Tag Archives: mpac
Ashante Infantry – Toronto Star
Toronto housing prices are up 23% since 2008, according to a Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) report on residential sales trends.
The hot spots, cited for the most significant increases are: northwest and southwest Scarborough; detached, semi-detached, and town homes north of Bloor St. through the central part of the city, close to amenities and the subway; and Mimico.
Rising sale prices of residential property in Toronto are driven by a number of factors, including immigration, foreign investment, low interest rates, the attractiveness of an urban lifestyle, and shortages of both developable land and homes for sale, said the report.
And in a city experiencing unprecedented condo growth, bungalows on large lots are coveted; they are being purchased for land value alone and have increased by up to 50% since 2008 to $1 million or more in some neighbourhoods, with buyers willing to pay a premium to build the home of their dreams, says the study.
The Market Snapshot, which tracked prices over the past four years in selected municipalities, echoes the observations of the Toronto Real Estate Board, said its senior manager of market analysis, Jason Mercer.
“Since we came out of the recession, in the second half of 2009, and what initially was a housing based recovery, we’ve seen tight enough market conditions to see very strong upward pressure on home prices,” he said.
“With a little bit more supply in the market we’ve started to see more listings come on line, so that should see a bit of moderation in terms of price growth. We’re expecting the average price to continue to grow, but just at a slower pace.”
During the same Jan. 1, 2008 to Jan., 2012 period, MPAC found the average sale price for residential properties in Ontario rose by 17%.
The report underscores the continuing strength of the province’s real estate market, said Larry Hummel Chief Assessor for the Pickering-based non-profit corporation.
“The continuing strength is very positive, particularly when you look close to the border,” said Hummel. “You always expect that the trend that occurs there occurs in Canada, but we’ve reversed that situation” through prudent financing and not overbuilding.
While a sale price reflects mutual agreement in one particular transaction, an assessment, or a property’s current value, is based on the most probable sale price based on an analysis of all sales transactions from the local real estate market.
“We know in the Toronto market, by reading reports, that some people are more motivated than others,” Hummel. “Someone might have missed out on the last seven bids on a house and there may have been ten people competing in the auction; another month later, the market may have changed a little bit and there were four houses on the street available for sale; it’s not the same exact conditions and people bidding on those houses may not be nearly as motivated; or the person selling the property might be more motivated or less motivated. We analyze all of the sales prices in that local market in order to come up with the most likely or probable selling price.”
Toronto’s gains were the second-highest in the GTA: behind York Region’s 28%, but ahead of Halton-Peel (22%) and Durham (12%).
Northern Ontario shows the biggest growth across the province with Timmins leading at 29%, followed by Thunder Bay (26%) and Sault St. Marie (25%).
“What’s driving that is the increase in commodity prices and infrastructure to support the mining industry,” said Hummel.
In September MPAC will begin mailing out Property Assessment Notices for Ontario’s nearly five million properties with the assessed market value as of Jan. 1, 2012. Municipalities use the assessments, based on analysis of actual sale prices of similar properties, to calculate property taxes.
“Property owners should remember than an increase in assessment does not necessarily mean an increase in property taxes,” said Hummel. “It all depends on a number of factors including the amount of revenue required by your municipality or taxing authority to deliver services.
“If the assessed value of your home has increased more than the average for your local community, region and province, you may pay proportionately more in property taxes. If your home has increased in value less than the average, then you may pay proportionately less in property taxes.”
To help provide an additional level of property tax stability and predictability, the Ontario Government has introduced a phase-in program where market increases in assessed value between January 1, 2008 and January 1, 2012 will be phased in over four years (2013-2016). The full benefit of a decrease is applied immediately.
Hummel said Market Snapshot was developed as part of MPAC’s commitment to openness by sharing information about how assessed values are calculated with property taxpayers.
Contact the Jeffrey Team for more information – 416-388-1960
Laurin & Natalie Jeffrey are Toronto Realtors with Century 21 Regal Realty.
They did not write these articles, they just reproduce them here for people
who are interested in Toronto real estate. They do not work for any builders.
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by Dan Flomen
Developing a master-planned community takes a great deal of vision. Not only must you picture the project itself, but also the impact that it will have on the surrounding area and the local economy.
In the early 1990s, one could drive along the Gardiner Expressway and see nothing but undeveloped land and decaying buildings when approaching Park Lawn Road in Etobicoke. Sandwiched between the railway tracks and the Gardiner appeared a sales catastrophe waiting to happen.
But then Camrost-Felcorp acquired that land and turned it into a modern community catering to all types of buyers. Mystic Pointe is the result, a new neighbourhood comprised of condominium townhomes, apartments, and lofts.
In the first phase of development on Manitoba Street, Camrost-Felcorp introduced a condominium and townhomes with underground parking, followed by a unique renovation of the McGuiness Distillery. The distillery was converted into modern two-storey lofts.
Using the existing structure, parking was added through the centre of the building. The following phase consisted of a unique concept: adding a second loft structure on top of the converted building. In doing so, Camrost-Felcorp provided a rooftop garden and created an outdoor living environment that is a central meeting place for residents.
Following the success of the previous lofts, a third loft building at the same development was put up backing onto the Gardiner, with a variety of wide and narrow plans. It has a modern New York feel, incorporating a minimalist approach to its lobby and halls.
The most recent addition to Mystic Pointe is The Tides, a building unlike any other in the area. Its soaring glass structure takes the site one step further into the future. Two-storey lofts and single-floor suites make up this dramatic building. The facilities provided at the Camrost Centre for Recreational Arts will rival most fitness clubs and will service not only The Tides, but also Camrost-Felcorp’s future endeavor, iLoft.
The overall effect on this area of Etobicoke was felt immediately. Young professionals, seeking refuge from the congestion of downtown, moved in. The minor commute was insignificant to them compared to the potential upsides: walking trails along the waterfront were now minutes from their homes. Stores and shops along The Queensway started to spring up. An urban community now existed in an area once thought to be dying.
Other developers have now joined in this south Etobicoke revival. With access to major highways at residents’ doorstep combined with all the conveniences of downtown, sales are brisk. Singles, young families, and empty nesters are moving into this thriving area. Unlike many visions that go unrealized, Mystic Pointe continues to grow and blossom.
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By John Bentley Mays – The Globe and Mail
A few days ago, I dropped by a couple of downtown Toronto residential projects that were still twinkles in their architects’ eyes when I first wrote about them a couple of years ago. Both designs â€” the Hudson apartment tower at the corner of King Street West and Spadina Avenue, and the Gardens at Queen, on Bathurst Street â€” have since put on bones and flesh, and are nearing completion. So it seemed a good time to pay a visit, just to check out how the architectural realities have lined up with what I imagined they would be.
Designed for Great Gulf Homes by David Dow, principal in Diamond and Schmitt Architects, the Hudson stands in a district of old factories and warehouses near the bottom of Spadina. Globalization long ago swept away most of the manufacturing enterprises that gave the neighbourhood its industrial character, but workaday architecture lingers on to remind us of the past.
As Mr. Dow explained when I wrote up the scheme in 2004, the Hudson was designed to echo its historic context â€” and, indeed, it does so. The flat rooflines of the Hudson’s elements (a 21-storey tower and lower buildings, all joined on the bottom storeys) reinforce the flat-topped skyline of the area, and make the compact complex seem at home among its neighbours.
But despite all its best efforts to be polite to its surroundings, the Hudson is not really one of the blue-collar guys down on lower Spadina. It is lithe and athletic, while the warehouses tend to be chunky. The buff brick â€” an old Toronto standby â€” that Mr. Dow has deployed on the Hudson’s exterior may be a nod to ordinariness, but its use here is elegant, even chic â€” more GQ, in other words, than Truckers News.
It was clear to me from the designs that the Hudson would be more refined than what’s around it. I was less certain, however, of this sophisticated building’s ability to hold its own on the noisy, busy intersection of King and Spadina. Now that the project is done, it’s clear that my hesitation was unfounded. The Hudson, as things have turned out, is a confident, handsome corner monument â€” not imposing itself on the streetscape, but marking an important downtown crossroads with modern grace and modest authority.
The Gardens at Queen, by Chestnut Hill Homes, never had an intersection to live up to, so it could afford to be more playful than the Hudson. And playful it is, in the way a “historical” setting in a theme park so often is: awash in nostalgia, brimming with references to a glamorous past, but, in the end, rather bare under its decor and doodadery.
This project of 177 units in seven 31/2-storey buildings would sweep us away from Toronto to 19th-century Paris, or so its early advertisements proposed. The Gardens, as built, sweep us (if anywhere) to Regency London: The exteriors are pale yellow stucco in the British manner, not Parisian grey limestone. Flights of steps lead to upper-storey entrances, each framed by a ponderous little porch, again in the British townhouse manner. The superficial effect â€” and it is superficial â€” is poshy and stodgy, and as jowly and bluff as an English bulldog.
There is a durable market for this kind of historical fantasia, both downtown and in suburbia, so I expect to be seeing new specimens of it for the rest of my days on Earth. But if architects must provide such storybook pageantry, then let it be done in a spirit of faithfulness to the finest examples of the historical style. The best Regency domestic architecture, for example, is light and trim. The buildings at the Gardens at Queen are overdressed and heavy-handed, and crowned with parapets that, like the other trimmings and flounces, are ostentatious â€” as though we would not otherwise get the point that the project is seriously old-fashioned.
When I talked with Clifford Korman, the architect, about his project two years ago, he said he intended it to be a “catalyst for the neighbourhood.” Whether the Gardens at Queen will energize its rundown Victorian context remains to be seen. But if it does change things, what will it change them into? More historical pastiche? Is this the kind of Toronto we want? Or is it merely the best we can hope for?
As things stand so far, the Gardens is hardly an isolated island of antiquarian architecture in the midst of a 21st-century city. Many other contemporary residential projects around town self-consciously hark back to some style hauled up from the past. If it’s not Second Empire, then it’s bully-boy Victorian or pompous Edwardian. We will know that our city’s architectural conscience has come of age when we see more buildings done boldly in the spirit of the current age.
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