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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘condos

[URBAN NOTE] “Price gap between new houses and condos hits $300K in Toronto”

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CBC reports on the growing real estate crunch in Toronto (and Vancouver).

The gap between the price of new condos and the price of new homes is widening in Toronto, hitting close to $300,000 in February according to RealNet.

RealNet figures show the average price of new detached home or townhouse was $733,578 in February, compared with $442,672 for a condo, a difference of $290,906.

And while the price of a new home is up 12 per cent from this time last year, the price of a new condo has inched up by just one per cent.

“It’s similar to the trend in Vancouver,” said Brendan Pyne, RealNet Canada business development manager. “Toronto is 10 years behind Vancouver in terms of the difference in the housing market.”

There is a limited amount of new land for single-family dwellings, most of it in the 905 area, he said.

That’s forced developers to consider high-density development and thousands of new condos are under construction or coming onto the market this year.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 27, 2015 at 11:00 pm

Posted in Canada, Economics

Tagged with , , , ,

[URBAN NOTE] “Parkdale tenants battle back-to-back rent increases”

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This Toronto Star article by Manisha Krishnam makes for grim reading, especially since the neighbourhood of Parkdale is one of the few downtown (or near-downtown) neighbourhoods still affordable for low-income people. The effect on Toronto’s Tibetan-Canadian community is also noteworthy.

Property manager Akelius Canada applied to increase the rent at 188 Jameson Ave. by 4.1 per cent in 2014; this year it doubled down, seeking a 4.6 per cent hike. At least 50 residents of the midrise apartment building, including many Tibetan refugees, say they can’t afford to pay that much and are planning to protest outside Akelius’ Toronto head office Monday.

“The amount they want to increase, it’s just too much,” says Namgyal Lhamo, 39, a personal support worker who lives in a one-bedroom apartment with her three-year-old daughter and her cousin.

In a statement to the Star, Akelius spokesman Ben Scott said the increases are meant to subsidize costs Akelius incurred from municipal taxes and utilities, increased security measures and extensive renovations. The provincially recommended guidelines for rent increases were 0.8 per cent and 1.6 per cent for 2014 and 2015, respectively.

[. . .]

Lhamo, a Tibetan refugee, moved to Canada from a small village in India in 2010. As a single mom, she said she works long hours at Baycrest hospital, followed by chores when she gets home, often at around midnight. Making ends meet is difficult enough without the rent hike, she said, adding she can’t afford to move elsewhere.

Akelius, a Swedish company, acquired 188 Jameson Ave. and a handful of other Parkdale properties between December 2012 and November 2013. Last summer, residents from four Parkdale buildings filed an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board claiming Akelius’ decision to remove on site superintendents has resulted in neglect. That issue will also be discussed at an April 28 hearing.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 23, 2015 at 9:25 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Manhattan Studios Set Rent Record as Tenants Go Small”

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Bloombergh’s Oshrat Carmiel leaves me wondering how anyone who isn’t upper-class can possibly afford to live in Manhattan these days.

Manhattan’s smallest apartments are fueling big gains in rents.

The median rent in the borough jumped 8.9 percent last month to $3,375, according to a report Thursday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Costs for studio apartments climbed 10 percent to a median $2,351, while rents for one-bedrooms rose 9.4 percent to $3,400, both the highest in more than seven years of record-keeping.

New York’s smaller apartments are luring new tenants entering an improving job market in the city, as well as those who can’t afford bigger homes. Would-be buyers who have been shut out of owning because of high prices and tight credit are also lingering as renters.

“The studio and one-bedroom market is the more common jumping-off point for first-time buyers,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel and a Bloomberg View contributor. Rents are rising “because of the logjam that has been created by people who have either been priced out of the purchase market or don’t qualify for a mortgage.”

Manhattan apartment prices jumped to the highest since their 2008 peak in the fourth quarter as buyers competed for a limited supply of homes. Demand was greatest for one-bedroom apartments, which accounted for 38 percent of all sales last quarter, Miller said.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 18, 2015 at 10:20 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “80-storey tower planned for Stollerys site at Yonge and Bloor”

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As the Toronto Star‘s David Rider notes, the southwestern corner of Yonge and Bloor where menswear store Stollery’s once was located may soon be occupied by one of the highest towers in the city. (blogTO also has more, including renderings.)

Developer Sam Mizrahi is proposing an 80-storey tower mixing upscale condo units and retail at the intersection of Yonge and Bloor Sts. — a development which would become the city’s second-tallest structure.

Mizrahi unveiled his vision for the former Stollerys store and adjacent lands on the intersection’s southwest corner on Wednesday night at a presentation at the Park Hyatt hotel.

The proposed 318-metre structure would be second only to the CN Tower, which stands 553 metres high.

Mizrahi told the Star it will be built by Foster + Partners of London and will have PATH connections to both the Bloor and Yonge lines, along with “a very significant public realm to enhance the pedestrian experience.”

The building will also feature eight levels of global retailers and over 600 parking spots with valet service.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 17, 2015 at 10:24 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • On St. Patrick’s Day, blogTO offers a guide to Irish Toronto.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the existence of chaotically-orbiting Earths.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper suggesting that the Yucatán peninsula was hit by a tsunami a millennium ago.
  • Joe. My. God. notes an anti-gay American who claims that Obama orchestrated the Ukrainian crisis at the behest of gays who wanted to punish Russia.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the interest of Chinese in California real estate.
  • Peter Rukavina reports on Prince Edward Island’s latest snowfall.
  • Spacing Toronto looks at the prospects for subways in Scarborough.
  • Torontoist notes that Build Toronto has failed to provide affordable housing on nearly the scale promised.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes the dismissal of a civil case brought by a man who had sex with a minor he met through Grindr brought against Grindr.
  • Window on Eurasia observes a Russian nationalist’s call to partition Belarus, suggests that Russia has been trying to split Ukraine for a while, and wonders if the families of Russian gastarbeitar from Central Asia could fall into support for Islamist terrorism.

[URBAN NOTE] “The Changing Landscape of Toronto’s Purpose-Built Rental Market”

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Torontoist’s Leah Jensen reports.

With plans for 1,000 purpose-built rental units, the recently released Honest Ed’s proposal defies Toronto’s typical development narrative of condos, condos, condos. But real estate analysts say that narrative could be changing, as a shift to rental accommodations may indicate broader trends for young professionals entering Toronto’s real estate market and for the economics of Toronto development in 2015.

With the average cost of a single-family house in Toronto at $606,700 and property values rising faster than income, home ownership is increasingly out of reach for many young adults. Condo prices are on the rise too, with a monthly mortgage payment becoming more consistent with what it might cost to rent. That’s without factoring in condo fees, which can cost an additional $500.

“In the last couple years, especially 2014, we’re seeing pockets in the city where purpose-built rentals are being built, with amenities that are more comparable to the condo market. We’re seeing more luxury rentals, where prices are higher,” says Dana Senagama, principal of market analysis for the GTA at the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

In the last 15-20 years, the city hasn’t seen much construction of purpose-built rentals, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t renting. “If you’re looking for a rental unit that was completed over the last few years, you’ll more likely be looking at investor-owned condominiums or apartments,” explains Jason Mercer, director of market analysis at the Toronto Real Estate Board.

With new purpose-built rental apartments, like those proposed for the Honest Ed’s site, young professionals or millennials are able to live close to downtown, in comparable conditions to a condo, without having to commit to monthly mortgage payments or long-term time commitments.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 13, 2015 at 5:01 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • blogTO notes that the number of unsold Toronto condos sits at a 21-year high.
  • Centauri Dreams notes that there well could have been rocky planets inside the orbit of Mercury in the early solar system.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting that more circumstellar disks end up producing planets.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that Britain is now also testing laser weapons.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money argues that law schools have priced themselves out of the market for higher education.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders about the survival of the United States if partisanship overrides recognition of faults.
  • Spacing Toronto describes the time that Marcel Duchamp and John Cage played a game of musical chess in Toronto.
  • Strange Maps details the abortive Norwegian claim to east Greenland.
  • Speed River Journal’s Van Waffle considers how it’s important for people to include time to rest and recharge in their schedules.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the governor of Leningrad oblast’s attack on Finno-Ugric minorities and speculates about Tatar-Bashkir tensions.

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