Toronto Real Estate no BS Market Snap for Jan 2014

Well well well, looks like the 416 is still riding high!

Thought I’d deface our CRA tax assessment form to give you this month’s Toronto Real Estate market report. You’ll notice that I’m still sounding like a broken record with gains across the board. The detached home is now almost out of the picture for most buyers at a whopping $888,210 and we expect this to surpass the $900K mark for the first time EVER this month. While home ownership is attainable for most first time buyers in the 416, the dream of owning a house is slowly becoming less real for most which would explain the surge in condo and town-house sales of late. Here’s a break down:

Detached Houses in Toronto – Up 14.8%

Are very expensive…that is all.

Semi-Detached Houses in Toronto – Up 6.1%

This is an area where you need to take a deeper look into the neighbourhood you’re considering. This also shows how useless most “average price” figures are. If you’re looking in the Leslieville, Riverdale, Beach, Roncesvalles, High Park, Junction, Junction Triangle and other trendy neighbourhoods be prepared to cough up upwards of $800K for a semi detached house. You’ll most definitely be in competition with other buyers when making offers on this type of home in most of Toronto’s neighbourhoods right now so it’s very important you work with a local pro who’s in the know. With 16.6% less available listings across the board (up to 50% less in some neighbourhoods) we’re seeing droves of wannabe home buyers ploughing through open houses and private views on each and every new listing. We’ve got some gems about to hit the market, wanna see them first?

Townhouses in Toronto – Up 4.6%

This housing option makes a phenomenal Freehold House alternative. Town-houses in Toronto are often less expensive than Freehold houses and offer a similar amount of living space. You are making sacrifices though. Most don’t come with a backyard (but a terrace is likely) and of course you have a maintenance fee but that fee is mostly offset by much lower utility and maintenance costs associated with freehold houses. There are some Towns I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole due to savagely high maintenance fees. Don’t worry, I’ll filter those out for you during the search.

Condos in Toronto – Up 7.6%

Are doing amazing right now. I haven’t been able to keep a condo on the market for longer than a week since December! In November of 2013 there were 68 condos available for sale in South Riverdale. As of right now there re 36. That’s a 52% drop in inventory in a short amount of time. If you have a condo to sell, now is the right time to do it. When priced right, it will sell. Just last week we listed a place at 333 Adelaide and received 2 offers in 3 days. Haven’t had a multiple offer on a condo in a very long time. Nice to see the condo market gain some traction after a serious flat period.

Hope you enjoying this month’s NO BS market snap. We’ll see you next month. Any questions? Just ask.

Best Mortgage Rates August 8 2012: Bye bye sub 3%?

It’s a quiet week for economic news, coming off a long weekend.  The unemployment report is out on Friday, but that’s the only real noteworthy item this week.

Best Mortgage Rates Canada 5yr fixed 10yr fixed variableWhat will be making more headlines will be the increase in bond yields we’ve seen the last week or so, as much as 25 basis points (bps).  At these levels lenders are starting to increase their rates and we’ve already had a few send us notice.  This could mark the end of the sub-3% five year rates.  We still have a few but unless yields reverse, more lenders will increase.

If you were sitting on the fence about whether or not to jump in now, this could be your wake-up call before all the rates bump.

Best to contact your mortgage professional and talk to them about getting pre-approved so they can lock in these rates for 120 days.


1 Yr – 2.39

3 Yr – 2.64

5 Yr – 2.89

VRM – 2.65

Lee Welbanks is a Mortgage Broker with Welbanks Financial Group, Lee will be posting these informative “Market Minutes” each week for you to enjoy. Heard about our awesome new home search tool? We’ve opened up the MLS just for you. Make sure you login to our custom Spring Realty Homefinder Tool and give it a spin! Find us on Facebook and Twitter too!

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!

Who’s the Real Jerk? Judge’s Surprise Ruling

In a ground breaking ruling on Wednesday Madam Justice Wailan Low granted an injunction preventing The Real Jerk from being evicted by the end of January. This decision came as a massive relief to The Real Jerk owners; Ed and Lily Pottinger.

Their building was sold to a new owner; Bill Mandelbaum. Upon taking ownership of the site, Mandelbaum gave the Pottingers a mere 30 days to vacate the premises to make way for a new Irish Pub to be opened by two other local entrepreneurs; Rick Aulier and Scott Brockington. Apparently the Pottingers didn’t have a proper lease in place that protected them from this type of eviction and were shocked to learn they only had 30 days to find a new site after being a Queen and Broadview fixture for 27 years.

This news spread through the local media and eventually made it to the evening news. Turns out that everyone loved The Real Jerk and was willing to do anything to stand up for what they believed was a massive injustice. Local Twitter users sent messages of support to The Real Jerk, local Facebook pages and groups were flooded with “How dare the greedy landlord do this!” “This is what’s wrong with society” and so on.  So what about the landlord’s right to collect fair market value?  The Real Jerk was paying $6300/mth for this prime space at Queen and Broadview, the new tenants had agreed to pay $12,000/mth. Just to help you out with the math, that’s a $5,700/mth difference.

Once the dust settled Thursday morning here is what we’re left with. The Pottingers now have a full month to arrange a new lease with the landlord including current market value plus other terms Mandelbaum will likely insist upon. Failing this, the Pottingers will have their rent increased to $12,000/mth on March 1, 2012 and will have up to a year to find a new place to open their beloved restaurant. My guess is that the Pottingers will want out ASAP and find another local spot to open up. Rick Aulier and Scott Brockington, who planned on opening their Irish Pub by St. Patrick’s Day are out of luck unfortunately. They must wait until the space becomes vacant.

My question is; What did Madam Justice Wailan Low base her decision on? Bill Mandelbaum provided hard evidence that the Pottingers had signed a simple month to month lease that left them vulnerable to a 30 day notice for eviction and the Pottingers did not bring a shred of evidence to the table to dispute this. Their sole argument was that Mandelbaum was being unethical and they needed more time to find a new location. I guess the outpouring of support from the community and morality trumped the law in this case. A dangerous precedent has been set by Madam Justice Wailan Low in my opinion but certainly a popular one with locals.

What’s the moral of this story? OWN YOUR LOCATION (or a least ensure your lease provides an adequate notice period)! The goal of all businesses should be to own your location as soon as possible. This is not simply a ploy to sell you real estate (although we’re really good at it so if you’re in the market, give us a call!). If you own your location, you have control. Plain and simple.

Sell First or Buy First? That is the Question.

It is important to evaluate the market conditions in your specific area in order to come up with the best strategy when buying and selling real estate.

Buy First then Sell

Buying first, puts the pressure on selling your home within a tight time frame. A gutsy move in any market requiring expert market analysis and a focus to ensure your home shows well to a broad audience. The Toronto Real Estate market has experienced a fairly aggressive Sellers market in most communities over the past year. This means that due to many factors (such as low lending rates and low inventory of homes) fairly priced homes are able to sell within a matter of days or weeks. Although there is no crystal ball Spring Realty is constantly evaluating the market statistics and predicts a more stable market with fairly flat appreciation in 2012 leaning more toward a ‘Sell First’ strategy.

Sell First then Buy

This is a strategy that works best in a declining market or balanced market. Under such conditions buyers often take a ‘wait and see’ approach hoping for sellers to cave into lower prices. Sellers keep their properties on the market longer waiting for ‘their price’ which increases inventories. In this scenario there are few “bidding war” type situations. Selling first would get you out of your current investment and will give you the ability to choose from one of the many available options without competing with hundreds of other buyers. This strategy also has the backup option of a lease if the right home isn’t found within the time frame.

To keep it simple Spring Realty suggests you Buy First in a “Hot” market and Sell first in a declining or balanced market. Of course this is a general rule of thumb and there are always exceptions. Contact us to discuss your specific situation.

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42 Allen Ave – Riverside/Leslieville Flip Potential

In a hot housing market it’s been difficult to find ideal candidates with a solid return on investment (ROI) in flips recently. Investors (contractors, renovators) are competing with end users (those buying to live rather than flip) driving prices up and creating narrow profit margins. Flips must be done on time, on budget by experienced builders in order to mitigate the investment risk.

We’ve found the perfect home for a flip.  It isn’t desirable for immediate occupancy so it is highly likely that the potential purchaser will be a  builder or experienced renovator.  If done well I believe there is a large profit margin available for this project.

Ladies and Gentlemen allow me to introduce: 42 Allen Ave. This bank owned, foreclosure sale in prime Riverside (just west of Leslieville and east of Downtown) has just been put on the market at a very attractive $270,000! Now this isn’t some low price to attract a bidding war. This is a bank owned property in terrible condition requiring a full ‘gut-job’ renovation. From what I understand the foundation is strong and there hasn’t been any water penetration but it hasn’t been treated well by the previous owner/resident(s).

Here are the property details:

3 Bedrooms

1 Bathroom

Approximately 1100sqft

No Parking

Victorian Style Rowhouse


We see massive potential here. I studied the local comparables using  very specific parameters. I chose 15 recent sales using the following boundaries: DVP to Degrassi and Garrard to Queen. After reviewing the data I’ve determined that a row-house without parking, tastefully renovated with 3 bedrooms and 3 baths should achieve a sale price of between $550-750K. Now applying this information to 42 Allen St specifically. The data shows that it would likely sell for as high at $635K when complete!

It’s important to remember that this community is quite segmented; some streets sell more than others and vice versa. Allen St is a cute street with very little traffic. Close to transit (Streetcar) and a short ride to the subway. 42 Allen Ave offers access to Queen St East and all the best the Riverside and Leslieville has to offer. And an added bonus of being just a quick street car ride to the Downtown Core or a nice long walk if you’re up for it. All of this plus the added charm of the existing Victorian features make 42 Allen Ave the best buy with the most profit potential I’ve seen in a very long time.

With a potential purchase price of $270,000 and anticipated renovation costs of up to $200,000 it’s virtually a no-brainer for the experienced builder/renovator.

For more information or for a private tour of the property please contact us today.


Ara Mamourian

Broker of Record or 416-628-1088

Zen Homes to build Lofts in the Beach and Leslieville

Zen Homes Inc. is a development company who has deep roots in China. Their premier project was a 680 unit development in Foshan City, China. Since then they have come to Canada and developed a number of condominium and investment projects in Montreal and then on to luxury homes in Toronto’s wealthy Bayview and York Mills area. Likely one of the most diverse small-medium sized developers in Toronto. They seem to have their hand in all sorts of developments options. Partnering with 59 Construction they began their journey into contemporary, loft style developments. They, along with many other investors see the potential in Toronto’s East end. Investors in Toronto’s East End have realized phenomenal ROI on any type of property; from vacant land to your small single family home.

View from Dundas looking South EastZen Homes launched it’s first project in the East end at the corner of Dundas St East and De Grassi St. Called the Lofts on Degrassi. This 10 unit loft style Townhouse complex back right on to Degrassi Park and is just a  couple blocks away from Queen St action. Each unit has it’s own private garage and walk up access from Dundas St. 9 of the 10 units have 2 full beds on the third level with two baths and a powder room on the lower level. A mid level large loft area is added as a den area or can easily be converted to a 3rd bedroom and another den. The finishes in the kitchen are fantastic. Corian counter tops, high quality stainless steel appliances, gas stove and gas line for the BBQ on the terrace. The location is ideal, the modern loft style is appealing to those looking for the clean, convenience of a condominium but would like the independence that a house offer. Each unit will have a small monthly maintenance fee ($149/mth) to pay for landscaping, snow removal and small reserve fund for building repairs and community events. I bought a place here as my future home and am very excited to move in! There are 4 units left so contact us for prices, floor plans and further details. We are preferred partners of this development and can negotiate a solid contract for you. Construction starts October 2011.

Woodbine and Kingston LoftsZen Homes most recent announcement is the development of the Beach Club Lofts located at Woodbine and Kingston Rd. Originally marketed at 303 Lofts, were recently re-branded prior to the pending launch in Fall 2011. This boutique loft development will be home to 50 unique east end loft-homes. Stunning cascading glass facade with set back terraces on the upper floors. Enjoy City Views to the West, Peaceful lake views to the South and a clear residential view to the North. Main floor retail will bring much needed life to this intersection and when completed original purchasers will realize a substantial return on their original investment. Toronto East End is still hugely undervalued especially on the fringe of popular areas like The Beach, Leslieville, Riverside and Riverdale. Kingston Rd and Woodbine Ave are not in the heart of the Beach community but within a 10 minute walk to the water and all of the Queen St excitement, only a 7 minute drive to the DVP or the Gardiner HWY’s (avoiding the Queen St traffic is actually better than being in the middle of it all). Just far enough to save you almost $100/sqft but close enough that by the time this building is built it will catch up in value to those closer to the water. Spring Realty rates this building as a BUY. This development checks a lot of boxes on our “New Development Buy or Don’t Buy” Checklist (checklist is given to Clients of Spring Realty only). Currently in priority registration phase, please contact us and use Beach Club Lofts as the subject line so we can notify you of the VVVVIP sales event.