Condos Are Homes Too – Get it?

Condos Are Homes Too – Get it?

Recently I was discussing real estate with a client and trying to determine her goals, requirements, budget for her next purchase. She’s been a condo dweller for a number of years and now with a child and a loving husband they’re considering a house. When speaking to her she kept saying: “I love the condo life but I really prefer a home”. Wait a minute; isn’t a condo a home? Please allow Spring Realty to clear this up for you: There are Condos, Lofts, Townhouses, Detached Houses, Semi-Detached Houses, Row Houses but they all share one thing in common. They’re all HOMES!

Happy Monday!

Box House on Coxwell for sale

February 6th Update:

Sale price has finally been reported! Contact us for details. You won’t believe how much over asking it sold for. WOW!

January 22nd Update:

After an intense multiple offer situation with 6 registered offers on Sunday January 22nd the Box House on Coxwell is now SOLD! (well conditional until Friday). After the dust settled the Seller (Rohan Walters) agreed to accept, get this, not the highest bid but the one that would have been the best fit for his unique property. The Purchasers are a young couple with a child (yes it’s possible to raise a child in less than a 3000sqft suburban home BTW). One, an interior designer and the other an architect have big plans for this large lot. They plan on adding a second “Pod” at the rear and connecting it with an enclosed walkway.

We cannot disclose the selling price until the conditional period is met but we can tell you that the likely selling price was at or above the $400K mark. A bargain if you ask me.

One of the main reasons the Seller chose their bid over the “significantly higher offer” is that they would honour the original design and maintain the character of the unique home. Proof that money, doesn’t always talk.

We look forward to seeing this unique urban home transform in to the new owners’ dream home. We will keep you posted as their plans progress.

To refresh your memory on this property, the original blog post is below….



If you’ve ever driven down Coxwell Avenue you’ve likely taken a second look at one of the city’s more unique residential structures. The ‘box house’ was created by architect Rohan Walters and it’s currently up for sale.

The ‘box house’ is headed to the market next week with a list price of $349,000. Taxes run $1,272 a year and due to efficient radiant heat within the concrete floors monthly utilities are a bargain at around $100 a month.

The home isn’t very large at around 800 square feet however the lot is 23 feet wide and 205 feet long and the structure was built for expansion. The current residents haven’t made optimal use of the space as you’ll likely see from the listing photos and the place is in need of some updating.

Given the average cost of a 800 sq foot condominium these days this is a unique opportunity for a minimalist who is looking for something funky and unique. The location is a short walk to the beach at Ashbridges Bay and Queen Street shops, restaurants, and the Beaches movie theatre.

Probably the biggest bonus of owning a home like this is the free advertising you get on your listing when the home is sold. You’ll undoubtedly see many articles and blogs in the next week or two and the open houses will be packed.

For a private viewing or for more information please contact us right away.

Demographic and Population Change in the Toronto Real Estate Market

When looking at the housing boom in Toronto it’s easy to wonder how all of the properties could be occupied.  Many point to an investor bubble which will burst at some point crashing prices.  There are some  important factors to consider when evaluating the housing market in Toronto.

Population Growth

Under a high growth scenario StatsCan predicts the Canadian population will roughly double in the next 50 years (approx. 2 mortgage cycles).  From 2009 to 2014 Ontario’s population is expected to increase by over 700,000.  The last census showed that approx half of immigrants to Ontario settle in the GTA with 70% of those settling in Toronto.  Population growth will continue to have a strong influence on the demand for homes in Toronto.


Over the next 30 years the demographic landscape will change quite dramatically as the baby boomers move through the various stages of retirement.   The peak of the boomers are around 50 years old which is an age where mortgages become paid off, kids are through university, and retirement savings become a priority.  The demographic effect for this dominant group over the next 10-20 years will be a weakening of demand for large family homes and a strengthening in demand for smaller homes with less maintenance (bungalows and condominiums).  Over the longer term we will see a flattening in the age pyramid which should lessen the effects of any given cohort moving through life cycle changes (like we have seen with the boomers).

Freehold Homes

There is almost zero growth in the number of freehold homes (detached, semi-detached, some town homes) in Toronto.   There is very little land within the city limits that can be newly zoned as residential neighbourhoods where these homes could be built.  As a result the main change we see to the housing stock is conversions from smaller homes on large lots (often bungalows) to larger 3 story homes and renovations.  Due to historically low interest rates we see a lot of renovation occurring in this sector.  The increase in home prices has dramatically outpaced income growth but this should be expected given population growth and improvement in the quality of the homes due to a renovation boom.



Unlike the freehold home market there has been tremendous growth in condominium developments. Most notably the Concord CityPlace development along the west Waterfront. Other areas that have experienced a growth in condo devel0pments are Liberty Village, King West, Queen West, and the most surprisingly Toronto’s East end (Beach, Leslieville).

The public is concerned with the number of units being built and a potential condo bubble. It is very important to understand that there has not been any significant growth in rental developments so most of these buildings are designed to serve pent up demand for rental units. Some of the CityPlace developments are currently 90% renter occupied. The demand of rental units and the influx of new immigrants to Toronto continue to keep demand for Condos high and supply still relatively low.  The best buys are currently in Toronto’s East communities; Leslieville and the Beach should be on your radar if you’re in the market.


Brian Hawrysh – Managing Director – Spring Realty Inc