City Sounds – TIFF 2014 Playlist

City Sounds Mixtape

Downtown Toronto is home to more than just Condos and Lofts, from September 4th-14th, 2014 it’s also host to the Toronto International Film Festival.  As exciting as all the celebrities and premiers are… the real fun is at the after party! When the heels come up and chest hair out, it’s time to let loose and boogie down to some club pumping beats.

I for one didn’t actually attended any of parties this year (partially because they’re way past my bedtime and partially because Pacino’s invite never made it to my mail box) BUT if I did, I’m certain a few of these tracks would’ve been heard! With out any further adieu, I present to you my: TIFF After Party Playlist as part of the City Sounds collection!


If you’re looking to live in Toronto, you can search the MLS directly from the blog: Search the Toronto MLS. I’ve also created specific searches for CondosLoftsHousesLuxury Condos and Million Dollar Homes. To contact me, simply fill out the form below:

Testimonial for Purchase at 112 George St – The Vu

The Vu Condo

We recently had the pleasure of working with Mark as our agent in a search for our first home. To describe our experiences through a simple post does not begin to describe how satisfied and happy we are with his professionalism and expertise in helping us through the incredibly competitive and tough Toronto housing market.

Mark had the knowledge to guide us through every step of the process to ensure we were comfortable from the very beginning of our search to the final offer and closing of our new home. He had the patience to ensure we saw the homes he thought was right for us, and most importantly, he was an honest agent that wanted to make sure we found the right home, and not just any home to close a deal.

Needless to say, we would happily recommend Mark to all other individuals looking for an exceptional agent, and will be back again for all our future real estate needs.

Jude and Correne

If you’re looking to live in Toronto, you can search the MLS directly from the blog: Search the Toronto MLS. I’ve also created specific searches for CondosLoftsHousesLuxury Condos and Million Dollar Homes. To contact me, simply fill out the form below:

The Colorful Homes of Little Portugal in Toronto

Houses in Little Portugal
Nestled deep in a corner of downtown Toronto, lives a neighbourhood full of colour and character. The Little Portugal community has quickly become on of my favourite neighbourhoods to walk and explore!

At first glance, Little Portugal may not seem very different from the other communities near by. Boarded by a portion of College and Dundas St. West to the North,  Dovercourt to the East, and the CNR Railway Tracks to the West – it’s typical to find narrow lots with Victorian styled homes in both detached and semi-detached styles.  Many of the homes were built around the early 1900’s and as such, contain much of the character and charm one would expect of a home constructed during this time… but somewhere a long the line, the residents decided it was time for a change – and a splash of colour.

Take a stroll down street like Brock, Sheridan, Shirley or Marshall and you’ll find an array of homes painted bright blues, greens, red and even white! This weeks Photo Friday collection is all about the colourful houses in the Little Portugal neighbourhood of Toronto!

Little Portugal Houses in Toronto Little Portugal Houses in Toronto Little Portugal Houses in Toronto Little Portugal Houses in Toronto Little Portugal Houses in Toronto

Little Portugal Houses in Toronto Little Portugal Houses in Toronto

The bold colours of paint don’t just apply to the houses… many of the business on the Dundas West strip have also adopted the trend by transforming boring brick facades into eye catching murals!

Houses in Little Portugal Houses in Little Portugal Houses in Little Portugal Houses in Little Portugal Houses in Little Portugal Houses in Little Portugal

My most favorite home in the area has to be the one belonging to the owner who decided to weld a a bicycle to their front wall… how’s that for a unique feature!

Little Portugal Houses in Toronto

If you’re looking to buy or sell in Little Portgual, start by checking out some of the homes currently for sale in the neighbourhood!

2013 Pre Construction Sales Numbers

Condos under Construction

It’s hard to miss the effect the Pre Construction Market is having on the Toronto Real Estate scene… just look up, the sky of cranes is the most noticeable reminder!  As prevalent as they are, they don’t make for the most accurate of stats, especially for those tracking the sales numbers. Thankfully there is a company that does – RealNet!

I attended their annual year in review, and did a little live blogging from the event.  It was full of interesting tidbits and insights – so much so, that I wasn’t able to cover it all!

With 2013 being a relatively slow year for pre construction sales, I wanted to revisit the numbers and share some thoughts on how the market preformed, and what to expect ahead:

Commercial Real Estate Sets a Record

In the GTA, RealNet saw $13.4 billion exchange hands with over 1900 transactions occurring! This upward trend has been happening since we hit a 10 year low in 2009 (the peak of the “recession” in Toronto).  Since then, transactions have been growing steadily making 2013 the highest amount recorded yet! The positive take-a-way from this is; with more commercial comes more opportunities for employment, which will typically leads to more jobs.

Another eye-opening stat was in regards to the amount of homes sold since the January 1st, 2000. At the end of 2013, the GTA saw 575,710 new construction homes sold, equalling a dollar value of $206 billion!

Condos under Construction

New Launches Decline in 2013

No surprise here! Based solely on how few “VIP Broker Invites” I saw in my inbox, it was pretty easy to predict that the number of new launches would be down. The low numbers are a reversal of what was seen from 2010-2012. In those years we saw new launches exceed the 10 year average of 36,325 – with 2011 setting a new record of nearly 45,000 launches. I feel as if 2013 was the year for selling off the remaining inventory from previous years.  This could be one reason why many developers held off on releasing new condos!

Both high-rise and low-rise each took a 22% dip when compared to 2012.

Pre Construction Sales Also Decline in 2013

As a direct correlation to the number of new launches, we also saw significant decline in sales for new homes in 2013.  The official numbers were 16,201 sales for highrises and 12,205 for lowrises, brining the total to 28,406 for the year! The highrise price index was $436,564 and for lowrise it was $654,147.

Condos under Construction

What to Expect for 2014

Only one month in, we’ve already seen the launch of two pretty exciting condos in the City. YC Condos (at Yonge and College) and Core Condos (at Dalhousie and Shutter) kicked things off with very strong launches.  I’d relate that to the lack of new inventory for the heavy interest here.

There’s also an emerging market around current and future transit lines.  We all know that being near a subway is good for future appreciations, but looking at locations outside of the downtown core could provide a lower price per square foot to buy into… the risk of course is if the transit ever gets built!

As the price of land increases, developers will naturally have to increase their prices.  I already feel like a lot of pre construction projects are reaching for the stars with pricing – it’ll be interesting to see how much higher they can go before we hit another halt.

One key topic everyone in pre construction should be monitoring is the debate around development charges.  There was some chat about it in 2013, but was quickly sidelined by the Mayors personal “issues”.  At one point there was talk of charges being bumped up by as much as 90%.  After criticism from the development sector, it was reduced to 70%.  I’m not exactly clear how much of this increase will be passed on to the purchaser, but I’m certain it will leave less “profit” on the table!  It’ll be very interesting to see how this plays out in this election year.

Condos under Construction

I believe that in 2014 you’ll really have to do your homework more than ever. So-called “investors” need to shift their expectations from the glory days of years ago, where making $100,000 in four years was the norm.  The truth is, margins are a lot thinner than the 2006-2010 era and price appreciation has slowed down.  My take on the market is that potential purchasers need a longer term “hold strategy” – after all, real estate is all about slow money!

Search the Toronto MLS

You can search the MLS on your own directly from my blog by clicking here: Search the Toronto MLS. I’ve also created specific searches for CondosLoftsHousesLuxury Condos and Million Plus Homes. You can also sign up for Monthly Market Updates here!

How Many Condos Sold in 2013?

Toronto Condos

As Toronto’s skyline continues you grow, I often wonder about just how many condos were built… Thankfully there’s RealNet, a Toronto based company that has been tracking real estate market data and  pre construction trends since 1995!

Today, I’m in attendance at their annual market briefing to learn first hand exactly how the market changed in 2013. You can follow along as I live blog from the conference:

9:22 am

A lot was covered this morning… apologies if the numbers seem all over the place – will be writing a wrap up summary!

9:17 am

Most of the completions for 2013 happened in the Downtown West area

9:15 am

87% out of all the condos underconstruction are sold

9:14 am

roughly 16,500 high rise completions in 2013 (units)

9:13 am

The sought after 46 foot lot in Toronto sells for roughly 900k with hardly any inventory

9:09 am

Price gap increasing between new home vs new condo.

9:07 am

When a slowing market presents it self, popular opinion in split between a re design/ re launch and launching a strategic marketing… not many choosing “walk away from site”

9:02 am

Low rise saw the lowest sales since 2008 (recession year)

9:01 am

2013 low sales #’s were driven by supply… second lowest in decades.

8:55 am

1,069 new high rise sales took place in December 2013, 5,358 for the 4th quarter and 16,201 for the year.

8:52 am

Toronto was #1 for new developments in 2012, slipped t0 #4 in 2013 – Houston takes top spot!

8:50 am

Now on to residential developments! 545,710 new units constructed in the GTA since 2000… works out to 6 billion

8:47 am

*not covering the commercial numbers too closely* #teabreak

8:41 am

A few notable sales in 2013… leading the way was the million dollar purchase of the Honest Ed’s sight “the place where everything was sold cheap, except for the land” lol

8:39 am

Now on to Commercial Real Estate…. .4 billion sets a new record in volume for 2013

8:38 am

To sum up, the global economy is slowly improving – US and China.  Canada is more complex, and the deeper details need to be communicated to the governments and policy makers

8:37 am

The main point here is that, yes there is a risk, but that the headlines aren’t the entire story… there are many finer details not being considered

8:35 am

Number of “pure” international investors estimated at 5%…. by pure they’re referring to the overseas investor who has no connection to the country (ie. no kids, family etc)

8:33 am

Policy makers tend to look at “investors” as purely “speculators”

8:32 am

Looking at the condo market – the rental market predicted to continue with strong demand.

8:29 am

Toronto leading the way in Canada based on economic activity!

8:27 am

Many Canadians have become accustom to low interest rates… significant increases predicted in 2015.

8:23 am

Interest rates, and the potential of rates rising is what’s important to monitor for the US

8:19 am

Looking at the US, employment trending up…. improvements also seen in the Real Estate Market

8:18 am

A lot of the uncertainties from last year didn’t happen… China looking at a better than soft landing!

8:15 am

Up early – starting with a look of the global market


Sage Logo PNG copy Mark Savel - Sales Representative - Sage Real Estate LTD., Brokerage - 1820 Bayview Ave. Tor, Ont, M4G 4G7 - 416-483-8000