Developers Buying Smaller Lots With Focus On End Users

887 Queen East Daniels Development Site


Toronto Developers Buying Smaller Lots: Focus on End User.

One does not simply conduct an environmental assessment on land unless you’re selling or developing. Well, on March 30th we noticed an assessment happening on the Jim’s Restaurant & Anchored Social Club garage lot and sure enough, we found out that the sale closed just a few short weeks ago. Bye bye Jim’s Restaurant.

The parcel at 897 Queen Street East formerly owned by local Real Estate Lawyer, Mitch Korman has recently been sold to a surprise developer. We knew it was in the hands of a developer but were surprised to find out that Daniels, one of Toronto’s largest development companies has their hands on this tiny lot. I mean these guys have developed billions of dollars of Toronto Real Estate in North York, Regent Park, Mississauga, and our East Portlands are next. Why would they be interested in our little community?

We assumed they were attempting to assemble the whole block but according to our source, they’re only interested in this garage lot.

A source close to the deal said:

…a very small lot indeed, although a lot of bigger developers are looking at these smaller sites now. They’re likely looking at a 6-7 storey condo building here.

The corner of Logan and Queen is already a hotbed of activity but the redevelopment of the Red Door site on the SW corner and now this potential development is going to bring much needed street traffic to help the local businesses thrive. If you haven’t been to Jim’s Restaurant, go. Their breakfast is a perfect cure for a late night out and won’t break the bank either.

Leslieville isn’t an easy place to develop. Just ask those guys at Kartelle and Rockport about their projects. We hope to see some forward thinking design, community minded development, and respect for our density regulations as this progresses through the various planning stages.


Best Mortgage Rates for Sept 5th 2012

1 yr 2.74 – 3 yr 2.69 – 5 yr 2.94 – VRM 2.65

We got our rate announcement from the Bank of Canada today and they have indicated that they are leaving rates as they are, much to everyone’s expectation.  This is great news for everyone in a variable rate mortgage!  As well as those with lines of credit or student loans that are tied to prime.  There’s no expectation rates will be moving before the end of this year – yay!

In fact, the Bank of Canada can’t see rates really moving until foreign policymakers can get their act together and put policies in place to alleviate the debt crisis in Europe.  China is also experiencing some slow down which will have some drag on the global economy.

When things do start to pick up, the Bank of Canada sees it as slow and gradual.

Although we did have a slight up and down with bond yields the last few weeks, it seems that most rates have levelled off and the major lenders are staying away from another major rate war, still recovering from the previous couple bouts.  That being said, fixed rates are still really low and there are still a couple specials that offer sub-3% rates for a 5 year term.  None of these offers are from a major bank.  Very interesting.

The next Bank of Canada announcement is October 23rd and I’ll keep you updated on that yawner too.

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!



Best Mortgage Rates for August 16th 2012

   1 Yr – 2.49% – 3 Yr – 2.64% – 5 Yr – 2.89% – VRM – 2.65%

Wow!  This week has proved even quieter than the last.  No major economic news was announced, but we do have inflation numbers coming on Friday.  With Mark Carney already threatening the need to remove financial stimulus, he wants the market to believe that if this comes in higher than expected that we could see rate increases happen earlier than most are projecting.

I don’t think most economists are really giving this idea any serious attention as the economic fundamentals are too stacked against the option to increase rates.  Mark Carney has been crying wolf for too long and there are no obvious reasons to increase rates.  The economy isn’t at full capacity, we still have high unemployment, the dollar is playing with parity and they aren’t any further ahead in Europe.  Until these economic headwinds start changing direction, there really is no room for the Bank of Canada to make any rate changes.  Hence the mortgage announcement we got on June 21st.  I wouldn’t bet variable rates, but I think we should be here for a while still.

That being said, bond yields are still up, and we have some increases in rates, but there are still some great rates to be had out there:

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!

Doom or Boom? Best Mortgage Rates for August 3

This week we received conflicting reports about the so-called “condo bubble” in Toronto. One report from RBC seems confident that we are not in a bubble. The pace of construction is keeping pace with the creation of new homes in Toronto. Since land is becoming scarce in Toronto, builders are being forced to build up, and not out anymore. That being said, they do foresee a cooling, with a 2-7% drop in condo prices brought on by recent government changes.

The government can’t change interest rates so the changes announced on June 21st were designed to take some of the steam out of the Toronto (condo) market, while trying to engineer a soft landing.

The other report released this week came from the doom-and-gloom Capital Economics. They have been predicting for two years now a 25% decline in housing prices. That wasn’t speaking to the GTA or condos specifically, but more to the broad Canadian housing market. As a reader and someone in the industry, I take this report with a grain of salt. My guess is they are trying to grab headlines, as they did last year, with these horror-filled predictions. They point the finger at the Finance Minister’s changes and a growing reluctance for buyers to pay today’s top dollars in light of the global economic uncertainty we are in. While there may be some truth to these reasons, in the short term, it would be near impossible for prices to drop 25% with rates so low. As rates increase, which may not be till 2014 now, then it would be expected to see some pull back in the market.

In terms of the impact that the government changes are having on the market, it’s still too early to tell. I can say that in my office, very few clients were impacted by the change. Pundits may point to the lower numbers being generated this month, but this is also seasonally a very slow month for new deals to be written. I think we’ll need to wait until the fall market to see how much of an impact it really had.

The last bit of news to share is that ING is officially on the chopping block. Our Big Banks seem to be circling as the world’s largest insurer looks to divest itself of some of its holding in light of the bailout package it received. It will be interesting to see who ends up with the $1.7 billion in assets, and how they incorporate the ING clients and business model into their current holdings.

Lee Welbanks is a Mortgage Broker with Welbanks Financial Group, Lee will be posting these informative “Market Minutes” each week for you to enjoy. Please remember to the Spring Realty Insider Club list to receive new blog post notifications, featured properties and insider access to Toronto’s hottest new developments right to your inbox. Find us on Facebook and Twitter too!

Best Mortgage Rates in Canada for July 18th, 2012

The Bank of Canada left the overnight rate at 1.00% at its meeting yesterday, as was universally expected. This is great news for anyone with a variable rate mortgage, or any product tied to prime like a line of credit or student loan.

More notable was the Bank’s assessment of the global outlook, which was deemed as having deteriorated relative to April.  The weakening in the global environment was cited as a factor restraining growth in Canada; however, the Bank views the domestic economy as continuing to grow at a moderate pace. These factors resulted in the Bank downgrading its 2012 growth forecast to 2.1% from 2.4%. The Bank forecasted that the economy will grow at a faster 2.3% in 2013 (albeit a tad slower than April’s 2.4% forecast) and 2.5% in 2014 (higher than April’s forecast of 2.2%).

The tone indicated that there may be need to reduce stimulus in order for the Bank of Canada to maintain the 2% target rate for inflation, but most economists don’t expect that to happen till 2013. More great news for variable rate mortgages, and anyone with debt tied to prime.  Yields are trending down so there may be some room for some short term decreases to fixed rates.  Sit tight and we’ll see!

Much of this is due to the slowing economic growth in Canada, the U.S. and China, and the unrelenting economic problems in Europe.  These helped to handcuff our central bank.  It has been looking to raise rates in an effort to slowdown the growth of household debt in Canada. But the Bank of Canada did get some relief with Ottawa’s imposition of new lending rules for high-ratio mortgages and new mortgage qualification limits.  The regulatory moves amount to a de facto interest rate increase in the housing sector and, anecdotally at least, appear to be having the desired, cooling effect.

1 Yr – 2.39%

3 Yr. – 2.69%

5 Yr. – 2.94%

VRM – 2.79%

Lee Welbanks is a Mortgage Broker with Welbanks Financial Group, Lee will be posting these informative “Market Minutes” each week for you to enjoy. Please remember to the Spring Realty Insider Club list to receive new blog post notifications, featured properties and insider access to Toronto’s hottest new developments right to your inbox. 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!

Mortgage Minute for May 10, 2012

Another quiet week but some housing numbers came out higher.  Most analysts expect those numbers to ease so they aren’t giving much attention to the results at this point.

The unemployment rate is announced on Friday and that may provide more of an indication of the strength of the improvement.

There has also been continued talk for the need to increase rates at some point as household debt continues to strangle families.  Other sources are noting that when it comes to borrowing, numbers are still in line and don’t appear to be over extended.

It will be interesting to watch over the upcoming months how the economy plays out and if Mark Carney will ever actually pull the trigger and increase rates.  Even if he did, he could only do it a little as Canadian manufacturing would go into a tailspin once the Canadian dollar increases further from its lofty price.

Todays Top Rates

Fixed – 1 year
Fixed – 3 year
Fixed – 5 year


Lee Welbanks is a Mortgage Broker with Welbanks Financial Group, Lee will be posting these informative “Market Minutes” each Wednesday for you to enjoy. Please remember to subscribe to the Spring Realty Insider list to receive new blog post notifications, featured properties and insider access to Toronto’s hottest new developments right to your inbox.


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

The Carlaw in Leslieville! Oct 20th is your VVVIP Oportunity for Floor Plans and Prices.

The Carlaw by Streetcar Developments

VVVVIP Access Alert: Oct 20th Spring Realty will have priority access to the floorplans and prices. Please contact us for front of the line access to the hottest project Leslieville has seen since the launch of Worklofts and Flatiron. Include you phone #, email address and price range. We will contact you the moment we have details re: next steps. To learn more about the South Riverdale Community visit our Neighbourhood Page here.

Leslieville was buzzing with excitement  back in March 2011 when Streetcar Developments put up their sign on their newly acquired 345 Carlaw Ave. They purchased this building as well as the white ones to the North and East for just over $12 Million at the end of 2010. It was such a refreshing sight as we were all so disappointed with the release of Showcase Living Lofts in the empty lot at Colgate and Carlaw. We won’t get in to how terrible Showcase is or how it belongs somewhere in the 905 and how I will never set foot in to that sales centre again. That’s a story for another post. I’ll outline some points below about the development, oh, it’s going to be called “The Carlaw Lofts” with the tag line “your stage”. Very nice, very very nice!

  • 12 Story glass and aluminum structure (similar to the Flatiron across the street) on the NW corner of Dundas and Carlaw
  • Stacked Townhomes to the East (about 3 stories high) main level will be live/work
  • Maintaining part of the original building!
  • The ground level of the main building will feature a glass enclosed public event space for farmers markets, art shows, music events. Will be available for all sorts of events. Sort of a way to give back to the community (as every building should)
  • Total of 340 units making it the most dense development in the Leslieville Area (Showcase to have 230 if it ever sells enough to build)

On October 17th I had a conversation with the sales team and they confirmed that some units will be priced at under $500/sqft! This came as a huge surprise to us; we assumed it would be in line with other developments at $600/sqft. The Carlaw is sure to sell out very quickly as resale lofts and condos in the area are currently achieving up to $650/sqft every day!  The stacked townhomes may be slightly less while the PH’s could be more. One thing we know is that Streetcar Developments has yet to disappoint us, we love their product and will do out best to support it. Below are the latest renderings.








On September 28th, 2011; the Spring Realty Team had a conversation with the Sales Team of The Carlaw which confirmed our front of the line access. We will have floor plans and prices very soon and will be able to start selling before other Brokers and the general public by the end of October. It’s best if you contact us with the Subject Line: The Carlaw and we will get right back to you with details.


Ara Mamourian – Broker of Record/Owner – Spring Realty Inc.

USA loses AAA credit rating

Following a week of market losses Standard and Poor’s downgraded the United States credit rating from AAA to AA+ on Friday.  Volatility has been constant since the market fall of 2008 and is certain to continue as the markets officially react to the news.

Investors of all sizes are diversifying their portfolios to include heavy weightings of real estate which have proven to be low volatility.   Real estate is priced based on pure demand and supply pressures.  In Toronto the demand will continue to increase as the population grows.  With limited development of high speed rail corridors to the suburbs there is only so much sprawl that can be supported limiting supply which pushes the price of existing stock higher.

With hardly any new apartments being built small investors are becoming landlords by purchasing one or a few condos and renting them out to pay the mortgage.  With long term investing in mind this type of investment can create excellent cash flow and quickly build equity for investors.  Renters benefit from modern buildings with excellent amenities.

Supply is almost completely static in terms of single family houses in the city.  We’ve recently seen surges in the price of houses in neighbourhoods close to downtown such as the south east end of the city (South Riverdale, Danforth, etc). With interest rates at historical lows homes which may have been previously be considered undesirable have been renovated or are purchased with renovations in mind.

If you’re considering diversifying your investment portfolio to include real estate contact Spring Realty today.