With the big melt this past weekend some of you might be tempted to go out for a big ride on the clear streets. Since it is still winter you may not want to take your bike out of storage. So why not try the Bixi bike system - we went into the achieve and pulled up Alexjwilson.com's review of the Bixi bike rental system in Toronto:
Business Profile - Bike Rental Services in Toronto
Here are some interesting reads of the week: (Click on Link)
2014 MARKET FORECAST FOR TORONTO and the CONDO MARKET
Every year we like to review our last year's forecast (unlike those who keep calling for a market correction). Just recall the MacLeans Magazine Cover and the words "Inside the Great Real Estate Crash of 2013". In contrast we predicted only a 'market pause' with a return to a more normal market, and with 2013 outpacing 2012 in the latter half of the year. So why are we able to do a better job of forecasting? The answer is that we live and work in this market. It is not just numbers but also people and we take the pulse of our agents and their clients. If you live outside of Toronto, you really don't know the Toronto market. You will note that we never make forecasts about the Canadian Real Estate Market (there is no such thing) or any other real estate market in Canada.
The starting point for us is to identify any major changes to the Toronto economy (major job losses or a spike in interest rates) that would force people to postpone their move or to sell at a loss. The Toronto economy, based on financial services, high tech, research, and higher educational institutions continues to strengthen and we know interest rates will be stable in 2014. But the key component is always population growth. More and more people want to live in Toronto and in particular downtown Toronto. The only fly in the ointment would be if mortgage lenders (and particularly banks) refuse to finance rental condos in 2014 for buyers who previously bought new from developers and who may be forced to sell into the market.
Keep in mind that eighty percent of all real estate transactions are not driven by economics but by need. When an Estate Executor phones to say that Grandma has passed away, they never talk about renting out the property until the market improves, or renovating and flipping it. They just want the property sold, now. Similarly when a young couple, living in studio, are expecting their first born; they are moving now - not if and when the market changes.
So let's get down to our Market Numbers for 2014:
1) Overall sales on the Toronto Real Estate Board will hit a record in 2014. That was an easy call. The record year for sales was back in 2007 - when we had a population of about 750,000 less people. Sales will hit 95,000 units this year. Clients are telling us that they have rented or postponed buying because the experts told them it was not a good time for the last two years. They are tired of waiting, don't believe the experts anymore, and want to act in 2014.
2) The hottest market will be freehold properties under a million dollars in the 416 area code. There will be lots of multiple offers on these properties. Prices will rise by 10%.
3) To understand the condo market, you need to realize that it consists of three submarkets. First is the resale market for condos under a half million which is very strong, with prices averaging $500-600 per sf, depending on the building location and finishes. For the past two years, rentals have outpaced sales but expect this to reverse this year. Last year we advised our investors who were closing with developers to rent out their units for at least a year rather than trying to flip them. Now we are seeing these investors starting to sell into the market. Downtown freeholds are also too expensive, not just in terms of overall price but also on a price per sf basis. We are seeing unfinished freeholds in 416 selling for more than $500 per sf. This is a support level which will ensure that condo prices in this market will continue to appreciate by 3-4% per year.
4) The second condo submarket involves luxury condos which are experiencing a price compression. Units that once sold for over $1,000 per sf are dropping in price and the floor price is approaching $700 per sf. There are two reasons for fewer buyers for these types of properties: first baby boomers continue to stay in their houses longer than the experts predicted, and secondly, banks do not want to finance condos attached to hotels which again reduces the pool of buyers.
5) The third submarket is the new condo market. People always confuse sales with construction and completions. Sales today will not impact the market for 3-4 years. Given the population growth of the GTA, we need a minimum of 35,000 new units each year, with over 60% coming from high rise condos. GTA condo sales peaked at 28,000 in 2011 but in 2013 we will be lucky to hit 10,000. Due to construction delays, we have never been able to deliver/complete more than 13,000 units a year and in 2013 we will deliver just 12,000 units. Some believe that 20,000 condo units will be delivered in 2014 but not us. Going forward, developers have slowed the launch of new condo projects but we still expect sales to increase by 15% to 11,500 units in 2014. Developers have also reduced sale prices to the $550-600 per sf range in order to be more competitive with the resale market.
6) Assignment sales disappeared in 2013 due in part to Revenue Canada's stance that these sales were income and not capital gains based. We expect a rebound in Assignment sales both from a financing issue (see above) and because non- resident investors want to take profits earlier.
7) With the switch back to buying in 2014, we expect rents to level off with only modest increases to reflect rising operating costs. Studios will again average $1400 per month. The entry level for one bedroom units will start at $1600 and for two bedrooms it will be at$2200. While rents won't decline, we expect that there will be less multiple offer scenarios for rentals. Vacancy rates will remain at 1%.
In summary, look for a strong Toronto real estate market in 2014. It will favour sellers in most market segments. Again our forecasts are never sexy; we just try to provide the best insights.
Around the World
Alexjwilson.com and Around the World
For those Realtors traveling in for this year's KickStart be sure to drop by the Alexjwilson.com booth to learn our systems and how we ensure that your buyer and seller referrals will receive the highest level of customer service.
We will also be holding a draw for a grand prize of a $600.00 gift card for the Flight Center - this will help you plan your 2014 getaway. There will also be a number of door prizes so be sure to come say hi to team Alexjwilson.com.
The partner corner is a place to introduce the Alexjwilson.com network to the TOP professionals in their fields that Alex comes across during his adventures in Real Estate - friends of Alexjwilson.com get special treatment from his partners - its like one big family :)
These partners may be outside of the GTA but have no problem handling Toronto clients. Stryve Marketing Group handles large clients such as TD and Intel but has no problem handling the business of the small entrepreneur . They recently launched a contest to seek out the best start up. The winner of the contest earns a $10,000.00 of Social Media Market. Here are the full details. If you are an entrepreneur or know of one be sure to send this contest along to them:
Alexjwilson.com has a new Facebook Page
Please Like Us
With the growth of the Alexjwilson.com and the increased number of annoucements and events - our trusted marketing coordinator decided we needed a Facebook Page.
The new Alexjwilson.com Facebook page will post events, videos, new listings and real estate updates. It will be a valuable resource for anyone that wants to stay ' in the know about Toronto and Real Estate'. With a number of things planned for 2014 and beyond make sure you like this page so you do not miss out.
This section will focus on upcoming events being hosted and sponsored by Alexjwilson.com.
THIS WEEK - HAPPY HOUR THURSDAY - FIRST DRINK ON ALEX
Happy Hour Monthly Social
The Thirsty Thursday
Date: Every third Thursday of the month (Jan 16 this month)
Bar Wellington, 520 Wellington St W.
It seems the older we get the busier we get - therefore Alexjwilson.com wanted to dedicate 1 night a month that people can circle in their calendars and make it a priority to come. Alexjwilson.com is all about community so come out and re-connect with old friends - make some new ones - and share what is new in our lives.
Official Launch Date - January 23rd
YC Condos Yonge at College Condos
We have just confirmed that we will be receiving all the floor plans, pricing and marketing materials for YC Condos on January 23rd. Through our relationship with the builder we will have access to units - demand is very very strong so be sure to get yourself on "THE YC LIST" to ensure you have an opportunity to purchase at one of the most desirable locations in Toronto.
Why Buy At YC Condos:
1) You have a child that will potentially be going to university in 5 years time - this is a great investment to hedge the cost of accommodations for those 4 years of University (or more). I recommend the 2 or 3 bedroom option as you can rent out the additional rooms to other students which subsidizes your child's education.
2) An area that will rent out even if interest rates are zero - this is a top rental area in Toronto - it is walking distance to two universities, the hospital district, the high society of Yorkville, the financial district and it is on a subway line. There will always be people (contractors, ex-pats, students, etc) that will always need to rent even if atmosphere for buying is perfect.
We already have 24 confirmed sales in the project and are expecting SIGNIFICANT demand.
This is one of the MOST anticipated projects of 2014. This project is all about location and I am one of a handful of agents that will have exclusive access to this project because of my Platinum status with the builder.
YC Condominiums is a 63-storey glass sculpture accented by extended
balconies and one-of-a-kind amenities not found anywhere in North America.
With the extraordinary success of The Residences at College Park, Aura and now YC Condominiums, Canderel continues The College Park evolution. From lobby to penthouse, every detail has been considered and refined by Burdifilek, an international Interior and Design Firm whose impressive portfolio includes W Hotels, Holt Renfrew and Club Monaco New York.
YC Condominiums will elevate the standard of luxury at Yonge and College with incredible suite designs, stunning city views and 3 floors of luxurious amenities. YC Condominiums is strategically located on Yonge Street, in the heart of Toronto's innovation centre and surrounded by the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, MARS, the hospital district, fantastic shopping, dining, entertainment and the TTC - all just minutes from your front door.
This project will be launching at the end of January - for more information and to get on the wait list email us now. More information will be released over the following weeks prior to launch.
Alex Wilson's Listing
Alex Wilson's Listings
215 Sherway Gardens Road, Unit 511
1 Bedroom plus 1, 1 Bathroom
For Rent $1,400 per month
This Is A Brand New Unit . With Access To The Ttc Steps From Your Home And One Of Canada?s Most Luxurious Malls, Sherway Gardens, In Your Backyard. The Living Rooms And Dining Have Hardwood Floors, Upgraded Kitchen Cupboards, Completely Private Terrace In This Corner Unit.
Fridge, Stove, Washer, Dryer, Dishwasher, Microwave, Window Coverings37Cable, Telephone And Internet Are Free For The First 6 Months
Your Home On The Water. This Two Storey Penthouse Offers Over 1800 Sqr. Ft. Over Two Levels. The Unit Feels Like A House Instead Of A Condo. 10 Ft. Ceilings On 1st Floor And 9 Ft. On 2nd. 2nd Floor Also Has A Separate Entrance. 4 Balcony Spaces Which Include - Gas Line, Water Line, And A View Of Lake Ontario And Downtown Toronto. Corner Unit For Privacy. Located On The Water This Area Offers Access To Martin Goodman Trail For Walking, Biking And Running.
Wine Fridge, Gas Line For Bbq, Water Line On Balcony, All Appliances, Elfs, W/C, Exclusive Penthouse Parking (Separate Area) With Built In Locker. Den Could Be 3rd Bedroom. 2 Additional Parking Spaces Available For Purchase ($30,000.00 each or $55,000.00 for both).
Indoor And Hot Tub, Gym, Steam Rooms, Dining Room, Party Room, Theatre Room, Spa Facility, Games Room, Concierge