toronto condo market

Free Condo Buyer's Survival Guide Now Available for Download

Today the Toronto condo market is the largest in North America. it is estimated a condo is sold every 14 minutes.

The biggest challenge people have in investing in the right condo is the overflow of information available on the internet which is why we have developed a Survival Guide that will help you answer most of the questions you have if you are a first time buyer. This way you do not have to do endless searches on Google and read numerous articles.

Questions such as How will i find the right place? How do I know the right unit or how do i know im getting the best value are amply discussed

Written by Simon Giannini THE expert in all things real estate (also a real estate broker with Royal LePage Signature in Toronto) The Condo Buyer survival guide tells you everything about the market, where it started, where its heading and how you can take advantage of the Toronto market.

The guide also gives you information on other resources available to you such as Condo geniuses, local agents and lawyers that will anwer your every question and check every document before you sign so you are confident in your decision.


CLICK HERE to download your free copy

Record High in Toronto Condo Sales

This past May, condo sales in Toronto set all time record in the high-rise market. With an almost 50% increase in sales from last year, 2,433 condo sales took place. The outstanding number of sales can be seen as a result of the record low sales of low-rise homes in the Greater Toronto Area.

The amount of condo sales in June 2011 was up 21 per cent compared to June of 2010. Toronto Real Estate Board President Richard Silver states The pace of sales was a bit sluggish at the beginning of the year but rebounded in May and June. Because of the positive affordability picture homebuyers remained confident in their ability to purchase and pay for a new home over the long term.

The provincial policy to increase intensification has led to the publics interest in high-rise condominium residences. The swift increase in the condo market has created a beneficial segment for investors to become immersed. Average vacancy rates continue to decline even though the number of residences available in Toronto rapidly accelerates. Toronto condominiums are now in more demand than ever as the market continues to prosper.

For exclusive information about the Toronto's celebrated condo market, please click HERE

Toronto Condo Sales Reach a Record High

It appears that new condominium developments are springing up faster than the flowers these days, and those living in the GTA are snapping them up just as fast.

Sales of new condo units set a record in April after rising by 89% compared to the same time last year, making it the best April on record.

Condos make up six out of every 10 new homes sold in the GTA so far this year.

There were 37,041 new and resale units sold in 2010, enough to make it the second best year on record, and just 3% shy of the all-time record of 38,306 units sold in 2007, according to figures from Toronto-based Urbanation Inc.

Last years total condo sales represent a 20% gain over 2009 figures.

A Toronto record of 18,221 high-rise were started last year, more than twice as many as in 2009.

Resale condominium pricing was much more affordable, with existing units selling for $374 per square foot on average in the GTA. In the city of Toronto it was $487, and in the downtown core it hit $518.

Highrises accounted for more than half the new home sales in the GTA for the first time, according to a separate report by RealNet Canada Inc. Ten years ago, they made up about a quarter of all new home sales. But that has changed as single-detached homes become out of reach for many buyers.

The simple fact is that the condo has replaced the low-rise home as the starter home of choice. It is also anticipated that over the next 15 years, the population of Toronto will increase by approximately one million people, and this will ensure the demand for starter homes in the core, which today, increasingly means condo.

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Ontario Real Estate: A Secret Tax Shelter

ByJason Heath

TFSAs have been a welcome addition to the tax shelter landscape in Canada, but they leave something to be desired for those with substantial assets and maxed out RRSP and TFSA room.

Ontarios Real estate investment is often overlooked in the quest for tax reduction and deferral, let alone income generation and inflation protection. If real estate is all of these things, why doesnt everyone own a rental property? The answer is simple money.

Its not that investors dont have the money to get into the rental property market, because this can be easily accomplished with leverage and minimal monthly carrying costs. The problem is there is simply no money to be made by financial professionals when it comes to rental real estate. The result is that rental real estate is a secret tax shelter that few people ever consider.

What the game of Monopoly tells us, contrary to its inventors intentions, is that its smart to own property.

First, a lesson in rental real estate taxation. Rental income is taxable and rental expenses, including mortgage or line of credit interest, are tax-deductible. In many cases, if a property is financed, it will run at a loss for tax purposes creating a tax deduction against all other sources of income and therefore, a tax refund. In the meantime, real estate values grow tax-deferred until an eventual sale. Even if a property runs at positive cash flow for tax purposes, depreciation can be claimed to wipe out some or all of the taxable income inclusion.

Rental real estate has been described by some as the equivalent of a super-charged RRSP. What is a traditional RRSP? Its a tax-deferred savings vehicle; contributions are tax-deductible; it provides a future income stream; and its an investment asset. Rental real estate incorporates all of these features, plus theres no pre-determined maximum tax deduction limit like with RRSPs; withdrawals arent forced at age 71 like with RRIFs; contributions can be financed and the interest can be deducted, unlike RRSP loans; and the taxes paid on selling a rental property are at the 50% capital gains tax rate, unlike RRSP withdrawals which are fully taxable.

The Harvard and Yale endowment funds have more than 50% of their assets invested in non-traditional asset classes, like real estate. The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada, has 18% of their pension assets invested in real estate. Maybe Harvard, Yale and the OTTP know something the mainstream investment community doesnt know.

So lets do what they do and go have a drink and enjoy some prize Ontario real estate!

To learn how YOU can own a cottage in Prince Edward County register now.

City of mass construction: Toronto's unstoppable condos show no signs of slowing down

Brad Lamb believes Torontos downtown condominium market is out of this world.

Theres no other place on the planet where all this [activity] is happening, says the president of Brad J. Lamb Realty, who specializes in downtown condo sales. We have a large immigration of people coming to Toronto every year. We have a diverse economy that can support a reasonably affluent lifestyle. And we have a very stable Canadian economy. Everyone is recognizing how great Canada is, and Toronto is the centre of Canada.

Mr. Lambs enthusiasm is echoed by those who analyze the downtown condo market and those who build it up. According to Urbanation, numbers cruncher to the development industry, 16,000 new condo units are expected to come to the Toronto CMA area this year (5,500 will be in the downtown core), down slightly from last year but still a healthy level. RealNet Canada reports that in the first 11 months of 2010, 36% of new condo units sold in the Greater Toronto Area were situated in the downtown core between Bloor Street and the waterfront. Twenty-two per cent of GTAs new condo sales took place in what RealNet calls Downtown West, between University Avenue and Dufferin Street, which RealNet president George Carras says totalled more than all of Calgarys new condo sales in the same time period. With interest rates low and close to 100,000 new immigrants arriving on Torontos doorstep every year, 2011 is expected to continue drawing in the masses.

More and more people are choosing downtown as a place to live, says Mark Cohen, founding partner at The Condo Store Marketing Systems. You even have people with families looking at living in condos. Downtown remains one of the safest if notthesafest place to live in the city, which makes this a very un-American kind of place.

Given the size of starter condos, one would think first-time buyers are fuelling the market. Not so, say the pundits. Sure, 400- to 500-sq.-ft. suites are common, and they will always have an allure for younger buyers, who rarely spend time at home yet want to live where the action is, says Ben Myers, Urbanations executive vice-president. But todays imaginative architects and interior designers are whipping up wee spaces that are much more functional and feel quite spacious.

Over the course of time, suites wont get any smaller theyll be configured a little differently, explains Sam Crignano, president of Cityzen Development Group, which is building up the area around St. Lawrence Market with London on the Esplanade and the upcoming Pier 27 and Backstage. Youre going to have rooms that are multi-use, like a den/dining room that converts into a bedroom with a Murphy bed. Europeans have been doing this for a long time and the same holds true in a lot of Asia. The flexibility of a space is going to be key, going forward.

Mr. Lamb concurs. A decade ago, he says, a new breed of developers began building hip cool projects with hip cool architects. Today, those same developers have upped the ante considerably, with 500-sq.-ft. units that will blow your socks off and countertops, finishings, floor-to-ceiling windows, amenities and even lobbies that are more beautiful and thoughtful than ever. Among those he praises are Freed Developments, Context, Streetcar, Lanterra and his own Lamb Development, all of whom build downtown, and starchitects and interior designers including Yabu Pushelberg, Cecconi Simone, Michael Niven and II by IV Design.

Also getting attention in 2011 are empty nesters and second-time condo buyers. Riz Dhanji, vice-president of sales and marketing at Canderel Stoneridge, which is building 75-floor Aura at College Park and DNA3 in King West, says many empty nesters are downsizing from large family homes and choosing a downtown condo as their weekend escape. And as the price of single-family homes escalates, first-time condo dwellers with kids in tow are choosing to upgrade to larger units rather than buy a house. Mr. Dhanji expects the trend to continue through 2011.

But perhaps the biggest demographic that will continue to drive sales this year is the investor market, both local and international. Mr. Lamb says there are few developers building rental towers any longer, in part due to the citys rent control laws, so investors hold the key to rental accommodation. He says its not uncommon for 40% of a building to be owned by investors, with most rentals situated below the fifteenth floor because they are less expensive than those with a brighter view. Mr. Myers estimates 50% to 60% of downtown condo units are owned by investors who rent them out.

If no one is building new apartment buildings, [people] cant live in tent cities, says Mr. Lamb. Theyve got to live somewhere. The only place thats providing new affordable housing is the condo market.

As for prices, Mr. Cohen say they are likely to hold steady this year at anywhere from $500 to $600 per square foot, though upscale neighbourhoods such as Yorkville will still command sums of $800-plus. Mr. Myers puts the average price at $370 per square foot, adding that there will be fewer new projects completed this year in the GTA, so well see what that does to the price.

Looking a bit farther out, Mr. Carras expects the next couple of years to produce alternatives to the popular towers, particularly six-storey wood-framed buildings and four-storey walk-ups on main streets such as Bloor Street West. Mr. Crignano thinks people will begin to put neighbourhood first, searching for their preferred schools, parks and shops and then finding a suitable building nearby much like house buyers already do. And with Waterfront Toronto building up the West Don Lands and East Bayfront as part of a 25-year mandate to transform 2,000 acres of brownfield lands into sustainable mixed-use communities and dynamic public spaces, Mr. Cohen believes the areas will have a magic of their own and attract attention.

Yet what will certainly put Toronto in the global spotlight is the bevy of luxurious hotel residences set to open this year and next. All are five-star hotels, known the world over, that cater to a sophisticated buyer who travels the world in style.

It will make us a more cosmopolitan city when we have these large brands like Ritz-Carlton, Shangri-La, Four Seasons and Trump, Mr. Dhanji says. Its going to have a great impact and make us more of an international city. Its going to shape the downtown core even more. The next few years are going to be great on the skyline of Toronto, once all of these projects are completed.

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Prices Still Soaring in a Toronto District Newly Fashionable

TORONTO Once a hodgepodge of textile factories and auto lots, the fashion district here has rapidly evolved into upscale restaurants and boutiques in refurbished warehouses and residential units in sleek glass structures.

The roughly 17-square-block area where most of the development is taking place is named for its link to the textile industry. Just west of Torontos downtown and theater district, the fashion district is bisected along King Street by the citys most popular streetcar line. Development has been centered on the diminutive Victoria Memorial Park, which is surrounded by stylish midrise buildings and industrial brick structures given new life with trendy shops and restaurants.

Even in a Canadian real estate market that has been on a bull run for a decade, the districts robust sales and rapidly rising prices stand out.

This is the combination SoHo-meatpacking district of Toronto, and its transformation has been just as amazing as the meatpacking districts has been here, said Francis J. Greenburger, the chairman ofTime Equities Inc.of New York. The company has been involved in developing the district since 2004, when it joined withFreed Developmentsof Toronto to build an 85-unit condominium building called 66 Portland.

Since then, Freed has completed five more projects, including one hotel, and has four others being marketed or under construction, frequently in partnership with Time Equities and other partners.

Freed Developments also has plans for its biggest project, consisting of 1,200 units done in alliance with the Canadian development companyMinto Group,said Bill Gairdner, Freeds vice president of operations.

Weve been pretty busy scooping up as many sites as we can, so there hasnt been room for too many other developers to come in and compete, though we welcome that, Mr. Gairdner said. To have these bigger companies coming in and doing these projects is almost a tribute to what weve been doing here.

The surge of development has not gone unnoticed. In 2008, theTridel Corporation, one of the largest condo developers in Canada, bought an ailingStarwood Hotelsproject in the district that would have brought in Aloft and Element hotels. The parking garage had been excavated and poured, and Tridel built 305 condos in a 14-story glass building, calling it Rve.

We refer to this area as King West, which really is a hot spot for new condominium development in Toronto, said James Ritchie, a senior vice president of sales and marketing at Tridel. Its the largest submarket in the city for condo development. The King West area extends a few blocks west of Bathurst Street.

In the last year, Tridel has sold more than 270 condos in Rve, with only the larger units remaining, Mr. Ritchie said. It was very well received in the market, he said.

The recent wave of development in the area started in 1996, whenContext Developmentbegan Twenty Niagara, a 24-unit glass condo building on the park. The city granted an experimental rezoning to residential from industrial, said Howard Cohen, the president of Context.

An opportunity came up for a really interesting site, because it was right on a park in this quasi-industrial area, but very close to Torontos core, Mr. Cohen said. We thought there might be some demand to live downtown in an area that had a lot of character, although it didnt appeal to everybody because it was still full of old industrial buildings and parking lots.

It took about a year to sell the buildings units at prices of about $100 a square foot, he said, but it was successful enough for the city to rezone the district for residential development. Now, developments of hundreds of units sell out in a year, and prices in the fashion district have achieved $700 a square foot, much of that gain taking place in the last four years, Mr. Cohen said.

The average price per square foot for condos in the greater Toronto area is $532, and $814 in Torontos core, according to the real estate information services company RealNet Canada.

The most recent projects to be completed by Freed Developments are 550 Wellington West, with 336 condos, which is adjacent to a Thompson Hotel with 102 guest rooms. The buildings share a rooftop pool and lounge, similar to the Gansevoort Hotel in New York, along with three restaurants, including a Scarpetta, which opened in New Yorks meatpacking district in 2008.

Freed Developments has increasingly been including retail space in its residential offerings, Mr. Gairdner said. In a 216-unit project called 75 Portland, with interiors designed byPhilippe Starck, retail space is available to rent, and at 650 King, a 236-unit project on the market, plans are to include a high-end steakhouse, he said.

At first buyers were mostly young singles, who have been joined recently by families and new immigrants. Many of the condos are owned by investors.

While the fashion district continues to be an appealing neighborhood to investors and buyers who plan to live there, there are some concerns whether it could survive a bust in Canadas residential real estate. Some real estate experts have estimated that homes in Canada are overvalued by 20 percent, even though banks do not lend to residential development projects that are not at least 65 to 70 percent presold.

Also, under law, buyers must close once they have signed a purchase contract, and the interest on home loans is not tax-deductible. Recourse lending generally applies to developers and to homeowners, who, upon defaulting, are still responsible for any part of the loan the bank cannot recoup by selling the property. Under Canadian law, lenders must insure any mortgage for more than 80 percent of a propertys value.

Although theres a lot of development going on, I wouldnt call it a bubble because these are real buyers, with 20 percent deposits, who are responsible for the purchase even if the price goes down, Mr. Cohen said.

Even so, some specialists said that low interest rates artificially stoked Canadas housing market during the recession, which could result in higher foreclosure rates. At the same time, Canadian consumers have taken on increased debt in recent years, while theCanada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, a government-established national housing agency, for a time stretched the amortization on home loans to 40 years from 25 and began insuring loans for which buyers made no down payment.

Pundits see ongoing demand of a very high number of units over a sustained period of time, but it seems weve experienced that in other markets, and suddenly something happens and markets turn out to be not quite as strong as we thought, said Mr. Greenburger of Time Equities.

Torontos had a long run, he said. But we know things dont go in a straight line.

Source NYTimes

Case Study-
Roman Bodnarchuck, CEO and Founder of talks about the development of the company

Tridel's One Old Mill Over 200 Units Sold!!!

Another event from the archive. Visit the One Old Mill Sales Centre at 2500 Bloor Street West for more info. Gitta Fisahn and Maris DiCecca are the sales reps for One Old Mill.

Physio Plus Would like to Welcome Tridel to the Neighborhood

Many of the local businesses are very excited about Tridel coming to the neighborhood. Physio Plus wanted to welcome Tridel.

Old Mill is one of Toronto's last real villages, a quiet and refined neighbourhood steeped in old-world charm with its quaint Tudor homes, centuries-old trees and picturesque proximity to the lush Humber Valley.

Yet Tridel's One Old Mill is set within many of Toronto's new world luxuries, just steps from the subway and conveniently connected with the fashionable boutique shops, cafs and open markets of the Kingsway and Bloor West Village. Discover this intimate and elegant hideaway, right here, in the heart of Old Mill.

Ocular Canada Would like to Welcome Tridel to the Neighborhood

Many of the local businesses are very excited about Tridel coming to the neighborhood. Ocular Canada wanted to welcome Tridel.

Old Mill is one of Toronto's last real villages, a quiet and refined neighbourhood steeped in old-world charm with its quaint Tudor homes, centuries-old trees and picturesque proximity to the lush Humber Valley.

Yet Tridel's One Old Mill is set within many of Toronto's new world luxuries, just steps from the subway and conveniently connected with the fashionable boutique shops, cafs and open markets of the Kingsway and Bloor West Village. Discover this intimate and elegant hideaway, right here, in the heart of Old Mill.

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