province.”

The goal is to protect agricultural lands in the province (and GTA in particular) from encroaching urban sprawl, effectively creating a “Green Belt,” limiting where new subdivisions could be built.

The execution of this program the past few years has resembled region-specific plans that are meant to guide policy decisions within that region. Toronto, for example, has adopted a strategy that involves “growing up, not out,” spurring the unprecedented growth of condominiums in the GTA, particularly high-end, luxury condominiums.

According to Judy Hazan of the Epoch Times, back in the year 2000, Toronto’s luxury condominium market was practically non-existent. Hazan spoke to three upper level executives at Baker Real Estate based in Toronto, and they argue that One Post Road on Toronto’s Bridal Path changed everything. President and CEO of Baker Real Estate, Barbara Lawlor, had this to say:

“One Post Road was a leader in luxury living—there was so little luxury in our city—One Post road really captured the imagination. It was the beginning of the luxury market in Toronto. Today, we have five 5-star hotels with residences atop and we have other really glorious buildings like One Bloor and The Ritz Carlton, so the luxury market has really grown.”

Ontario Green BeltThe “grow up, not out” philosophy behind Toronto’s regional growth plan has resulted, in general, in the development of far more condo towers, which ultimately translates into less and less space for low-rise homes, which is undoubtedly a factor in the escalating prices of such homes in the city. Despite the growth in the high-end condo market, the relative price difference between a condo and a detached/semi-detached home make condos the more affordable option for first-time buyers. In today’s economy and real estate market, it has become exceedingly difficult for first-time home purchases to be houses; condos are now the starter property of choice for those who want to buy instead of rent.

According to Ryan Starr of The Toronto Star, the impact Places to Grow has had on lowrise development, has been substantial, but seldom talked about. The creation of a Green Belt has led to astronomical increases in the price of land that is left behind for lowrise development to occur, which leads to higher home prices. What some real estate development companies are doing, as opposed to building on expensive land, are moving even further out, beyond the Green Belt, in an attempt to lure would-be homebuyers out of the city where prices are far more affordable, into areas such as Brantford, for example.

HOT NEW LISTING | $1,249,000 | 90 Kingsway Cres., Etobicoke

A Stunning Home In Prime Lambton-Kingsway School District. On Large Landscaped Resort Like Lot With Large Cedar Deck And Built-In Pond. Old World Charm Accentuates This Bright Home W/Hardwd Thruout. Open Concept Main Floor W/Walkout To Deck. Curb Appeal W/Flagstone Walkway. Finished Basementt W/3 Pc Washrm, Large Rec Rm & Workshop. Private Drive. Coveted Neighbourhood Minutes To Humber River Trails, Shops, Bistros, Ttc

Extras: All Window Coverings, All Elfs, Stove, Fridge, Dishwasher, Washer And Dryer, Deck (11), Roof (10), Stain Glass Dining Rm, Some Newer Windows, Copper Wiring & Plumbing, Wine Cellar, 100 Amp Service

Open House: Sat May 30, 2015 (2-4pm)

Open House: Sun May 31, 2015 (2-4pm)

For More Information Visit: www.90Kingsway.com

HOT NEW LISTING | $1,249,000 | 90 Kingsway Cres., Etobicoke

A Stunning Home In Prime Lambton-Kingsway School District. On Large Landscaped Resort Like Lot With Large Cedar Deck And Built-In Pond. Old World Charm Accentuates This Bright Home W/Hardwd Thruout. Open Concept Main Floor W/Walkout To Deck. Curb Appeal W/Flagstone Walkway. Finished Basementt W/3 Pc Washrm, Large Rec Rm & Workshop. Private Drive. Coveted Neighbourhood Minutes To Humber River Trails, Shops, Bistros, Ttc

Extras: All Window Coverings, All Elfs, Stove, Fridge, Dishwasher, Washer And Dryer, Deck (11), Roof (10), Stain Glass Dining Rm, Some Newer Windows, Copper Wiring & Plumbing, Wine Cellar, 100 Amp Service

Open House: Sat May 30, 2015 (2-4pm)

Open House: Sun May 31, 2015 (2-4pm)

For More Information Visit: www.90Kingsway.com

China Town Toronto

Why is Canada being Touted as the “New Switzerland?”

It’s no secret that, internationally, Canada has developed a reputation as being a safe country to live in. But it appears, as of late, that the city of Toronto has developed its own reputation abroad, for being a place where those interested in making money buying and selling real estate, have a very good shot at striking rich. This reputation has become so pronounced that some are attributing it to the recent housing boom (the escalating surge in home prices coupled with moderate sales growth) in the city.

According to Katia Dmetrieva and Jeremy van Loon of Bloomberg News (published in The Globe and Mail), the city of Toronto alone attracts about a quarter of the 250,000 immigrants that arrive in Canada each year. Property Developer Sam Mizrahi of Mizrahi Developments, said at the Bloomberg Economic Series Canada summit in Toronto recently, that this wave of immigration every year is what’s primarily driving the demand for housing.

“Immigration keeps the market buoyant….Canada’s seen as the new Switzerland.”

In regards to Toronto’s ever increasing house prices, Mizrahi was quoted as saying that “Prices will continue to increase only if immigration continues.”

At the same Bloomberg event, Jennifer Keesmaat, chief planner at the City of Toronto, was quoted as saying:

“Many cities would scream for the kind of growth we have in Toronto. We went through a phase where we were seeking to bring people to the downtown core—that has now been accompanied by an incredible increase in employment.”

This insight into the Toronto real estate market has been known to many agents working out in the field for a long time. Back in September of 2014, Mark McAllister of Global News, commented on the notion that “catering to different cultures and backgrounds has become big business for the real estate industry in the Greater Toronto Area,” noting that a third of all new homes are bought people from the Chinese and South Asian communities, according to the company behind a couple of websites aimed at that market (according to mychinesehome.ca and mysouthasianhome.ca). Ethnic enclaves are a key feature of Toronto’s economic landscape, with the city drawing in people from all over the world, who in turn, settle into distinct communities across the city, such as Little Portugal, China Town, Little Italy and Greek town to name a few. Almost half of Torontonians were born outside Canada, making it one of the most diverse cities in the world, according to the municipality’s website. Chinese speakers are the most numerous among recent immigrants, followed by Italian, Punjabi and Tagalog speakers.

The argument and logic behind why immigrants are driving the demand for housing in Toronto is simple: individuals and families who are looking to relocate and start their lives over in Canada and Toronto, are not looking to do so on a temporary basis. Immigrant families in particular want to establish a foundation, and set up roots in the city. This, among many other factors, is what makes immigrants and international students so eager to buy homes.

HOT NEW LISTING | 138 William Stephenson Drive, Whitby | $599,000

A Stunning Fully Renovated Home In Prime Whitby, On A Large Professionally Landscaped Resort Like Lot! Enjoy The Spectacular Backyard With In Ground Salt Water Pool, Stamped Concrete, BBQ Area, And Covered Deck With Your Own Jacuzzi To Relax. Unique Custom Ceilings, Moldings, Oak Staircase And Wainscoting Throughout Home. Beautiful Kitchen To Entertain Overlooking Pool With Stainless Steel Appliances, Backsplash And Pantry For Plenty Of Storage . This Home Features New Hardwood, Bathrooms, Tiles, Vanities, Toilets, Pot Lights, Paint, And So Much More All In Immaculate Condition. Enjoy Your Recreation Room, TV Lounge In Your Very Own Fully Finished One Of A Kind Basement, Plus A Rare Bedroom Loft To Cap Off This Special Home!

Close To Shops, Highways, Restaurants, Parks, And Schools! Includes Fridge, Stove, Dishwasher, Range Microwave, All Light Fixtures, Garage Door Opener, Central Vacuum And Its Attachments, 2 Sheds, TV In Basement, Outdoor Kitchen, And Window Coverings.

 

For More Information Visit: www.138WilliamStephenson.com

Toronto Has Another Record Month Increasing House Prices

As temperatures continue to rise in our nation’s largest metropolis, Toronto, so too are the average resale house prices. Market analysts are beside themselves examining the numbers from the month of April, with new record highs in prices compared to a year ago.

According to The Financial Post, reporting on the recent statistics released by the Toronto Real Estate Board, Toronto home sales rose 17% in April year-over-year, a new record. Which is made even more impressive considering that, historically, April is one of the hottest months to buy homes in the GTA, with May being the historical yearly peak for prices and sales. The board reported 11,303 sales in April, with the average selling price of homes up 10% to $635,932. In addition, new listings only rose 5% compared to April of last year, which is still substantial, but seems less impressive by comparison with price growth.

Tamsin McMahon of The Globe and Mail offers a breakdown of the price increases for different home categories.

  • The average resale price of a detached home reached $1,056,114, a 9.4% increase from last year.
  • The average resale price of a semi-detached home reached $574,605, a 15% increase from last year.
  • The average resale price of a townhouses reached $474,143, a 20% increase from last year.
  • The average resale price of a condo reached $407,612, a 5.8% increase from last year.

Needless to say, the market is looking healthy in Toronto. Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis, was even quoted as saying that the demand for homes far outpaced supply in April, a circumstance that is not likely to change this year.

The overwhelming demand for homes in Toronto is particularly beneficial to the condominium market, where Toronto has, up until recently, suffered from a crisis of over-construction and development, with many unsold units sitting idle. The number of unsold condo units under development fell 10% from a year ago, according to Urbanation, to 17,488 units. Considering that 21,000 newly built units were introduced into the market last year, that’s approximately a 20% drop in unsold inventory.

real-estate-mortgage-rates What does this scenario mean for buyers and sellers looking to enter the Toronto real estate market? Carolyn Ireland, one of the better real estate market analysts and commentators employed by The Globe and Mail, argues that the lack of listings and the mania of competition, atleast for buyers, “have many looking for overlooked properties or less-travelled neighbourhoods.” While homeowners looking to sell are become more market-aware, researching the average selling price of homes in their neighbourhood and community in order to determine what the best initial ask price might resemble. And real estate agents? Ireland believes many are perplexed at the overall lack of bidding wars, considering the number of homes being sold. And of course, Realtors in the GTA are expecting the red hot market to continue long into the summer.

Toronto Real Estate Market Update – House Sales Increase 17%

Flowers are not the only thing blooming this spring – the Toronto Real Estate Board is flowering with 11,303 reported sales in April 2015.  Bringing us the highest sales result on record with a  17% increase for the month of April.

“The record April result clearly points to the fact that a growing number of GTA households view ownership housing as a high quality long-term investment. This is evident by the strong sales growth we have experienced in Toronto and surrounding regions for all major home types. First-time buyers and existing homeowners remain very active in today’s market,” said Mr. Etherington.

INFOGRAPHIC.APR2015

 

Detached homes stay strong over $1,000,000 in the 416 with a  9.4% increase from 2014 to $1,056,114. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI)composite benchmark, which estimates the price of a benchmark home with the same attributes from one period to the next, was up by 8.4 per cent over the same period. The fact that average price growth outpaced growth for the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark, suggests that a greater share of higher-end homes changed hands this year compared to last.

Irrespective of the indicator used, price growth in the GTA was strongest for low-rise home types. However, the better supplied condominium apartment segment also remained healthy with price growth above the rate of inflation.

“Demand for ownership housing was very high relative to the number of homes available for sale in April. This situation is not expected to change much as we move through the remainder of 2015. Until we experience a sustained period in which listings grow at a faster pace than sales, annual rates of home price growth will remain strong,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.