Sotheby's fall market forecast, top 5 most expensive intersections in Toronto, Chinese investments in the GTA, Toronto's ideal street and purchasing a condo in pre-construction - the most important real estate reads from last week in one place.
Torontoism.com: Sotheby’s International Realty Canada: 2017 Fall Market Forecast
Sotheby's International Realty Canada published their forecast for the 2017 Fall Market. Montreal is the rising star, becoming the luxury real estate hot spot with increases in sales, and prices in the 1M+ segment. Strong economy is helping to establish a healthy activity in the high-end GTA market, despite the slowdown following the introduction of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan in April 2017.
Vancouver's 1M+ segment is expected to regain momentum, thanks to strong local demand in the condo sector. The top-tier sales in Calgary during the summer months reflected its return to stability as Alberta emerged from recession.
TheRedPin charted condo prices at 25 major Toronto intersections. On average, condos at these street corners sold for $667,000 – 22 per cent more than the city-wide average, which is not surprising, keeping in mind that most of these intersections are steps away from the downtown. The top 5 intersections are: Bay St. and King St. W.; Bay St. and Bloor St. W.; Avenue Rd. and John St.; Bay St. and Adelaide St. W.
56 per cent of condos featured one bedroom while roughly 30 per cent of units included two bedrooms. The average price of a one-bedroom unit here is around $545,000. The price of a two-bedroom apartment reaches 925,000, likely because these intersections are dominated by high-end units. It is worth noting that Toronto's condo market seems less effected by the recent real estate market slowdown than the detached segment, although the drop has still occurred compared to April this year.
Some media outlets recently reported that interest in Canadian real estate among Chinese buyers increased 30 per cent in the first half of this year, compared to a year earlier. This suggests that the foreign-buyer tax didn't stop Chinese buyers from purchasing property in the GTA.
Sales of residential real estate in the Greater Toronto Area plummeted after the The Non-Resident Speculation Tax ("NRST") came into effect. However, some believed that this was the result of domestic home buyers simply deciding to take a step back because of the uncertainty caused by this measure.
Recent data suggest that both wealthy and middle-class Chinese may still have a strong interest in buying Canadian real estate. This might mean one of the two: either that the Chinese buyers are not concerned about the additional costs associated with the foreign buyer tax or that they are not engaged in real-estate speculation, at least to the extent that some may have initially believed.
Sean Galbraith, urban planner in private practice, says High Park Ave. is a rare example of "the missing middle" - the kind of housing we need to build to make the region's prized nieghbourhoods vital and accessible to young families. The street includes semis, laneway homes, secondary suites and townhouses. In some settings, small apartment buildings are also considered part of the missing middle.
This type of housing is way too scarce for the growing number of young families who can’t afford a detached house but want to live close to transit, shops and schools. Zoning rules have shut missing middle homes out of large swathes of the city. There are about 20,000 hectares where it’s virtually impossible to build anything except single-family detached houses, said Galbraith.
"If you added a single duplex per hectare, you've made room for like 48,000 extra people and not changed neighbourhood character one bit," he says. If we aren’t building for families, there’s nowhere for millennials to go once they leave their small condos except farther away from their jobs, transit and existing infrastructure.
NOW Magazine: Should I buy a pre-construction condo?
As low- and high-profile developments reorient to meet the demand, pre-construction is becoming more and more accessible. At the same time, as attractive as persuasive as the reps at the sales office might be, there’s always a risk in buying something that technically doesn’t exist yet. Now Magazine interviewed real estate agents and industry experts about the pros and cons of buying a pre-construction condo.
The biggest benefit to buying pre-construction is availability. However, it is important to look at builder reputation to avoid being unpleasantly surprised when you finally move in. There is definitely more surety in a resale condo. One more advantage of choosing a pre-construction condo is the ability to customize it. But the downside of it is the waiting: your life might change significantly while you are waiting and the condo might not suit your needs anymore.
Jim Burtnick from Torontoism team has also commented on selling a condo in pre-construction. Click here to see what he thinks about it.