Toronto Loft Conversions

Toronto Loft Conversions

I know classic brick and beam lofts! From warehouses to factories to churches, Laurin will help you find your perfect new loft.

Modern Toronto Lofts

Modern Toronto Lofts

Not just converted lofts, I can help you find the latest cool and modern space. There are tons of new urban spaces across the city.

Unique Toronto Homes

Unique Toronto Homes

More than just lofts, I can also help you find that perfect house. From the latest architectural marvel to a piece of our Victorian past, the best and most creative spaces abound.

Condos in Toronto

Condos in Toronto

I started off selling mainly condos, helping first time buyers get a foothold in the Toronto real estate market. Now working with investors and helping empty nesters find that perfect luxury suite.

Toronto Real Estate

Toronto Real Estate

For all of your Toronto real estate needs, contact Laurin. I am dedicated to helping you find that perfect and unique new home to call your own.

 

The condo still defines Toronto’s skyline

Carolyn Ireland – The Globe and Mail

Wandering around Chicago for a few days last week was a disconcerting experience for what I didn’t see: The Windy City seemed strangely empty.

It took a few hours before it struck me that I’ve become so accustomed to the cranes, construction sites and condo towers in Toronto, the normal buzz of a large American metropolis seemed eerily quiet in comparison.

And when I looked at empty stretches of sky, 3-D renderings were popping into my head. It’s an occupational hazard as a real estate reporter that, when walking past downtown building sites or along the shore of Lake Ontario, I can’t help but visualize the completed structure, and what it will mean for the views of people in the surrounding towers.

I had no awareness of how consuming this diversion has become until I went to Chicago and had a nagging feeling that there was something I was supposed to be doing.

From the 28th floor of an older condo building with an expansive view over Lake Michigan and the shoreline, the only construction site I could see was an ugly pit in Millennium Park. They have torn out all of the trees and gardens surrounding Frank Gehry’s curving bridge in order to build a children’s playground. Many of the locals are distraught, but that’s another story.

Looking along the lake’s edge, I saw a vast expanse of trails and parkland. There are towers in downtown Chicago, to be sure, but many have been there for decades. Here, condo owners don’t move in to find the view from their floor-to-ceiling windows blocked by another tower before they’ve even had a chance to mount the flat-screen TV.

Comment: But Chicago is also the slowest-growing large city in the US. Toronto is the fastest growing city in Canada. We surpassed their population in 2013. Chicago is also part of the mid-US rust belt decline. They had lost 200,000 people over the past few decades, before starting to rise again. At least 2/3rds of the city, away from the water and shiny downtown, lives in poverty and despair. Gangs and crime are rampant. Chicago is a city that just barely escaped declined and seems poised to either remain stable or maybe grow again. Toronto is still going strong, decades into a growth spurt that is not going to end any time soon. You just can’t compare. Like Vancouver and Los Angeles, just too different to make any meaningful comparison.

In Chicago, Jeanne Gang’s 82-story Aqua tower stands out for its wavy beauty and shiny newness. It was completed in 2009.

In Toronto’s Humber Bay Shores, West Donlands, CityPlace and many other areas, the neighbourhood seems to undergo a transformation practically on a weekly basis. But despite all of the building still to come, buyer fatigue is showing up in the numbers.

In Ontario, housing starts declined 15.5% in September from August – bucking the rising trend in most markets across the country.

Comment: Housing starts declining mean fewer buildings are being started. It does not mean fewer units are being sold. And one month does not mean anything, you cannot infer any sort of trend from one month of data.

Stefane Marion, chief economist and strategist at National Bank Financial, points out that starts for multiunits – those condo towers – in the Greater Toronto Area came in at their lowest level in five months. Since many buildings that are newly built or somewhere in the planning and construction phase have a good chunk of unsold units, Mr. Marion expects builders to be prudent about launching more projects.

Comment: And fewer projects were launched in 2013, thus fewer starts. But sales of new and resale condos remain extraordinarily strong.

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, he expects a weak economy and rising mortgage rates will lead to softer housing starts in many Canadian cities. Since the strongest showing in the three months ended Sept. 30 came from condos, rather than single-family houses being built in the Prairies and Atlantic Canada, he says it’s not clear that new construction will contribute to economic growth in the third quarter.

Comment: And yet the economy was stronger and mortgage rates did not rise. And the housing market only got stronger.

Capital Economics is forecasting a slump in Canada’s housing market that will hold back economic growth over the next two years. The firm’s economists point to a slowdown in construction and declining new-home sales. While existing home sales have perked up in the second half of 2013 compared with the first, the economists suspect that buyers are closing deals quickly to take advantage of lower preapproved mortgage rates. If they are correct, they warn, next year’s existing home sales will be even weaker than they otherwise would have been.

Comment: And they have been wrong since June 2011, making their opinion moot.

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Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto Realtor with Century 21 Regal Realty. He did not
write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who are
interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.

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