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.


First-time buyers boost house and condo sales despite erosion of affordability

Heated Spring real estate market forecast from coast-to-coast

March 20/2007 – Higher housing values, tight inventory levels, and all-out bidding wars have yet to deter first-time buyers in their quest to realize homeownership in major Canadian centres this year, according to a report released today.

“Despite a decade of year-over-year price increases, compounded by challenging real estate market conditions this year, first-time buyers continue to be a driving force in real estate,” says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, Re/Max Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Their undaunted enthusiasm is expected to translate into sales at or ahead of last year’s record levels in the Spring.”

This report, which highlights first-time buyer activity and trends in 13 real estate markets across the country, found that substantial price increases have had little impact on buyer intentions. The greatest year-over-year price appreciation occurred in Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, and Kelowna, where averages rose 52%, 29%, 26%, and 23% respectively. Average price in the country’s most expensive real estate market – Greater Vancouver – has jumped 11%, topping the half million dollar mark. While prices in these markets may now seem costly, first-time buyer product such as condos can start at half the average price.

First-time buyers are finding the means necessary to enter the real estate market, even in the western provinces, where double-digit price gains have been reported and sales to listings ratios hover above the 80% mark,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, Re/Max of Western Canada. “Purchasers simply refuse to be priced out of the market, even though household income has not kept pace with real estate appreciation. Something’s got to give — and the trends identified in this report how it’s the how, what, where and when of the equation.”

Case in point is the surge in condo sales from coast-to-coast. Affordability and accessibility have made the condo lifestyle a popular choice. Condos now represent just under one in every two sales in real estate markets like Vancouver and Victoria. In Edmonton, Calgary, and the Greater Toronto Area, close to one in every three sales involve a condo or townhome. In smaller real estate markets like Saskatoon, Regina, and Winnipeg, condos are gaining momentum. Condo sales represent approximately 12% of total real estate sales in Halifax-Dartmouth and Ottawa.

“Low interest rates and solid economic performance in most major Canadian centres have also played a substantial role in providing purchasers with the confidence to go out and buy their first home,” explains Polzler. “Yet, in some centers, there are other motivating factors at play. Price increases, for example, are a reality in the real estate marketplace. One year can set you back – from location to house size – and your dollar just doesn’t have the same purchasing power.”

Yet, buyers have found inventive ways to address that as well. Innovative financing has allowed a growing number of first-time buyers to enter the real estate marketplace. With most prepared to up the ante to realize “the dream of homeownership”, unique new mortgage products with longer amortization periods are helping to make mortgage payments easier to carry.

“The offloading of family wealth and inheritance are also factors influencing the upswell in real estate buying activity,” says Ash. “Some first-time buyers are digging into RRSPs and borrowing money from parents, while others are looking to offset carrying costs through in-law suites, now factored into debt service ratios by a growing number of lending institutions.”

Report Highlights – Greater Toronto Real Estate Market

While purchasers have mulled over conflicting U.S. housing stats, the Toronto real estate market has quietly gained momentum. Average price has crept up to $368,000, while sales have climbed 5% ahead of last year’s near-record pace at close to 12,000 units year-to-date.

New listings are down 8% from one year ago. Demand for detached and semi-detached homes, as well as condos and townhomes, continues to be strong. Limited inventory levels are causing bidding wars in neighbourhoods across the board.

To illustrate, a single detached home listed at $339,000 in Don Mills was recently sold in a multiple offer situation for over $420,000 (with an unprecedented 35 offers).

Spring is shaping up to be every bit as busy as in previous years, with record sales and prices predicted in coming months. First-time buyers are bracing for another heated real estate market, and as such, are prepared to up the ante in order to achieve homeownership this year.

Some buyers are turning to new mortgage products offering longer amortization periods. Others are approaching their parents for help with a down payment. Many are altering their expectations, settling for smaller homes or condos as a compromise.

Perhaps the least expensive road to homeownership is the co-op condo apartment, priced from as low as $60,000. Rental conversions are the next step, with some located in blue chip areas starting as low as $150,000, with condo fees of $300 plus.

Condos and townhomes represent approximately 30% of all real estate sales on the Toronto Real Estate Board. Newer condos are available in the downtown core, with a bachelor starting as low as $150,000 – $160,000. Condos in the coveted Yorkville area start at $220,000 in high-rise condos like the Lotus.

Single-detached homes typically start at $350,000 in downtown neighbourhoods like Dovercourt Village, although the odd property does come up for under $200,000. For example, the lowest priced home currently listed for sale is located in the Eglinton/Weston Rd. area (W03) for $169,000 — but the 700 square foot, four-room bungalow, situated on a 20 x 93 ft. irregular lot, requires some TLC.

The Junction and Parkdale in the west end and Leslieville, East York, Don Mills, and the Scarborough Bluffs in the east end of the city also offer up some affordable starter homes. For those willing to look to suburban communities, entry-level real estate including townhomes, semis, and single-detached housing can be found in Ajax, Whitby, Brampton, and Mississauga at reasonable price points.

Approximately 14% of real estate sales (941) in February occurred under $200,000—the vast majority of which were condos and townhomes (714). Just 227 single and semi-detached homes sold for less than $200,000. The lowest priced condo sale occurred in Emery/Elia/Humber Summit for $49,000, while the least expensive freehold detached home sold for $125,000 in Riverdale / Leslieville.


Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information