One of our recent listings was just featured in The Globe and Mail Under done deals.
- Asking price: $2,588,000
- Selling price: $2.5-million
- Previous selling price: $1.5-million (2007)
- Taxes: $10,018 (2018)
- Days on the market: Seven
- Listing and co-op agents: Richard Silver and Jim Burtnick, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada
This three-bedroom end unit in an upscale townhouse complex abutting Sir Winston Churchill Park had about three dozen house hunters trod through in September.
“It’s a condominium townhouse in an area where there are not a lot of them, so it’s a great house for downsizers … who wanted to get into something around 2,800 to 3,000 square feet with parking and a little bit of a backyard,” agent Richard Silver said.“ So there were a couple of offers.”
More about 260 Russell Hill Road 25
WHAT THEY GOT
The nearly 20-year-old structure offers several luxuries, from an elevator and curved staircase connecting all four levels to direct access to two-car parking from the basement.
Large social gatherings can be held inside or out. There is a traditional dining room and formal entertaining areas with fireplaces on the main and second floors, as well as a private terrace off the eat-in kitchen.
Utilities are not included in monthly maintenance fees of $1,355.
THE AGENT'S TAKE
“It’s just off St. Clair and it’s right next to … a great park,” Mr. Silver said.
“A lot of townhouses only have light at the front or back, but this one – because it was an end unit – has light on three sides.
“One of the other advantages to that house is it has an interior elevator, so as people age, if they wanted to stay in the house, they could,” Mr. Silver said.
Originally posted in The Globe and Mail, December 17, 2018.
House hunters who love the charm of a historic house but desire the streamlined efficiencies and sleek look of a modern one will appreciate this property for its seamless blending of old and new. It’s the second oldest home in the highly desirable Rosedale neighborhood of Toronto, said Sotheby’s agent Jim Burtnick, and it shows.
The Georgian-style house with a unique feel has been updated and maintained since it was built in 1857, and features wood paneling, framing, floors and crown molding. Called the Geary house, so named for George R. Geary, a former mayor of the city and owner of the home, it was once a single-story property and is now three.
More photos, details and floorplans available here.
"There’s this whole pedigree but the big thing is it’s .9 of an acre. You don’t get properties that large in the city," Mr. Burtnick said. "There’s an exclusiveness to having all this space. It will appeal to someone who privacy is important to."
Despite being so close to the city center, the home sits adjacent to a ravine, which gives an added level of privacy. "The trees and greenery are unbelievable," Mr. Burtnick said.
And the home has lots of extras, too. There’s a pool and guest house with its own bedroom, kitchen and living spaces, a wraparound porch as well as a second-story deck, brick walls surrounding the property, enough land for a soccer field and an underground tunnel with heated floors that connects the main house to the guest house.
Back in 2013, Jim Burtnick had a foreign client moving his family from Egypt to Toronto. He was looking both for residential and office space. So Jim introduced him to 7 St Thomas, which was just being launched at that time. It was a new project that really caught Jim's attention for a number of reasons. One was because of its architecture. It has a heritage component and then a very modern component, so it was very unique. It was in a triple A location in the heart of Yorkville and also it was an office condo. Jim recognized the value in this new type of real estate on the market and eventually ended up taking 7 St Thomas project to sell it on behalf of the developer.
Find out more about condominium offices in this video presentation by Jim Burtnick.
- 11 SOHO ST., NO. 403, TORONTO
- ASKING PRICE: $879,000
- SELLING PRICE: $931,000
- PREVIOUS SELLING PRICE: $599,000 (2007); $324,441 (2003)
- TAXES: $4,095 (2017)
- DAYS ON THE MARKET: one
- LISTING AGENT: Jim Burtnick, Sotheby's International Realty Canada
Jim's listing at 11 Soho St., #403 was featured in the Globe and Mail's Done Deals section today. The two bedroom corner suite in the boutique building "Soho" was sold in a day to a buyer who never even visited the condo! Here is the whole story, originally posted on theglobeandmail.com.
The Action: Around the end of last year, units at Phoebe on Queen took anywhere from a few days to a few weeks before trading hands. But this two-bedroom corner suite was quickly snatched up by a buyer who never set foot inside.
"It sold over asking in multiple offers, unconditional, within a day of it hitting the multiple listing service," agent Jim Burtnick said.
"This shows that the condo market is still leading the way in terms of real estate demand out of all housing types."
What They Got: In a mid-rise building with about 30 units, this 1,165-square-foot suite is anchored by an open kitchen. The dining area and living room has nine-foot ceilings, west-facing windows and terrace doors.
Off to the sides are bedrooms and bathrooms. The private master ensuite also has laundry facilities.
Parking is included. Monthly fees of $738 pay for water, heating, concierge, fitness and party rooms.
The Agent's Take: "This unit was larger than most," Mr. Burtnick said.
"And when these were built about 15 years ago, builders took more care to make decent sized bedrooms and separate them. In newer buildings, they try to fit more in a smaller space and put the bedrooms side by side."
Originally posted on The Globe and Mail by Sydnia Yu.
One of Jim and Richard's listings was featured as a Done Deal in the Globe and Mail. The four-bedroom row house at 642 Wellington St. W hit the market in November and sold in 9 days for $250,100 over asking price. Here is the article posted in the Globe and Mail.
642 WELLINGTON ST. W., TORONTO
ASKING PRICE: $899,900
SELLING PRICE: $1,150,000
TAXES: $4,245 (2016)
DAYS ON THE MARKET: NINE
LISTING AGENTS: Jim Burtnick and Richard Silver, Sotheby's International Realty Canada
The action: When this four-bedroom row house hit the market in November, there were few comparable houses to compete with it in the highly desirable niche neighbourhood west of downtown. Seven visitors submitted offers, including one that added $250,100 to the list price.
"I didn't go crazy to underprice it," said agent Jim Burtnick.
It's a classic home in a triple A location right downtown. There are a lot of people who don't want to go in a condo, so this is an opportunity to take a house and put your own touches on it.
What they got: The brick façade and stained glass windows of this 1,798-square-foot Victorian are prominent features dating back to 1892. The formal living and dining rooms have crown mouldings and tall baseboards.
For 80 years, the same family occupied the dwelling. They had replaced the roofing, some windows and wiring, and maintained a second kitchen on the upper floor above the main one. The latter has access to the basement, back deck and 15-by 64-foot grounds.
The agent's take:
The thing that really lends itself to renovation was it has a full three storeys with high ceilings on each floor. And the other redeeming feature was the original staircase banisters that could be restored nicely, so I could see a nice mix of old and new in there.
Originally posted in the Globe and Mail, written by Sydnia Yu.
Jim was recently interviewed by Jill Mahoney from Globe and Mail about the effects of Foreign Buyer's Tax on Toronto. Here is an excerpt from the article:
In all, 3.8 per cent of homes sold in the city of Toronto were to buyers who were not citizens or permanent residents between mid-August and mid-November, down from 5.6 per cent for the previous three-month period.
In the wider Greater Golden Horseshoe region, 1.9 per cent of residential properties were bought by people from abroad, down from 3.2 per cent.
The government's data come amid continued debate over the role of international capital in the Toronto area's real estate market.
Some analysts and home buyers believe wealthy foreign buyers are pushing prices beyond the reach of many local residents, while the real-estate industry argues the main challenge is strong demand and a shortage of housing supply, rather than small numbers of non-citizens.
Foreign purchases began to fall in the vast area around Toronto after Premier Kathleen Wynne's government introduced its tax in April, according to Finance Ministry figures. Before the move, the real estate market appeared to be overheating, as average home prices soared to nearly $1-million in the Greater Toronto Area. After the tax, the market entered a downturn.
The government on Wednesday said the overall housing market "continues to show stable growth," while noting that Greater Toronto Area home resales fell 13.3 per cent and the average price dropped by 2 per cent last month from November, 2016.
Real estate agents who work with foreign buyers said many are waiting out the market's turbulence.
"[The tax] forced everybody to the sidelines for no other reason than psychological because it was new and they wanted to see what kind of an effect a government intervention like that was having," said Jim Burtnick, a Toronto broker who works with international clients
People want to make sure that they're not catching a falling knife, that the sky's not falling, and once they realize fundamentally nothing's changed and everything's pretty stable, I think you'll see that it'll pick up again.
Mr. Burtnick said foreign investment could also be down because some buyers are finding ways to avoid paying the tax, such as by registering properties in the names of relatives who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents. "People are generally pretty resourceful," he said.
If you are interesting reading the rest of the article, head to The Globe and Mail site and read it here.
Jim was recently interviewed by Nina Dragicevic of TorontoStoreys.com about condo office spaces in Toronto. Here is an excerpt from the article and you can find the whole story here.
Office space is typically a leasing market, but some entrepreneurs — professionals such as lawyers and doctors, architects or tech startups — ask themselves the same thing as any other Torontonian: should we rent or buy?
The answer is fundamentally the same: buying has its perks.
“(By buying office condos) they build equity, not just in their business, but in their real estate holdings in their business,” says Jim Burtnick, broker and senior vice-president of sales for Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.
I think it’s smart people who understand the value of having real estate as part of their business portfolio. Why should I be paying a landlord? Why pay for rent for the next 10 years and really have nothing to show for it? An end user can write off the interest of the mortgage against their business income. And if they sell the business, they’re not just selling the cash flow of the business, but also the real estate component.
Burtnick’s two recent office condo projects — 7 St. Thomas (Yorkville) and 117 Peter St. (Entertainment District) — have been populated by white collar professionals “who run their own businesses, know their footprint in terms of the size they require, and are not growing or shrinking drastically.
They’re comfortable purchasing because they know that their space requirements aren’t going to change a great deal.
Sizing up or down is still possible, Burtnick points out — additional adjacent units can be purchased or sold off — but generally these business owners and their industries benefit from relative stability.
I think where (office condos) might not be suitable is the King and Bay areas — the financial companies that ebb and flow with the economy. They grow and shrink in a quick fashion and, there, leasing makes more sense, as it gives them that flexibility.
Burtnick sees opportunity for growth. He thinks office condos fit into major trends fuelled by the city’s hot market and the evolution of businesses and workspaces; the latter being driven by technology and millennials.
On the desirability side, Cushman & Wakefield recently called Toronto “one of North America’s most powerful growth markets” in office real estate, citing vacancy rates lower than Manhattan, Chicago and London. Perhaps that’s obvious — housing demand shows that people want to live here; it makes sense that companies would follow.
I think if we were to look back — say, 20 years from now — on the evolution of Toronto, I think we’d say that what we’re experiencing right now is an evolution into an alpha city on the global stage. I think we’ll see that we’re sort of Manhattan-izing.
As for an evolving workforce, Toronto developer CentreCourt Developments recently launched the city’s first shared “co-working space” as part of the Axis condo’s amenities — a nod to the new army of freelancers or those working from home. Another trend gaining steam is meeting spaces for hire, as offices look to outsource some of the square footage they don’t need daily. Lean, flexible office space benefits the bottom line.
Burtnick — a lifelong Torontonian, “born and bred” — says the future belongs to the many, not the few. And office condos meet that need.
The driver of the economy is small- to medium-sized independent businesses. I think, as the economy’s changing, office space requirements are changing too. It’s no longer just the big corporations of the world that need these huge downtown locations. Office condos have been around a long time as a form of ownership in Asia, in Europe, and if you google ‘office condos New York’, you’ll see that it’s there too. This is actually the next phase of the condo-ization of Toronto.
Originally posted on TorontoStoreys.com
Jim was recently featured in an article for Mansion Global, about Toronto's luxury market. Here is an excerpt from the article.
The Toronto luxury real estate market is booming. In fact, the condo market in Toronto has grown considerably and gone much more high end in the past five or six years, according to Jim Burtnick, of the Torontoism team at Sotheby’s International Realty.
“Toronto is going through a boom,” he said.
High-end condo development began in Toronto with hotel projects like the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton and Shangri La. From there, the options boomed. Now buyers have many choices, from high-rise buildings on the harbor, to boutique condos in residential neighborhoods like Summerhill and Rosedale.
Many new developments have been planned for Yorkville, which, according to Paul Johnston of Unique Urban homes, was “once the city’s hippie-centric counter-cultural community, and is today the epicenter of monied luxury and the location of a growing range of condominium options.”
And there are even new condos sprouting up in the areas of Toronto filled with single family homes, such as Forest Park.
Here’s a roundup of some of Toronto’s new developments.
This 76-story tower is located in Yorkville, Toronto’s equivalent of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. Owners have begun moving into the lower floors, and full occupancy is expected later this year. It is near luxury shopping, like Gucci, Chanel, and Cartier, and walking distance from the Royal Ontario Museum. Designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, the 732-unit building has an undulating shaped design to offer maximum light and views over the skyline. There is also a podium on the sixth floor, which houses a 27,000-square-foot amenities area designed by Cecconi Simone, and an amenities terrace over the podium, which is 19,000 square feet and designed by Janet Rosenberg + Associates. Amenity highlights include an elaborate spa area with treatment rooms, his-and-hers cold plunges, hot plunges, steam rooms and aromatherapy rooms, and ice fountains.
- Number of units: 732
- Price range: C$520,000-C$2.45 million (US$399,000-US$1.88 million)
- Developer/architect: Great Gulf Homes/Tucker HiRise Construction/Hariri Pontarini Architects
- Apartment sizes: Two- to four-bedrooms, ranging from 2,500 square feet to 3,700 square feet
- Amenities: Indoor and outdoor pool, terraces, spa, hot tub, fitness area with yoga, cardio and spin rooms, relaxation areas.
- Website: OneBloor.com
Located very close to 1 Bloor, but on a village-like street filled with townhouses, 128 Hazelton bills itself as “the last of its kind.” The building’s sales have launched, and tentative occupancy is for 2019. The mid-rise boutique building, designed by Mizrahi Developments and Gianpiero Pugliese of Audax, takes its influence from 19th century Haussmann style buildings in Paris. The apartments feature terraces overlooking the city’s verdant parks and glassed-in winter gardens so residents can still be outside when it is cold. There are also luxurious master suites and formal foyers. The building also has 24-hour concierge, valet parking, an event room and dining room with chandeliers, a lounge, fitness area, and backyard garden with dining.
- Number of units: 20
- Price range: An available apartment on the fifth floor is C$5,911,000 (US$4.53 million). It is 3,294 square feet with two balconies, faces north, east and south and comes with two parking units and a locker.
- Developer/architect: Mizrahi Developments and Gianpiero Pugliese of Audax
- Apartment sizes: 1,354 square feet to 1,916 square feet, excluding the penthouse apartments
- Amenities: Terraces, winter gardens, master suites, formal foyers, 24-hour concierge, valet parking, an event room and dining room with chandeliers, a lounge, fitness area, and backyard garden with dining
- Website: 128Hazelton.ca
Read the full article here.
MANSION GLOBAL QUOTED JIM BURTNICK IN ONE OF THEIR RECENT ARTICLES ABOUT BUYING A PROPERTY IN TORONTO.
Originally published on February 18, 2017. By Ariel Ramchandani
Toronto, a diverse and cosmopolitan city, is popular with buyers from all over the world.
“Toronto is known as the most multilingual and multicultural city [in Canada],” said Jim Burtnick, of the Torontoism team of Sotheby’s International Realty. “There are six Chinatowns and everybody and anybody coming here will feel pretty absorbed into the community.”
“Toronto is Canada’s largest city, with a well-deserved reputation for a high quality of living, low crime, generally favorable weather, vibrant arts and cultural institutions and a multitude of ethnically-diverse neighborhoods,” said Paul Johnston, a Toronto broker with Right at Home Realty.
The city has many perks to offer an international audience, according to Mr. Burtnick.
A lot of people are coming here for the stability of the banking system and for the education. Luxury real estate is taking off here and international high-net-worth individuals have it on their radar as a safe, stable, welcoming country in a world that is much more volatile.
International interest in Canada as a whole is so high that the country’s other major international city, Vancouver, cracked down on foreign buyers by imposing a 15 per cent tax on them last year.
Here’s How to Buy
Mr. Burtnick describes the process of a foreigner buying in Toronto as being “pretty straightforward.”
You don’t have to be a citizen here but you have to have your money here, and it is easily transferable in today’s global economy,
Mr. Burtnick said. Funds should be available in North America for when you are ready to make a purchase. (Note: Many Canadian banks have branches in the U.S.)
Once you choose a home, you can expect to pay a 10% deposit. Deposits are generally staggered, usually over the course of 18 to 24 months (for example 5% on signing a deal, 5% in 60 days, 5% in 180 days, 5% in 365 days, and so on), Mr. Burtnick said.
These deposits are held "in trust” and are guaranteed 100% refundable should a project not proceed.
If you need financing, make sure you are already pre-approved by a bank that has branch locations in Canada. "For properties valued at over $1 million Canadian dollars, domestic purchasers are required to have at least 20% equity in the property,” said Mr. Johnston. “ A foreign purchaser will usually [need] 35% equity.”
He cautions that lenders are a bit more conservative in Canada. “Canadian banks have historically been much more cautious lenders than our American counterparts, and the federal government has maintained oversight and instituted minimum lending standards to reduce the risk of correction across Canada,” Mr. Johnston said.
Be prepared to pay the land transfer tax, which ranges depending on the purchase price:
“Land transfer tax is punishing, as in Toronto we are taxed twice: provincially and municipally,” Mr. Johnston said.
In Toronto, the tax is paid to the city and to the province of Ontario, on closing. The Toronto Real Estate Board provides a calculator for assessing your land transfer tax.
There is also a 1% annual tax based on 1% of the value of the property. If you are selling, there is a withholding tax paid on closing, according to Mr. Burtnick.
If you are planning on renting your property out, there is a withholding tax on rental earnings. “That withholding is generally 25%, although it can be minimized or recouped depending on an individual’s specific tax position,” said Mr. Johnston.
Mr. Burtnick stressed that unlike other countries, like England, where buyers are often leasing the land from the government, in Canada, “you own your property outright.” The agreement of purchase is a binding contract.
Both brokers stress the importance of working with a professional. “As with any transaction, surrounding yourself with the right team is essential when buying real estate in Toronto,” said Mr. Johnston. “In addition to tax advice, the expertise of a qualified real estate lawyer is very important, and engaging the services of an agent who is actively engaged in the market—and the type of property you are seeking out —will put you ahead of the game.”