Amid the Toronto’s globally renowned real estate investment opportunities, these elite, stylish condo developments offer some exceptional prospects that emerged over the last 12 months.
The Greater Toronto Area condo market surpassed every industry expectation by the end of 2014. Its healthy prognosis to close the year has begun an encouraging foundation for the start of 2015.
As media analysts nationwide foretold a softening real estate segment destined to drown in its over-saturation, condos for sale and lease throughout the GTA bolstered the metropolitan housing market amid an early-year shortage of single-family properties for sale that escalated unprecedented bidding wars. By January 2015, the GTA market had met consistently strong demand from buyers and renters alike with a record-setting total of somewhere between 21,500 (per Urbanation’s tally) and 25,000 (per market research firm RealNet Canada, Inc.’s data). Sales throughout the GTA rose 10.3 per cent year-over-year to actually outpace the housing market’s growth in house sales, the Toronto Real Estate Board reported.
Resale condos alone matched that growth on the year with a 4.3-per-cent average price increase over 2013’s performance. Renters sought out a total 22,765 condo rentals in the GTA, up 15 per cent from 2013.
The volume of new condos sold and the revenue they generated began the year defying market-watchers expectations and never looked back. By the start of Q4 2014, buyers had purchased 18,634 units worth nearly $9 billion. Market-watchers began the year optimistically predicting between 15,000 and 18,000 units moved by the year’s end.
The average spaciousness of condos sold throughout the GTA easily complements the inventory’s sheer volume. Units currently average 810 square feet throughout the market, and at average prices of $562 per square foot for newly built condos, according to RealNet – a total average sale price of $455,535 for the GTA as a whole. The Toronto Star anticipates that an adjusted focus on two-bedroom condos that accommodate families more effectively than budget-friendly micro-condos will only lift that price in 2015.
Of the numerous impressive condominium projects that opened in 2014, these five developments left us with extraordinary impressions worth highlighting as we emerge into 2015, based on a comprehensive list of criteria:
- AAA location
- Developer’s reputation
- Amenities, features and finishes of a condo project
- Price and price per square foot of the units offered for sale
Obviously, Toronto’s condo segment offers an extensive and diverse selection attracting any and all tastes. We strongly recommend shopping around thoroughly to take a full taste of what the GTA real estate market has to offer. Several projects we were truly excited to show our clients last year sold out practically as quickly as we could introduce them to investors throughout the GTA. That’s the amazing drawing power of Toronto’s uniquely diverse metropolitan condo market at its best.
1. MONDE CONDOS
Located in the East Bayfront neighbourhood from the award-winning developers Great Gulf Homes became the focal point of one of our most thrillingly successful one-day-only inventory offers, also called “bulk deals,” that we have participated in over the last 2 years – offering $50,000-plus in exclusive discounts and incentives on Nov. 1, 2014.
Buyers flocked to explore the incredible opportunity to purchase exceptional residential condos starting from $480/sq.ft. in the attractive East Bayfront master planned community where comparable condo project typically sell for $700/sq.ft. Each condo features high-end finishes accentuating incredible architecture on the outside and floor-to-ceiling curtain wall windows, 9-foot celings and 5” plan wall-to-wall flooring within. Access to this waterfront project includes convenient proximity to a beautiful infinity pool and six hours of daily shuttle service to Union Station – all at the very lowest prices in this gorgeous neighbourhood.
2. YC CONDOS
► Developer: Canderel
► Building: 66 Storeys, 600 Units
► Occupancy: 2017-2018
► Location: 1 Grenville St, Toronto
► Architecture: Graziani + Corazza Architects
I personally researched and toured a world of new condo developments from the beginning of 2014 to the end. This just happens to be my absolute personal favourite condo project of 2014.
Developer Canderel’s exclusive five-day launch pricing starting at $550/sq.ft. for suites among the podium, $618/sq.ft. in the tower (a total average $682/sq.ft. for tower units) – offered only to the acclaimed builder’s top 15 agents, including myself, initially in only 200 allocated suites – sold out the 66-storey building’s 634 units by 80% in two-and-a-half weeks. Canderel VP of sales and marketing Riz Dhanji and his tireless team outdid themselves with this work of architectural art from start to finish.
The Hong Kong Ritz Carlton and Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands informed architect Graziani + Corazza’s ultra-modern sheen and Burdifilek’s interior design, as well as providing the inspiration for the western hemisphere’s highest rooftop infinity pool. Appearing from the street to be built of individual glass boxes, this exceptional black-and-white tower’s occupants will enjoy a host of amenities paired with their 1-3 bedroom penthouse suites. The building is monitored by 24-hour concierge/security staff. The fitness facilities have been designed to include an aerobics and yoga room complementing a full array of top-line equipment.
Residents on the 64th floor enjoy access to a bar area, fireplace, billiards table and outdoor barbeque and the infinity pool’s breathtakingly invigorating splendor. The few remaining luxury penthouse units starting from $969,000 present a superb final opportunity to buy in this outstanding building.
► Developer: Plaza
► Building: 37 Storeys, 365 Units
► Occupancy: 2017-2018
► Location: 50 Wellesley St, Toronto
► Architects: Quadrangle Architecture
“Thoroughly urban with a fresh, organic style that is so much more than mere window dressing.”
It’s a challenge to summarize Plaza’s development gracefully nestled beside Paul Kane Park any better than its Plaza’s own summation paints it.
It’s convenience to the Wellesley subway stop alone makes this Yonge and Wellesley development well its starting prices ranging between $555-$600 per sq.ft., the lowest-priced condo seen in the Yonge/Bay & Wellesley and Yonge/Bay & College neighbourhoods in two years. With neighbouring complexes averaging in the $700/sq.ft. ballpark or higher, this contemporarily styled project built on a $3-million, 0.456-acre lot purchased in May 2002 by Plaza flipped the switch on investor buzz with its enticing positive cash-flow potential from either rentals or appreciating value to owners.
By comparison, the nearby 11 Wellesley on the Park development’s 2.138-acre lot at Yonge & Wellesley sold at an average $715/sq.ft. after Lanterra Development’s $65-million purchase of the site in February 2013.
Plaza homeowners in every suite will enjoy a sophisticated landscape of features and finishes, including undermounted sinks and Moen faucets surrounded with immaculate quartz countertops and vanities, elegant hard-surface flooring, ceramic or porcelain floor tiles, and a balcony for every unit. Appliances include stainless-steel refrigerators and dishwashers, built-in microwaves, and glass-top stoves. Every bathroom is highlighted by deep soaker tubs and glass-walled showers.
- CODE CONDOS►Developer: BLVD Developments & Lifetime Developments
► Building: 9 Storeys, 118 Units
► Occupancy: June 2016
► Location: 6 Parkwood Avenue, Toronto
► Architects: Hariri PontariniThe Code Condos was released for exclusive VIP-agent sales in March 2014 with everything it needed to 100% sell out all 118 suites within weeks. BLVD Developments and Lifetime Developments partnered to give wings to this prestigious Forest Hill condo project overlooking the gorgeous 21-acre Sir Winston Churchill Park. The response to the nine-storey tower’s $662/sq.ft. pricing was never in doubt amid a neighbourhood averaging $4,320,000 sale prices in early 2014.To solidify the sense of proportion, comparable neighbouring condominiums sold their units at an average $800/sq.ft. – much like Code’s occupants, largely to end users. Units priced in excess of $1 million sold the fastest, followed closely behind by units priced in $400,000 to $500,000 range, a polar opposite to downtown Toronto’s pricing trends.The complex’s executive concierge services, chich residents’ lounge, fitness club and intimate private outdoor terraces are the mere ambiance to the main attractions. Suites are smartly adorned with Tomas Pearce IDC’s unique custom cabinetry in varying styles, and polished composite stone countertops. The elegant bathrooms feature frameless glass shower stalls, soaker tubs, and exceptionally sophisticated finishes.
If you’re planning to shop the Toronto Condo market in 2015 and whispers of an opportunity in Forest Hill neighbourhood arise, make haste. Recently released Blue Diamond Condos present a not-to-be-missed new opportunity, for buyers & investors who didn’t secure a unit in Code Condos, to own in a prestigious Forest Hill neighbourhood.
5. ALTER CONDOS
The Tridel standard for rarely paralleled pricing at superb locations preceded Alter’s May 2014 VIP-agent release and, predictably, an enthusiastic response followed in-step. It took just days for the 33-storey tower to sell out 92% of its 335 suites – 305 condos convincingly sold in under a week. By the end of October this building was 96% sold.
Being a short walk from the Downtown East sub-market’s Yonge Street corridor with a sterling Walk and Transit Score of 100 set Alter off on just the right foot to practically sell itself. Canada’s premiere condo developer has added a barrel of fuel to the residential and institutional revitalization campaign now invigorating Downtown and Ryerson University with a single set of initiatives. Tridel’s Alter Condos joins the company of such celebrated neighbouring developments as Menkes’ 365 Church Condos and the much-anticipated student rental residences rising 32 storeys at 412 Church Street.
Alter made an impact among a Downtown East sub-market already populated by the sold-out Core Condos at Dalhousie and Shuter Streets and the 708 units sold at Dundas Square Gardens comprising 20% of the area’s Q1 2014 sales activity. At a heartbeat from Ryerson University, Yonge-Dundas Square in Downtown core, and at the centre of Toronto’s Garden District, units at this condo were destined to be hastily snapped up in all of their 24 unique floor plans.
Don’t waste a moment if a vacancy presents itself in 2015 in this Church-Yonge Corridor neighbourhood.
With so many new condos launching in the next few months, some are destined to impress and some aren’t. Only a handful can truly be called “the best”. It is extremely important to purchase a unit in the very finest developments in Toronto, a unit whose capital appreciation and rental prospects suit your investment goals. I choose the condo projects I work with extremely selectively and recommend only the premiere developments to my clients.
If you are thinking of investing and want only the very best condo projects to invest in, call me today to discuss how I can help you.
Your investment advisor and friend in real estate,