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Most Expensive Condos of 2017

The Most Expensive Condo Buildings in Toronto for 2017

By Luxury Real Estate

30 Toronto Condos Sold For More Than $3.5 Million in 2017

It was a roller coster of a year for real estate prices in Toronto in 2017! In the housing market, things started out strong throughout the first quarter with a lot of the momentum pouring over from the little supply we saw in 2016 – but prices for homes quickly leveled off starting in April and continued throughout the remainder of the year. The condo market in general remained a “hot ticket item” and saw great growth throughout 2017… that too was true in the luxury condo market.

In our second year of covering sales in the luxury condo market, we saw a 36% increase in the number of condos selling over $3.5 million in Toronto – reaching 30 suites sold in 2017 vs the 22 sold in 2016! 

And it wasn’t just sales numbers that were up – prices were too.

How Much Was The Most Expensive Sale?

The most expensive condo sale recorded in 2017 was $11,500,000 (or $1900/sq.ft.) nearly double the $6,000,000 record of 2016. The 6000 sq.ft. plus penthouse, located in Yorkville came complete with a private pool, hot tub, and private roof top terrace with panoramic views.

Most Expensive Condos of 2017

Which Luxury Buildings in Toronto Had The Most Sales? 

The Four Seasons Private Residences had the most amount of sales on this years list with 5 luxury condos being sold in 2017. The Residences At The Ritz Carlton and the Imperial Plaza came in second with two sales over $3.5 million in each.  In 2016, 36 The Hazelton, had two sales on the list, but none clearing $3.5 million in 2017.

Most Expensive Condos of 2017

The majority of the sales took place in the Annex/Yorkville neighbourhood, with 14 sales recorded. The C01 Waterfront came in second with 5, followed by Rosedale-Moore Park with 4 sales.

What Was The Sold Price to List Price Ratio?

The average sale, sold at 95% of its list price, meaning there was about 5% negotiating room.

Most Expensive Condos of 2017

What Were The Average Days on Market for Luxury Condos in Toronto?

On average it took about 75 days for these higher end condos to sell.  The fastest sold in 2 days and the longest was technically a hold over from 2016, sitting for 410 days!

Most Expensive Condos of 2017

How Much Was The Highest Maintenance in 2017 For these Luxury Condos?

The highest fee was $6135/month + Heat, A/C and Hydro but also included a private roof top terrace, pool, hot tub, and 4 parking spaces.! The lowest was $1,675.98 and did not include parking.

Most Expensive Condos of 2017

With Luxury Prices, Comes Luxury Taxes

The city took in their fair share of taxes from these high end condos! The average amount paid between the 30 was $22,841/year.  The highest of the lot was $64,758 and the lowest was $7,650!

Most Expensive Condos of 2017

How Will the B-20 Mortgage Guidelines Impact Your Purchase?

By Advice For Buyers, Video Blog

For the second time this year, new guidelines are being introduced that will impact how Canadians get approved for a mortgage… and for the second time this year, a lot of people are confused by what these changes mean! I’ve put together a short video to better explain who IS and ISN’T affected by it, and what it all means.


10 Ways The New Changes May Impact You

  1. The new guidelines would introduce “STRESS TESTS” for all purchasers taking out a mortgage with MORE than 20% of a downpayment.
  2. If you’re putting LESS than 20% down, taking a VARIABLE mortgage, or a term of less than 5 years – you’re already subject to qualifying under a stress test. No change to this segment of the market.
  3. If you’re putting down MORE than 20% – you too will also be subject to the test.
  4. The guidelines will require purchasers with more than 20% down to qualify at the Bank of Canada Rate OR the Contract Rate + 2% (which ever is higher)
  5. For Example: Say the banks are offering you a 3% fixed rate for 5 years.  In order to be approved for it, you must actually qualify at 5% (3%+2%).  
  6. Because purchasers are qualifying at a higher rate, many will see their max budget amount reduced by roughly 15-20%
  7. The new guideline ONLY apply to those lenders that are deemed a Federally Regulated Financial Institution (currently 85 in Canada).
  8. Those that don’t fall under Federal Regulations are not subject to the new guidelines.  The most popular alternative is CREDIT UNIONS like Duca or Meridian… although there is some discussion that they may adopt similar measures to the B-20 Guidelines. 
  9. Although many will see their MAX budget reduced – it’s important to remember that NOT EVERYONE wants to spend the max a lender can make available for them.  I know of many clients who chooser to only spend 60, 70 or even 80% of their max budget on a purchase.
  10. Like all changes in the market, there will be an adjustment period of probably 4-6 months for people to adjust to the changes.

More Reading:

Final Revised Guideline B-20: Residential Mortgage Underwriting Practices and Procedures

Canada’s banking watchdog sets tougher rules for mortgage lending

New mortgage stress test to hit ‘move-up’ home buyers

Aerial panorama of Toronto at sunset

A Summary of Kathleen Wynnes Changes to the Real Estate Market in Toronto

By Advice for Landlords

Premier Kathleen Wynne, Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Housing Minister Chris Ballard announced plans to cool Ontario’s housing market.  We’ve summarized the proposed changes, and included our thoughts on how it we feel it impact the market:

Rent Control For All Tenants

Current rent controls, only apply to properties built prior to 1991 leaving many of Torontos downtown condos exempt from increase limits (currently set at the rate of inflation). The new proposals will now cover all properties regardless of when they were built.  

They are also looking into unlocking provincially owned surplus lands that could be used for affordable and rental housing development and a $125-million, five-year program to encourage the construction of new purpose-built rental apartment buildings by rebating a portion of development charges. 

These steps won’t really do much to add to the current lack of supply, and with the introduction of rent controls, will probably deter developers from ever actually building new rental stock.

I do think that rent controls are needed, but at rate higher than just inflation – something as simple as inflation plus 5% would result in only a $140 rate increase/month on a $2000 rental.  I was hoping the Liberal government would have introduced some controls on Hydro and Heat costs to help with monthly affordability for all!

Standardized Lease Document for all Tenants

This was briefly mentioned in todays announcement – Its purpose was to ensure “illegal terms and conditions” were not included in leases. I’m not entirely sure how they plan on handling this one as the Landlord and Tenant Board already has pretty specific guidelines that cover what can and can’t be included in leases.  Also, every rental provides its own unique set of challenges that require the crafting of pretty specific clauses. To have a standardized lease could leave both sides unprotected!

An Assignment Ban

The government wants to ban speculators from assigning their pre construction purchases before completion. It’s not clear how they plan on qualifying someone as a speculator vs. a buyer who’s outgrown their space before the project completes.

A typical project takes about 2-5 years to complete and in that time things can change.  I’ve worked with several buyers that have outgrew their initial purchase and wanted to sell before the project closed.  When buyers take this route, the often sell at less than market value, but for more than their original purchase price.

We don’t see very many properties sell by way of assignment as they are often tricky to complete and require builders approval before the sale can be finalized.  Those that do sell, often sell for less than market value (which helps those trying to get into the market)- so I’m not really sure how this will help with affordability.

Speculation Tax for Non-Resident Foreigners

Several reporters at todays announcement asked the officials for data to back up the claim that foreigners are buying up all these properties – but each time the question was avoided.  In reality, the government doesn’t currently collect this information. As part of todays announcements, all purchasers will now have to reveal their citizenship and where they live. Buyers will also have to disclose if the property will be used as primary residence or investment (something we already have to do when applying for a mortgage)

They also planned to introduce a 15 per cent tax on home purchases by non-resident foreigners… but of course, since they currently don’t have any real data on exactly how many foreigners are actually buying property at the moment – it’s hard to say if this actually take any competition out of the market.

Final Thoughts

I’m a bit relived that these aren’t the catastrophic changes some have speculated may happen. “This plan balances those needs to stabilize the market and prevent a sharp correction that would be harmful to everyone,” said Wynne. My take is that ultimately these measures won’t bring much change to Torontos real estate market. 

If you’re a buyer, things won’t be getting any easier anytime soon. You’ll still be faced with 5-20 people bidding for your “dream home”, with or without the foreigner tax.

Sellers, the climb continues (unless you’re trying to sell an assignment). Economics 101 teaches us that this price increase is fueled by a lack of supply and a ton of demand.  

Renters of properties built after 1991 who haven’t received a rent increase in the last 12 months – expect a price bump in the coming weeks.

3140 Dufferin St

3140-3170 Dufferin St. To Be Redeveloped

By Architecture, New Condo Developments

What Do They Want to Build at 3140-3170 Dufferin Street and 60-68 Apex Road?

Add another application to the developing Dufferin St strip! In 2015, RioCan submitted an application to amend the Official Plan at 3140-3170 Dufferin Street and 60-68 Apex Road.  Currently the site is home to TD Canada Trust, Staples, Tim Hortons and Swiss Chalet… but if all goes according to plan, 2 new condo towers will be built on the site.

The application is calling for two mixed-use buildings of 28 and 22 storeys separated by a new public road. The proposed redevelopment will include 578 residential units and 5,632 square metres (60,622 square feet) of at grade retail space. It will also include 878 parking spaces, 1135 bicycle parking spaces and even a new public park as part of the redevelopment. Below are some early drawings of what the development may look like:

3140 Dufferin St 3140 Dufferin St

According to the proposal, the building will look as follows:

Building One

Building One (or Block 1), will front on Dufferin Street, will include the development of a 22-storey mixed use building with 263 residential units and 4,848 square metres (52,183 square feet) of grade-related retail and service commercial space.The building will consist of a 5-storey podium along all street frontages, an 8-storey mid-rise component along Dufferin Street and a 17-storey tower component above the 5-storey podium. The podium transitions to a mid-rise component for Levels 6, 7 and 8 located along the Dufferin Street, providing an outdoor amenity area in the northwest quadrant of the 6th level.

A total of 263 units are provided within Block 1, including 92 one-bedroom units, 136 two-bedroom units, 27 three-bedroom units, and 8 live-work units. Amenity spaces are provided on Levels 6, 9, 14 and 18. In total, Block 1 includes 617 square metres of indoor amenity space and 1,869 square metres of outdoor amenity space.

The building includes two levels of underground parking and parking areas central to Levels 2-5, accommodating a total of 444 parking spaces. A total of 667 bicycle parking spaces are provided.

Building Two

Building Two (or Block 2) 

Block 2, located West of Building One, will have a site area of 4,470 square metres (excluding the public park and half of the northsouth public road) and will include the development of a 28-storey mixed use building with 315 residential units and 784 square metres (8,442 square feet) of grade-related retail and service commercial space.  The building will consist of a 6-storey podium and a 22-storey tower. 

The ground floor includes two retail units, one along Apex Road and the other in the northeast corner of the building. The residential lobby has frontage on the proposed new public street located south of the retail unit. The ground floor also includes 10 townhouse units within the podium that front onto the proposed new public park and 6 live/work units within the podium that front the proposed new public street, between the residential lobby and retail unit. The interior of the ground floor is utilized for bicycle parking, waste facilities, elevators and stairs, all accessed by a central hallway. The remainder of the podium (Levels 2-6) is occupied by residential units along the perimeter and a double-height fitness area on Levels 2/3.

Residential units within the podium are accessed by a central hallway connected to the centralized elevators and stairs. An outdoor amenity area is located on Level 4. Additional indoor and outdoor amenity space is provided on Level 9, 14 and 18. The top of the podium, at Level 7, is utilized for a green roof. The tower contains residential units accessed by a central hallway, which is connected to centralized elevators and stairways. The proposed height to the top of the 28th floor is 89.0 metres, with a height of 95.0 metres to the top of the elevator overrun/rooftop mechanical. 

A total of 315 units are provided within Block 2, including 8 bachelor units, 99 one-bedroom units, 149 two-bedroom units, 53 three-bedroom units, and 6 live-work units. Amenity spaces are provided on Levels 2, 4, 9, 14, and 18. In total, Block 2 includes 1,309 square metres of indoor amenity space and 1,012 square metres of outdoor amenity space.

My Thoughts on the Proposal

The success of the Treviso development is proof that Dufferin, North of Lawrence is ripe for development! The west side of Dufferin has much larger lots than the East, and I think utilizing the lands make most sense.  The retail at grade helps keep business in the area, and the towers above can add to the shortage of housing options in both the city – and the Dufferin and Lawrence neighbourhood.  In the City report, there were a lot of items that needed addressing, but my hopes is that they all get sorted out and the Dufferin strip continues to develop!

Overhead Shot Of Male Plumber Working To Fix Leaking Sink In Home Bathroom

REVIEW: My Experience Using Jiffy On Demand

By Home Improvement

The Problem

With the winter winds rolling in, the time had come to do some maintenance at my rental property. All I had to do was turn off the outside water off from in the home – a fairly standard job that I do every year. As luck would have it, the valve wouldn’t close.  So I did what any stubborn male would do… I tightened it until I broke it.  My one problem quickly became three: The water line wasn’t closed, the valve was broken, and I had no time to master the art plumbing.

The Solution – Jiffy on Demand

JiffyOnDemand is a new Toronto based app that makes home maintenance a breeze! They connect homeowners with professionals in a variety of trades – from small jobs like furniture assembly and lawn maintenance, to larger jobs like electrical and duct cleaning… they even have professionals on call for seasonal jobs like BBQ cleaning, and Christmas light installation!

Jiffy on Demand Services

Above is a small sample the services JiffyOnDemand offers

The “Jiffy” concept is to connect homeowners for jobs that need same day attention – but you’re also able to schedule jobs for future dates.

I needed a plumber – and fast! After downloading the app, I typed in “plumbing”, filled in a few details about the job, and was instantly connected with a plumbing professional.  Within minutes I received a phone call from Mike Ginglo from Momentum Mechanical Contractors (so refreshing to actually speak with the person carrying out the work).  I loved that they were able to give an exact timing for when the work would start (instead of a 8 hour window that most trades offer). On the day scheduled for work, Mike followed up with another call to reconfirm the time – I’m a stickler for detail, and was so impressed with how organized he was! 

The JiffyOnDemand app displayed the minimum price and first hour rate of the job as well as a break down of what additional time would cost.  This in itself was a huge timesaver as I didn’t have time to wait for a call back to confirm price. As part of the signup process, you provide them with your credit card number, and they bill you once the job is complete.

Mike and his assistant showed up on time, and got right to work.  The job required replacing the old pipe, valve and hose bib with new parts. Within the hour they had everything done! I’m one of those eager beavers who likes watching the job get done so I can learn for next time.  Mike went the extra mile by explaining what was wrong with the old valve and the benefits of the new one. He even answered my follow up questions via email and offered a few tips for winterizing the house for future seasons – this gave me complete assurance in his expertise and the job preformed!

The Verdict

Had I decided to fix the pipe my self – it would have easily turned into a month long project! From my first few taps with JiffyOnDemand to the overall experience with Mike and Momentum Mechanical – I give them: 4.95 plumber wrenches out of 5 … the only minor improvement would be with communicating the cost of materials.  Jiffy can only display prices for the labour, as the cost of materials vary based on the job! I was charged fairly for the materials, it just would have been helpful to have a rough estimate at the start of the job.