Ontario 2022 Builders Annual

Page 1


The fi rst and only complete guide to pre-construction homes and condos

Building excellence for over 30 years

Solmar Development Corp. has been creating visionary masterplanned communities across the Greater Toronto Area for over three decades now. Family owned and operated with a focus on building and developing exquisite family homes and condominiums to business parks and commercial real estate, Solmar brings cutting-edge innovation, sophisticated design and timeless architecture to every landmark project they build.


Redefining the city skyline with two record-breaking towers, Bristol Place will reach new heights as the tallest condominium towers in Brampton. Situated near Queen Street and Main, at the hub of Brampton’s High-Tech Innovation District, an innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the heart of Downtown Brampton, Bristol Place boasts easy access to the Brampton GO station, spectacular balcony and terrace views and an elevated lifestyle experience.




Rising 50 stories over Mississauga City Centre, ORO is a triumph of modern architectural design and quality craftmanship. Distinguished by its contemporary design, the landmark tower will become a beacon of style and sophistication on the downtown Mississauga skyline.

Now under construction, the first two towers are sold out and occupancy is scheduled for Spring 2023 for Tower 1. In Tower 3, Solmar has just released a magnificent Oro Collection with a few suites remaining. Elegant interiors come with smooth ceilings, energyefficient double-glazed windows, sleek kitchen with cutting-edge appliances, Quartz countertops, and more. Shopping at Square One, entertainment at Celebration Square, parks, cafes, restaurants and boutiques are all located steps from ORO Collection in Tower 3.

ORO at Edge Towers is the only new condominium in downtown Mississauga that is located directly on the LRT, and is walking distance to the Cooksville GO train station.


We look forward to welcoming our residents to our successful Park Avenue Place in Vaughan. Consisting of two buildings with landscaped podiums, a stunning outdoor terrace and dining areas ideal for entertaining, Park Avenue makes a statement with its hotel-inspired lobbies, spacious suites and extraordinary finishes throughout.



Erin Glen is Solmar’s prestigious new master planned community in the village of Erin. Located at the headwaters of the Credit and Grand Rivers, midway between Guelph and Orangeville, Erin is a charming small town close to several big cities. Surrounded by phenomenal schools, adventure parks, convenient shopping, and over 500 trails.

Erin Glen makes families feel at home. This project, which offers Freehold Townhomes and Semi-Detached and Detached Homes, was recognized as one of the most successful launches of 2021 with all three phases selling out in record time. The collection of Freehold Townhomes, Semis and 33 & 36’ Detached Models feature thoughtfully-designed and unique floor plans with high quality features and finishes.

Construction of the community has begun.


Solmar Development Corp. is in the process of planning more master-planned communities that will see low-rise and high-rise projects across the GTA over the course of the next 5 years, continuing to build on their wide range of offerings for each prospective home buyer. Register today on solmar.ca and be the first to know about each upcoming Solmar Community.

Scan here to register and be the first to know about each upcoming Solmar Community.


Creating Communities for a Brighter Tomorrow

Register today and be the first to know about Solmar’s exciting new communities in 2023 DISCOVER COMMUNITIES DISTINGUISHED BY TIMELESS ELEGANCE AND LUXURY DESIGN
You are one of a kind where it’s all about you… Construction is underway. Move in this summer! Live by 46-acre park and woodlot in Big homes with big-home features! kind

editor’s letter

Change and opportunity

The housing market in the GTA and surrounding areas is in the news on almost a daily basis these days, and some of the coverage, admittedly, is not for the most positive reasons. Limited supply, the financial questions posed by rising interest rates and inflation, declining prices in some categories…

It’s all somewhat ironic, since it wasn’t all that long ago that high and fast price growth was making headlines.

Real estate in the province is undergoing fundamental change – in a good way, despite the challenges, and even if progress is slow.

Indeed, there is universal belief that the lack of housing supply – juxtaposed unrelenting long-term demand – is the key determining factor in declining affordability in the GTA. Our federal, provincial and even municipal governments are all aware, and have promised to take action.

Our story on page 26 delves into these issues in more detail, but of note is how directly productive municipal

governments can be in affecting change. You’re likely reading this after the Oct. 24 municipal elections in Ontario, but whether you’re in Toronto, Hamilton, Vaughan, Oshawa or any of the other more than 400 municipalities in the province, housing was undoubtedly an election issue. And if your candidate of choice won or not, how the newly elected leaders address this issue is worth following, today and every day.

With the current challenges, however, also come opportunity. For this 2022 edition of our Builders’ Annual, we’ve assembled a best-of-the-best Expert Panel of builders and developers, beginning on page 46, and a roster of Industry All-Stars in marketing and sales, starting on page 58.

Whether you’re a prospective first-time buyer, preparing to move up or even downsize, take the time to read these insightful contributions, as well as the other columns and features. Whatever your demographic, it’s important you understand the challenges, choices and opportunities, to help you make the best, most informed decision possible.

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It all starts with a remarkable vision. Georgian Communities takes inspiration from Ontario’s landscapes, and builds homes designed to enrich the lives of every family who lives there. Their inspiring legacy includes the groundbreaking communities of Windfall, Braestone, and Mountain House, bringing modern living to the

Collingwood, Blue Mountain, and Oro-Medonte regions in the most natural combination of comfort and style. High-quality craftsmanship and artful architecture elevate every home to the highest standard of modern living in Ontario’s most remarkable natural settings.

simply natural.

The incredible quality and unparalleled lifestyle provided in each home has earned them awards both locally and provincially, but most notably, Georgian Communities reached the national stage with the Canadian Home Builders’ Awards. The success of their first three communities has earned them recognition as finalists for five different awards by the CHBA this past year, marking them among the best in Canada.

A big part of what makes each of these communities so special is the unique amenities, designed to enrich every lifestyle and elevate your connection to the land. Braestone in particular reimagines the traditional master-planned community, offering residents the most holistic lifestyle with inspired amenities based around an active, natural life.

A toboggan hill. An apiary.

A sugar shack. A farm. Residents

designed to enrich your lifestyle.

can purchase honey made from the bees buzzing through the fields, jam made from the berries growing ripe in the berry patch, and pure maple syrup from the trees towering above you. Learn the cycles of the land, become a part of your environment, and live a happier, healthier life. That’s what Georgian is all about. Most recently, construction was completed on The Shed, Windfall’s unique gathering place for friends, families, and neighbours. Residents have already had the opportunity to gather here and enjoy the gym, saunas, patio, and pools. The winter will make the indoor lounge the best place to meet and spend time together with your loved ones, with a cozy fireplace to cuddle up and share stories, laughter, and memories.

Expanding on their portfolio, Georgian Communities has undertaken a transformative new project in Collingwood, bringing new life to one of the most sought-

after neighbourhoods. Inspired by the historic 19th century schoolhouse at its centre, Victoria Annex combines contemporary design and luxury interiors with bold historic architecture to capture the spirit of Collingwood’s iconic heritage style. Between the renovated schoolhouse, an inspired new coach house, and a limited collection of single and semidetached homes, Victoria Annex is creating a distinctive new address in the heart of Collingwood.

Stepping back into the beauty of Oro-Medonte, the future of Georgian begins with a brand new community in Craighurst. Plans are in the making for an incredible new project consisting of modern farmhouse bungalows and two storey homes on magnificent 50’ lots surrounded by nature. It’s the best of rural life, with all the beauty and quality of a modern home. The charming Village of Craighurst is brimming with smalltown charm, neighbourly kindness, and historic character.

Connecting to the rich history of the province in a place of fertile soil and deep forests, Craighurst is surrounded by rolling green pastures and lush woodlands. In close proximity to Barrie and Orillia, urban amenities are never far, but the allure of Copeland Forest, Horseshoe Valley, Mount Saint Louis, Braestone Club, and The Ktchn are even closer to home, and to the heart. This new community will be coming to Craighurst in the near future, with new details and updates to be released in the coming months. To stay informed, register at the Georgian Communities website or at MyCraighurst.ca

As Georgian Communities diligently works towards their incredible future projects, new opportunities grow from Ontario’s iconic landscapes. Holistic living has never been as stylish, or as beautiful, as a Georgian community. These are places to reconnect, to get in touch with the land, and cultivate a better state of being. Places to grow, love, and discover.

To learn more about the remarkable lifestyles Georgian Communities offers, visit their website at georgiancommunities.ca, and discover what’s in store for small-town Ontario.

table of contents 8 Editor’s Letter Change and opportunity 26 Need to Know Four factors that should impact your homebuying plans 32 OHBA Report Ontario needs faster approvals to restore housing attainability 34 Legally Speaking Tips for buying in an uncertain market 36 Real Insight Consumer awareness is key in making the smart choice 40 In Conversation With Ted Tsiakopoulos 45 Expert Panel High level advice from some of the industry’s top builders ›› Jim Andrews, Fieldgate ›› Mike Parker, Georgian ›› Cheryl Shindruk, Geranium ›› Cailey Stollery, Kylemore ›› Brian Brown, Lifetime ›› Fred Losani, Losani ›› Jason Pantalone, National ›› Scott McLellan, Plaza ›› Angela Marotta, Solmar ›› Samson Fung, Tridel 58 Industry All-Stars Homebuying insights from marketing and sales icons ›› Mark Cohen, TCS Marketing Systems ›› Debbie Cosic, In2ition Realty ›› Riz Dhanji, RAD Marketing ›› Michael Klassen, 1111 Real Estate ›› Barbara Lawlor, Baker Real Estate ›› Hersh Litvack, Hersh Real Estate ›› Christopher Markovic, PMA Brethour 68 WEHBA Report Hamilton needs to build 50,000 new homes 70 Personal Finance How to increase your affordability 76 Home Office Staying remote 82 Builder Roster The List 26 12 Builders’ Annual 2022


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advertisers’ index 36 32 68 InsideFrontCover Solmar Developments 5 National Homes 9 Georgian Communities 14 Lifetime Developments 17 StateView Homes 20 Altree 23 Hersh Realty 28 Losani Homes 37 Remington Group 42 Geranium Corporation 56 Tribute Communities 65 Plaza 72 Mason Homes 79 Kylemore 83 Lash 84 Lennox CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER Jacky Hill jacky.hill@nexthome.ca EXECUTIVE MEDIA CONSULTANT Michael Rosset EDITOR-IN-CHIEF – NATIONAL REAL ESTATE Susan Legge susan.legge@nexthome.ca EDITOR-IN-CHIEF – GREATER TORONTO AREA Wayne Karl wayne.karl@nexthome.ca MANAGING EDITOR Rise Levy CONTRIBUTORS Jesse
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Not only has Hersh Realty created additional revenue streams for developers, they also offer a wide range of resources. These include working with architects to deliver suites that are not only spectacular in design and layout, but highly functional to attract the widest range of buyers. Full in-house mortgage services providing timely mortgage pre-approvals. The industry's only sound and video pre and post-production studios allowing developers the option of convenient and cost-effective one-stop shopping. Along with an in-house sales centre available to developers when supplying a sales centre is not feasable - Hersh Realty Group offers options that save developers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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4 factors that should influence your HOMEBUYING PLANS

What a difference a year makes, eh? Last year at this time, we were approaching two full years of pandemic challenges. In spite of the resulting uncertainty, real estate markets in Toronto, the GTA and elsewhere in Ontario were performing surprisingly well. Really, really well in many cases.

Now here we are, with at least the health concerns around COVID under control for the most part. Housing markets, on the other hand? Sales and price pressures, rising interest rates, inflation, supply and other questions are all having an impact on consumer confidence and homebuyer intentions.

But the news isn’t all bad. A pause in price growth, for example, actually is a good thing for prospective homebuyers who have been waiting for a chance to enter the market. Slight declines? Even better.

Also know this, though: The challenges we’re facing now, experts agree, are mostly short-term. We can’t

pretend they don’t matter; they do. They emphasize the importance of preparation and research. But longterm? The GTA and surrounding markets in Ontario are some of the strongest in the country, and will very likely remain so.

Here’s why, and some of the issues you should keep in mind:


To curb high inflation, the Bank of Canada has increased its influential overnight rate target a number of times over the last year.

“The consensus in Canada among economists is that we could see the terminal overnight rate at 4.00 to 4.25 per cent by year end or shortly thereafter,” says Ted Tsiakopoulos, economist, who offers further insights in our In Conversation With feature on page 40. “At that point, I think you will see the Bank of Canada pause and evaluate the impact on the economy in the following months.”

26 Builders’ Annual 2022

Translation, and as some of the contributors in our Expert Panel and Industry All-Stars comment, rates may begin to lower again next year, and combimed with the limited supply, could correct any price softening we’ve seen over the last year.


Housing is on the radar – and election platforms – of our political leaders at the national, provincial and even municipal levels, and quite likely permanently.

By the time this issue of the Builders’ Annual publishes, Ontario voters will have gone to the polls in the Oct. 24 municipal elections. Housing supply – in this context, specifically the development approval processes of the province’s 400-plus municipalities – is under the microscope.

Why is this so important? “Municipal approval timelines for new housing in the GTA are among the worst of major municipalities across Canada, and add significant costs to new home purchasers,” according to a municipal benchmarking study conducted for the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) by Altus Group, a market-leading intelligence service provider to the global commercial real estate industry.

“With the average approval timeframe across the GTA now being 21 months, and with approvals in some municipalities stretching to 32 to 34 months, not only are municipal inefficiencies and delays slowing the addition of housing supply, but they are also adding directly and indirectly up to $3.30 per square foot to the cost of a new home,” says Dave Wilkes, president and CEO of BILD.

BILD estimates the average delay in approvals adds approximately $50,000 in cost to an 800-sq.-ft. condo, and $100,000 to the cost of a single-family home.

“All of us – voters, the industry, municipal governments, the provincial government and other regulatory authorities – must take collaborative action to boldly address housing supply and affordability,” says Wilkes. “It’s the only way to fix the housing challenges in our region and our province, secure our economic competitiveness and address generational inequity brought about by our housing crisis.”

So, if you didn’t realize it before, municipal governments really matter when it comes to solving our housing supply issue. And perhaps most of all, to your bottom line.

Relatedly, this is all on the heels of the June 2 provincial election, and even the Sept. 20, 2021 federal election, during both of which housing was a major platform issue of all major parties.


In mid-October, Royal LePage released its House Price Survey for the third quarter of 2022, underlining how home prices are being affected by current economic challenges. The aggregate price of a home in Canada decreased 4.9 per cent in the third quarter, the second consecutive quarterly decline. However, prices increased 3.3 per cent year-over-year to $774,900.

Royal LePage is also forecasting that the aggregate price of a home in Canada will decline 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to the same quarter last year.

But those are Canada-wide numbers, and when you’re buying a home, you’re not buying a national market. Real estate is local – hyper local, in fact.

“The city of Toronto is made up of many diverse micro real estate markets,” says Karen Yolevski, chief operating officer, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd. “Trends can vary from one neighbourhood to the next, with diversified buyer demand.”

The aggregate price of a home in the GTA decreased 5.9 per cent on a quarterly basis, according to Royal LePage – the second consecutive quarterly decline. But on a year-over-year basis, the price increased 2.1 per cent to $1.09 million, in the third quarter of 2022.

The median price of a single-family detached home decreased 0.6 per cent year-over-year to $1.34 million, following record-high price gains in 2021. Meanwhile, the median condo price increased 8.7 per cent yearover-year to $701,300.

And remember what we wrote about real estate being local, and looking at the long term? Aggregate home prices in Burlington, for example, are down 9.1 per cent for the third quarter, but up 5.4 per cent year-over-year. Hamilton, down 8.1 and up 4.5 per cent. Vaughan, down 5.2 per cent for the quarter, but up 6.5 year-over-year.

Royal LePage does expect home prices to level off through the remainder of this year, with aggregate prices decreasing 3.5 per cent in the fourth quarter, compared to the same quarter last year.

But this all illustrates that real estate is not just about location, location, location. Especially during these times, it’s important to look at your housing purchase over the long term

And in this context, the GTA is well positioned.


So, while there are obvious reasons to be cautious in your homebuying plans, for those who are well prepared – say, buying up, moving to a new neighbourhood or area, or fully set financially – good opportunities do exist.

Some builders are offering attractive incentives and upgrades to entice prospective buyers. One townhome project in the GTA, for example, is advertising a “zero-per-cent mortgage program,” a flexible deposit structure and other enticing features.

Another, a condo project in Etobicoke, is offering zero development charges, one-year free maintenance and property tax, and extended deposit structure options.

And everything you’ve heard about delayed project launches? You might want to learn more about some of the exciting projects mentioned by the contributors in our Expert Panel and Industry All-Stars and, of course, those advertised in this issue.

There are, indeed, some great buying opportunities out there.

nexthome.ca 27


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Ontario needs faster approvals to restore HOUSING ATTAINABILITY

During the summer, the re-elected provincial government laid out its key policy priorities for the next four years in the Speech from the Throne, reiterating a commitment to increasing housing affordability. While this is certainly welcome news for current and future Ontarians looking to buy a home, the fact remains that we still need to construct 1.5 million homes over the next decade, as noted by the province’s Housing Affordability Task Force (HATF) in order to restore housing attainability.

Reaching this goal isn’t just a lofty ambition, but a generational imperative. This is why the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) and our partner local associations released our top policy recommendations in a five-point plan for consideration by the provincial government during its new mandate. These priorities are aimed squarely at lowering costs and increasing supply for Ontarians so that more people can find a home in a community where they live, work and play. Two of these priorities are particularly relevant in the

Greater Toronto Area (GTA): The need to increase affordability by accelerating approval times and eliminating red tape, and second, getting the politics out of planning.

Years of delays often mean it takes more than a decade to go from dirt to door in many parts of the GTA. Getting through the hurdles of municipal approval processes ultimately means higher costs being passed on to new-home buyers. A fact that many find staggering yet unsurprising is that every year in which a municipality delays an approval decision, it costs homebuyers an additional $36,000 for a typical lowrise home, and $26,000 for a typical highrise unit. These delays cannot continue if we want to increase attainability.

What this means is that new and future Ontarians who want to set down roots in our province cannot rely on their local city or town to make it possible for them to reach that dream of homeownership.

So, what can be done? The provincial government can take quick action to both incentivize and

32 Builders’ Annual 2022

encourage municipalities to accelerate development approval processes and cut red tape. By building on existing measures such as application fee refunds when Planning Act timelines are not met, and further resourcing the Ontario Land Tribunal to settle disputes, the province can continue to lead on making new housing a supply a priority within the GTA and all across Ontario.

It is also imperative to take the politics out of planning. Too often, there is a strong incentive for individual municipal councillors to get behind community opposition to growth and development, because they are elected by current residents, not future residents. In addition, as a means to slow or block development, various designations and forums are open to misuse. The strong belief that homes shouldn’t be built in existing neighbourhoods is the “not in my backyard” (NIMBY) approach that is denying future Ontarians an opportunity to set down roots in our province. When local decision makers feel the political pressure of NIMBY groups, new housing is limited or frozen entirely. This status quo cannot continue when we know that Ontario’s population is growing, with 2.27

million more people expected by 2031. We need more “yes in my backyard” or YIMBY voices to speak up for future residents, particularly at municipal councils and work to prevent the abuse of processes such as bulk listing on municipal heritage registers.

Bold change is needed to ensure future generations have a place to live, work and play in Ontario. Our priority actions will support new homes for future residents who are counting on more attainable housing options today and into the future.

Luca Bucci is CEO of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association. ohba.ca.
nexthome.ca 33

Tips for buying in an UNCERTAIN MARKET

The last two years of COVID-19 and low inflation rates created a frenzy in the real estate market; perhaps something few of us anticipated in the early days of the lockdown. People were rushing to buy homes and homeowners were happy to see their home prices escalate. It seems the market has cooled down just as fast as it heated up two years ago. But while the market may be more volatile and unpredictable now, there is still an appetite to own a home, and many of us are ready to buy our first or our next home.


Appraisals and their timing can become critical. The market continues to fluctuate, and predictions of further

corrections abound. Lenders will loan money only at up to the appraised value of your home. If your lender appraises your property at a value that is less than what you paid, you will need to make up the shortfall in cash. In other words, you may need to increase your closing funds to be 25 to 35 per cent of the purchase price to be in sync with the appraisal.

Buyers should be prepared for potentially higher mortgage payments in the future. The old position that a floating rate always is better may no longer apply. Remember you are better with a fixed rate that you know you can afford, and weather the next three years until things improve.

If you are purchasing a pre-construction condominium, note that the occupancy fee is based to a large degree on

34 Builders’ Annual 2022

interest on the unpaid balance of the purchase price. As interest rates increase, the occupancy fees can increase and be unpleasantly surprising.

A pre-construction condo going into occupancy this year or next may need more cash down to avoid large occupancy fee payments that could dramatically interfere with rental returns or just plain carrying costs.

Finally, to those buyers who feel overwhelmed because homes went from being out of reach due to purchase price, to out of reach due to interest rates: Don’t give up. Now is the time to increase your cash deposit amounts and look for bargains. It will eventually sort out and if you have saved and are ready, this could be an amazing time of opportunity. The window will be brief so keep your eyes open and save every penny you can.

The most important tip we can give you is to plan your transactions and consider the different possibilities and

how you will handle them. Don’t hesitate to retain your lawyer before your transaction so you can get the advice you need before you have signed your agreement. A good realtor, mortgage agent and real estate lawyer are needed now more than ever to guide you through your transaction.

Jayson Schwarz LLM is the founding senior partner of Schwarz Law Partners LLP and Hamza Ahmad is the lead partner residential real estate. schwarzlaw.ca.

nexthome.ca 35


Consumer awareness is key in the Ontario housing market

Buying a home is likely the biggest financial decision you’ll ever make. At TRREB, we believe that consumers should be protected however they choose to buy or sell a home. Working with a TRREB member guarantees that you’ll have a trained, supportive and knowledgeable real estate professional in your corner so that you can buy or sell a home with confidence.

When consumers partner with a licensed TRREB member, they can count on legal protection for their deposit, a guarantee that they will be informed of any relationship between the owner of the home and the person selling it, the assurance that their realtor passed a background check and the exams needed to obtain a real estate license, and is fully insured.

Furthermore, consumers who work with a TRREB member have access to a government regulator with the power to take strong action, including raevoking a realtor’s license, against those who act inappropriately.

As an organization that represents more than 68,000 members who work directly with the public, we believe it is our responsibility to ensure that home buyers and sellers are well-informed when making the biggest investment of their lives.

Ultimately, consumers have a right to choose how they want to buy and sell real estate. But no matter what they decide, they deserve to be protected.

Kevin Crigger, TRREB President and realtor, is a long-standing and active member at the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board. He has served all levels of the real estate industry, as well as local charities and educational institutions.

36 Builders’ Annual 2022

BuildingA Legacy

Proclaimed “The Man Who Built Toronto”, Rudolph P. Bratty followed in the footsteps of father, Donato Bratty, into the building industry. What started with six building lots grew to 18, then 30, his father worrying that he was expanding at too rapid a pace.

Undaunted Rudy Bratty forged ahead. He went into law, eventually founding

And now more than 70 years later, his impact on the growth of the GTA is unmistakable. As head of The Remington Group, Bratty is responsible for transforming thousands of acres of farmland around Toronto into curvy streets packed with single family homes. A true visionary, he was using buzzwords like density, sustainability and walkability, long before they became the standards for urban development.

Bratty’s most ambitious project to date, Downtown Markham, is truly a culmination and embodiment of his life’s work. The art-infused, $5-billion, mixed-use development is transforming 243 acres of farmland into a cultural destination for the City of Markham.

Overseeing this project, and so many others, is a new generation. Christopher Bratty, President of Land Development and Investments; Michael Bratty, President of Remington’s High-Rise Division; Matthew Bratty, President of Low Rise; and Mark Bratty, President of Special Projects continue to build upon their father’s legacy, further establishing The Remington Group as an industry leader, breathing life into the communities in which they build.



Bright Side,

1. South Burlington Village, Burlington Completed 2. EverGreen, Burlington Future 3. The Preserve, Oakville Current 4. Brookside Towns, Oakville Completed 5. East Preserve, Oakville Current 6. Hello Georgetown, Georgetown Current 7. River Rock Ridge, Georgetown Completed 8. Juniper Gate, Georgetown Future 9. Churchill in Erin Mills, Mississauga Completed 10. Applewood Gate, Brampton Completed 11. Sandalwood Trails, Brampton Completed 12. Cresthaven South, Brampton Completed 13. Meadowgreen, Brampton Completed 14. Terra Cotta Village, Brampton Completed 15. Seville Row, Brampton Completed 16. Timberbank Manors, Brampton Completed 17. The
Brampton Current 18. Dakota Point, Brampton Completed 19. Captain’s Cove, Midland Current 20. Simcoe Landing, Keswick Completed 21. 22. Triple Crown, King City Current 23. Maple Landing, Maple Completed 24. Vellore Village, Maple Completed 25. Tuscon Trails, Thornhill Completed 26. Thornhill Trails, Thornhill Completed 27. Thornhill Woods, Thornhill Completed 28. Thornhill Valley, Thornhill Completed 29. Luna Towns, Thornhill Completed 30. Thornhill North, Thornhill Completed 31. Coventry Court, Richmond Hill Completed 32. Wigston Green Estates, Thornhill Completed BURLINGTON MISSISSAUGA BRAMPTON HALTON
OAKVILLE TORONTO MARKHAM VAUGHAN RICHMOND HILL KESWICK BARRIE MIDLAND MAPPING PROGRESS Built by Remington 1 2 3 4 5 9 58 60 59 62 6156 57 10 16 17 24 25 29 26 27 31 20 21 19 28 30 33 32 34 23 18 11 12 14 13 8 7 6 22


Greens of Uplands,

Gate, Markham

Glen, Markham


Glen, Markham

Woods, Markham

Ridge, Markham

Gate, Markham

Landing Towns, Markham

Green, Markham

Rouge Collection,



Verdale, Downtown Markham

Bijou, Downtown Markham Completed

Condos, Downtown Markham Completed

Condos, Downtown Markham Completed

Towers, Downtown Markham Future

Gallery Square, Downtown Markham Current

Gallery Towers, Downtown Markham Current

Parkview Markham Future

York Prestige Collection, Toronto Completed

Weston Club, Toronto Completed

Condos 1, Toronto Completed

Towers, Toronto Completed

Toronto Future

Towers, Toronto Completed

Villas, Toronto Completed

Village, Toronto Completed

Chichester Place, Toronto

33. Burbank
Thornhill Completed 34. The
Thornhill Completed 35. Clayton
Completed 36. High
Completed 37. Glitter,
Completed 38. Heritage
Completed 39. Cachet
Completed 40. Sunrise
Completed 41. Regency
Completed 42. Kennedy
Future 43. Victory
Current 44. Manhattan, Markham Completed 45. Royal
Markham Completed 46. York
Downtown Markham Completed 47. The
Downtown Markham Completed 48. The
Completed 49. Rouge
50. Nexus
51. Signature
52. Signature
55. Remington,
56. Royal
57. The
58. IQ
59. Park
60. IQ3,
61. SamRu
62. Roselawn
63. O’Connor
64. 8
Completed 6463 Completed Projects Current Projects Future Projects 4236 35 37 43 44 555049 46 39 38 47 53 48 51 54 45 40 41 52


Buying a home, of course, doesn’t necessarily require a degree in economics, but it sure would help. Fact is, there are so many factors for homebuyers to consider these days. Higher interest rates, the economy, inflation, demographic trends… It’s all very serious stuff, and for some, perplexing and even intimidating.

For insights into these issues, we spoke to Ted Tsiakopoulos, an economist, best-selling author and sought-after speaker with more than 25 years of experience analyzing housing and financial markets. He is also an instructor of housing economics at Metropolitan Toronto University.

Some of these subjects may seem a tad peripheral for prospective homebuyers, but trust us, they’re worth learning even a little more about.

Gen Z is such an important part of the future of homebuying. Last year in GTA Builders’ Annual, you wrote about the digital economy, and how it might impact the financial stability of these younger consumers. How are things looking, a year later? More and more businesses are now selling their goods and services online, versus the pre-pandemic period. Online e-commerce sales have doubled as a share of total retail sales. This trend will only accelerate over the next decade.

40 Builders’ Annual 2022

What will trigger this acceleration is a recalibration of growth in the economy and in business revenue. A lot of businesses have not adjusted their expectations for growth lower. This downward adjustment in growth will take hold in the next year, and the focus will turn to managing costs. Productivityenhancing investments, while creating opportunities in some sectors of the economy, will likely displace more younger workers, especially in client-facing industries. So, we need to prepare for this.

You also wrote about the financial literacy of the younger generation, and how, still to this day, not enough elementary and high school programs across the country include financial education as part of the curriculum. The last year, with inflation and rising interest rates, underlines this importance even more… will it be enough to make a difference? How much are educators adjusting to this growing need?

Fortunately, we have seen some progress with financial literacy topics now embedded in the math curriculum, which is mandatory in some regions of the country, especially here in Ontario.

There’s a lot for today’s prospective homebuyers to think about. What advice would you have for them?

Prospective homebuyers should exercise caution and patience. There are better days ahead. Home prices and interest rates will be in a better place one year from now. Also, all levels of government are working hard to expedite the delivery of new housing. The Housing Accelerator Fund was tabled in the last federal budget, and this is all about incentivizing cities to expedite the planning approval process. This is also about eliminating structural barriers that are getting in the way of delivering more housing.

We realize you don’t have a crystal ball, but given your expertise in economics, what is your outlook for interest rates? Some in the industry see a leveling out, and possibly a return to lower rates, early next year…

The consensus in Canada among economists is that we could see the terminal overnight rate at 4.00 to 4.25 per cent by year end or shortly thereafter. At that point, I think you will see the Bank of Canada pause and evaluate the impact on the economy in the following months.

Should aggregate demand drop enough or should productivity growth surprise to the upside to pull inflation below its target, only then could we see a pivot. But this seems highly unlikely in the immediate term.

The Fed, however, in its recent testimony, indicated it doesn’t expect inflation to hit its target of two per cent until 2024, so they are calling for a terminal rate in the 4.5to 5.00-per-cent range by the end of 2023.

And what about inflation? It’s inching down, but how long until we see some notable improvement in this area, and we see a boost in consumer confidence?

The recent Fed testimony suggests with inflation expected to hit its target by no sooner than 2024, the implicit assumption is that it will remain sticky on the way down. Service sector inflation has lagged goods sector inflation, and there is still some pent-up price pressures here.

What other message would you like to leave prospective homebuyers?

What we have learned in recent years is that prospective buyers need to plan ahead. This means being aware of budget constraints, in advance of a home search, is important as is having an awareness of all closing costs to a real estate transaction.

Research has shown that a budget is an acknowledgement that income

is a constraint, and trade-offs need to be made. Also, those with a budget or plan are less likely to engage in impulsive behaviour, and are most likely to stay within their budget while taking on less debt.

These are all necessary behaviours, particularly in undersupplied markets where bidding wars are common. Far too often, we see prospective first-time buyers engaging in bidding wars and getting emotionally hijacked because they lack an entry and exit strategy or plan.

Any messages for the industry?

You have written before about the increasing need to better adopt technology and building practices, to find ways to build homes faster… There are opportunities to embrace innovation across the housing system. We have seen tremendous success with CMHC’s Rapid Housing Initiative, which uses modular housing techniques to deliver homes at record times.

I spoke about the need to have a manufacturing mindset when building a home. This is long overdue, given lagging productivity growth in the construction sector, but necessary given the shortage of trades. Builders are also facing great uncertainty in the planning approval process, and this may be disincentivizing innovation.

Research has also shown that planning approval times could diminish if cities embrace technology as well. Digital building permit practices around the world have shown to cut permit approval times significantly.

Cities can also embrace enhanced analytical tools in their land use planning. UrbanSim is a set of regional models that enable cities to experiment with policies that align land use and infrastructure investments. These tools help cities evaluate how location choices made by households, builders and employers are impacted by these policies and what the broader market impacts are.

nexthome.ca 41



SINCE 1977

Since 1977, Geranium has adhered to a belief that the concept of community goes way beyond the bricks and mortar of building homes. That it is about building a future for the neighbourhoods in which we build, and the families who will call them home for years to come.

We’ve built many master-planned communities across Southern Ontario, contributing to the growth and development of some of the region’s most sought-after locations.

Our integrated approach to each new development is guided by a fresh perspective; designing neighbourhoods best suited to the natural and man-

made features of the land with the intent to create a higher quality of life for home buyers, while adding value to the local community.

Beyond building award-winning homes, Geranium also believes in being a good neighbour.

“Our approach is to become knitted into the fabric of life”, says Boaz Feiner, Geranium’s President. “We achieve this by supporting a variety of local events and organizations in the individual communities we’re building in – representing a broad range of charities and initiatives including health, social services, youth, the environment, sport and recreation.”

More Than 45 Years Of Giving Back
The Communities In Which We Build.

Most recently, Geranium once again partnered with Habitat For Humanity as six members of the Geranium Team donned tool belts to help construct new townhomes in Oshawa as part of this year’s Women (re) Build initiative.

This post-pandemic program invites teams of women and friends to reconnect with each other on a build site and rediscover the power of community while helping to provide Habitat Homeowner Partnerships for less fortunate families in the Oshawa area.

In the Town of Aurora, Geranium is sponsoring the annual Mayor’s Celebration of Youth Arts at the Aurora

This program, which celebrates local arts and culture, provides a unique opportunity to showcase the amazing talent and hard work of the next generation of visual and performing artists.

These are just two examples of the many charitable endeavours Geranium supports wherever we build.

At Geranium, nothing makes us prouder than hearing from happy homeowners, many of whom have purchased their second, or even third home with us.

We attribute this, in part, to the superior level of quality we build into every Geranium home. In fact, we

homes paying attention to the most intricate details and incorporating the latest in design and construction innovations, technologies and methodology. Our methods and materials are constantly evolving, to create homes of lasting value, for today and for the years to come.

Geranium demonstrates these building practices in special Construction Tours at many of our underconstruction communities, including our most recent Hard Hat Tours at Allegro in Aurora.

These behind-the-walls tours, led by construction experts, highlight many of Geranium’s quality construction items such as engineered raised heel

draft protection, all of which add up to greater indoor comfort and homeowner satisfaction.

To learn more about the company visit Geranium.com.





KLASSEN Broker of Record Eleven Eleven Real Estate Services MARK COHEN Managing Partner TCS Marketing Systems Inc.
DHANJI President RAD Marketing DEBBIE COSIC CEO & Founder In2ition Realty Systems Inc. HERSH LITVACK Broker of Record Hersh Realty Group Inc. Brokerage BARBARA LAWLOR CEO Baker Real Estate Inc. 2022 EXPERT
High level advice from some of the industry’s top builders
Homebuying insights from marketing and sales icons
CEO Losani Homes
Chief Operating Officer Plaza
Director, Sales & Marketing Fieldgate Homes ANGELA MAROTTA Director, Sales & Marketing Solmar Developments
PARKER Vice-President Sales & Marketing Georgian Communities
CEO Kylemore
BROWN Principal Lifetime Developments
President, Managing Partner National Homes
Executive Vice-President Geranium
FUNG Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, Tridel 45


Housing supply, rising interest rates, affordability, inflation, the economy, the lingering effects of COVID… there’s a lot on prospective homebuyers’ minds these days, when it comes to things that may impact their purchasing decisions.

To help you understand all the factors to make a better, more informed homebuying decision, we went to some of the industry’s top builders and developers for expert advice.

Jim Andrews


One community will have five different types of freehold townhomes, which will give new-home buyers many affordable options.

Given the various characteristics of today’s housing market what is your outlook for 2023?

Stability should return in 2023, when the Bank of Canada recognizes that the impact of higher interest rates has had a much more widespread effect than curbing inflation, and the increases will end – and rates may decrease. I believe there will be a number of new home communities opening in 2023, with a great range of products. Prospective new-home buyers will need to speak to a bank representative to confirm the amount of mortgage funds for which they qualify. Knowing this amount will save consumers a lot of time and, hopefully, avoid disappointment.

What advice would you offer to buyers?

Recognizing that the current downward pressure on prices will be short-lived, rates should come down again next year, and people will realize that real estate is the single best, proven hedge against inflation. Also, established builders that have long-term relationships with their trades and subcontractors have a loyalty that overcomes many supply chain and labour issues, making closing dates more predictable in most cases. New-home buyers should research their prospective builders to ensure a positive homebuying experience.

How is your company addressing the affordability issue?

Most of our upcoming communities have a range of products. We are currently working on floorplans for 15-ft. wide townhomes, and up to 70-ft. estate lots with three-car garages and circular driveways. One community will have five different types of freehold townhomes, which will give new-home buyers many affordable options.

What is it about your company that you would like prospective buyers to understand as they go through the homebuying process?

Fieldgate Homes spends a great deal of time working on floorplans and elevations to ensure that we cater to the lifestyle of our anticipated purchasers. We design for the long term because we want the curb appeal of our homes to last for years, by using many maintenance-free exterior materials and by not adding features that require regular upkeep. Fieldgate Homes has been providing high-quality homes of lasting value for more than 65 years, and to many generations of families. We are very fortunate to have a loyal base of repeat purchasers, which is the result of our dedication to satisfying our buyers and looking after their concerns.

46 Builders’ Annual 2022

Mike Parker


Given the various characteristics of today’s housing market, what is your outlook for 2023?

We continue to have an optimistic outlook heading into 2023. Some industry observers anticipate that housing prices will continue to decline and that higher borrowing costs will have an impact on housing activity, but we feel that supply concerns will continue to drive the need for more housing starts. If more housing is not provided, the rental market will be further strained. As a developer and builder, we are continuing to push forward with the launch of new communities in 2023.

What advice would you offer to buyers?

Whether purchasing a resale or new build, do your own research. Do not rely solely on what you are reading in the media, and make decisions that are based on your requirements. Don’t be paralyzed with a short-term fearful outlook if you have long term needs.

How is your company addressing the affordability issue?

We continue to support local, provincial, and national homebuilder associations with their ongoing collaborative efforts to provide industry feedback to various levels of government. We work diligently with local municipalities and agencies to minimize timelines to bring our projects to market, to keep soft costs as low as possible.

What is it about your company that you would like prospective buyers to understand as they go through the homebuying process?

Georgian Communities deliberately establishes unique neighbourhoods that are purposeful and meaningful. Our homeowners are looking for a more enriched lifestyle, and we are committed to delivering on our vision. Passion and drive

inspire us to craft unique homes in some of the most beautiful areas of Ontario. From planning and construction

Expert Panel

to purchasing and decor selections, we work hard to keep things simple, thoughtful and reliable.

We work diligently with local municipalities and agencies to minimize timelines to bring our projects to market, to keep soft costs as low as possible.

nexthome.ca 47


Given the various characteristics of today’s housing market, what is your outlook for 2023?

We continue to operate in a context where housing is in short supply. For the past 15-plus years, housing supply has not kept pace with demand. Emerging from more than two years of pandemic with its lockdowns and then the interest rate upticks, some buyers have taken a pause which resulted in a quieter summer market. For example, I know several people who say they are “taking a break from house shopping” to do things that they have not been able to do for the last two years, such as travel. I fully expect these folks will return to the housing market soon because the underlying need is still there. I believe 2023 will see many people come back into the housing market, having adjusted their expectations to the higher interest rates. Demand for homeownership is still there and supply remains tight.

What advice would you offer to buyers?

Be persistent but patient. The Greater Toronto Area housing market has a wide array of housing styles to suit a variety of purchasers. However, some home styles are in shorter supply – such as single-detached homes –depending upon location. It may be necessary to consider a townhome or semi-detached home to buy a suitable home in your price range and preferred neighbourhood.

Like many industries, construction continues to contend with labour


and material shortages and longer delivery times which impacts timelines. When you purchase a new home, be aware of this and prepare to adjust to circumstances as they arise. I know that our construction team at Geranium does everything possible to keep to scheduled timelines, but there is a great deal that is beyond their control and, as we’ve seen in past years, has proven unpredictable.

How is your company addressing the affordability issue?

When designing our communities, we aim to provide a range of pricing, home styles and sizes such as including small, detached homes, two- and threestorey townhomes, flats and stacked townhomes. All very livable for families while offering a more affordable lowrise ground-related home.

Geranium works with the municipality concerned to review and align expectations around density in a community, so that a mix of housing types can be built thereby meeting a range of affordability needs.

What is it about your company that you would like prospective buyers to understand as they go through the homebuying process?

Geranium builds beautiful, timeless homes that appeal to contemporary tastes. We also commit to include features that add to the environmental sustainability of the home and result in a high-quality living environment for the future residents. These are features you cannot necessarily see as they are “behind the walls.” Many are standard features that go above building code requirements and that add to the efficiency, comfort and livability of the home. For example, providing a rough-in for a future grey water recycling system, Energy Starqualified windows, sprayed-in-place foam insulation in areas traditionally difficult to heat and cool, and programmable thermostats, to name a few.

We also take the time to show our owners-in-waiting and prospective buyers how we build. We have recently resumed our Hard Hat Tours, which provide attendees with a guided tour of a home under construction so that they can see for themselves our “behind the walls” practices. Owners also meet future neighbours and our construction team and hear firsthand how their home is being built.

48 Builders’ Annual 2022

Cailey Stollery

Given the various characteristics of today’s housing market, what is your outlook for 2023?

Canada remains one of the world’s most coveted places to live. Immigration and migration flows to more densely populated areas such as the Greater Toronto Area, which are also places with a shortage of developable land. At a localized level, demand for new homes is ongoing. Kylemore’s business plans are focused on the long-term, necessitated by the nature of community development and homebuilding, which includes adjusting for the cyclical nature of real estate. We consider our product launch strategies and are prepared to adjust. COVID, for example, inspired us to modify home designs to fulfill work-from-home needs. Although there are many factors impacted by recent occurrences, we believe homebuyers at the luxury end of the market are more resilient and, as a result, the demand for our homes will be steady into 2023.

Anyone considering a home purchase should look for a community where they can put down roots, enjoy life and raise a family, if that’s in their plans.

What advice would you offer to buyers?

A home is a long-term investment, and buyers would benefit from understanding that real estate is cyclical. With the long-term view is the knowledge that interest rates also change over time. Anyone considering a home purchase should look for a

community where they can put down roots, enjoy life and raise a family, if that’s in their plans. I would also advise them to carefully research mortgage options before deciding. As well, choose a builder that has the resources and track record to deliver your home in the current environment. On one hand, take your time to compare prices and other lifestyle elements; on the other, if you are ready to become a homeowner, then go ahead and buy. You’ll find exciting opportunities now and in the future.

How is your company addressing the affordability issue?

It’s a complex issue that must be addressed on many levels. Kylemore has been participating in the City of Markham’s Affordability Forum in partnership with other builders and levels of government. In addition, we are open to innovation that will result in creating affordable homes. In our Angus Glen South Village community in Markham, we are delivering a mix of home styles to suit purchasers of varying ages and life stages. We are also incorporating home designs with in-law suites, self-contained

Expert Panel

coach houses and multi-generational living spaces. Among our future developments are communities close to public transit options, which is a key component of offering affordability.

What is it about your company that you would like prospective buyers to understand as they go through the homebuying process?

We believe quality of life is highly important to our homebuyers. Our homes include features that may, for example, limit heat loss, bring in natural light, and enhance privacy and safety. In short, we design for comfort and practicality, as well as beauty. We deliver community elements that bring neighbours together. Our streetscapes and greenspaces set our communities apart as special. They represent our brand, reputation and tradition. We have trusted relationships with our tradespeople and a knowledgeable, dedicated team at head office and onsite. Our family-like corporate culture is based on respect, kindness and effective communication. We treat our customers the way we want to be treated.

nexthome.ca 49

Expert Panel


Given the various characteristics of today’s housing market, what is your outlook for 2023?

My 2023 outlook is still optimistic. Despite interest rates rising, Toronto remains a world-class city with high immigration numbers, and we can see that people are still electing to live in the downtown core. We also continue to experience a strong rental market. Rental rates are good, supply is outweighing demand, and there is a strong appreciation on units bought through pre-construction.

What advice would you offer to buyers?

My advice is consistent: Location, location, location. Sites in the downtown core show the greatest stability from a rental standpoint, and the strongest opportunity for appreciation. Also, do your homework and invest with a developer or organization that has a dependable track record.

How is your company addressing the affordability issue?

We take a lot of pride in the effort we put into efficient design, creating livable units that address what the buyer needs, without being excessive. Each project is developed with a range of different units to satisfy the needs of all – from first-time homebuyers, to families electing to live in a condo. We also focus heavily on our amenity spaces so that our residents can have what they need within their community, without it all being necessarily within their suite (such as workspaces, gyms and hosting spaces).

What is it about your company that you would like prospective buyers to understand as they go through the homebuying process?

We are committed to excellence. We’re never finished designing and rethinking our buildings – we’re constantly

working with our consultants and trades to find better products and finishes so we can be confident in delivering a superior product. Our recent collaborations are demonstrative of this. We were the first developer in Canada to partner with Clear Inc., a leader in cutting-edge water and air purification technologies, to be

implemented into all our new buildings. We’re also the first developers to partner with Freemotion Fitness, the global fitness pioneer renowned for top-of-the-line cardio and strength equipment including the Orangetheory Reflex treadmill. We’re always seeking out the best to disrupt the status quo for our residents

50 Builders’ Annual 2022

Fred Losani


Given the various characteristics of today’s housing market, what is your outlook for 2023?

Some of the most significant factors behind Ontario’s housing market correction include record high housing prices attained during the COVID pandemic, inflation, supply chain issues and recent successive increases in interest rates. Further policies were implemented, including mortgage stress test changes, vacancy tax, zoning, housing supply and an erosion of affordability – all of which are compounding the issue of accessibility for potential homebuyers. This may have created a temporary lack of consumer confidence, and some buyers may opt for “waiting out” the impact of new mortgage lending rates, hoping for what they believe will be further price reductions.

returning to normal, with an increase of up to 450,000 new permanent residents in 2023 and 2024. The net result is more people requiring housing, which boosts demand. This phenomenon is further exacerbated by a shortage of inventory, and a surge of homebuying will ensue. I expect that the market will begin correcting by summer of 2023.

What advice would you offer to buyers?

How is your company addressing the affordability issue?

The rental market, multi-family, luxury market and townhome products remain strong. In fact, we are seeing an influx of investors taking advantage of the increased demand for rentals. There are foreign students returning postpandemic, along with immigration levels

The economy and labour markets are still performing strongly, with personal income on the rise. Ontario homebuyers have also accumulated more savings during the lockdowns of the pandemic, enabling more financial capacity for down payments and mortgages. Despite the current correction, Ontario home prices will remain approximately 15 per cent higher in 2023, compared with the onset of the pandemic. It is currently a buyer’s market; now is the best time to take advantage of incredible pricing and incentives offered to purchase a home to live in or as an investment before the market corrects.

The unaffordability of housing in Ontario will keep some potential homebuyers in the rental market, which also has low inventory. At Losani Homes, we have always had a diverse portfolio of properties to accommodate these needs, with additional rental developments in the pipeline addressing the affordability issue. All of our communities have been strategically selected in southern Ontario, offering affordable housing options for families compared to the GTA housing market. We have remained focused on creating townhome communities, offering an affordable solution to a multitude of homebuyers.

What is it about your company that you would like prospective buyers to understand as they go through the homebuying process?

Losani Homes is a family-owned and operated company with 47 Years of building excellence. Our organization has been committed to building affordable, award-winning homes with quality craftsmanship, exceptional designs, superior features and finishes, superb customer service – all in desirable locations. We are here for our purchasers, holding their hand throughout the entire process. We offer homebuyers’ manuals, educational buying process videos and community events, and we have dedicated departments to serve our homebuyers throughout their journey.

Losani Homes has retained the best team of talented, passionate professionals to assist in this journey, while having access to the best resources. In addition, our Losani Pronto product offers already-built homes with up to 120-day closings. This offers an opportunity to walk through, experience and validate the quality of each home prior to purchasing it. We are committed to our mission of a “customer-centred” approach, building trust while ensuring that we eliminate any fears of homes not being completed.

nexthome.ca 51

Expert Panel


Given the various characteristics of today’s housing market, what is your outlook for 2023?

I’m optimistic about the market for the coming year. In 2023, I believe rising interest rates will cool off the investment end of the real estate market, and a new normal will appear. A market that is driven more by need than opportunity. That’s healthy, and it reflects a true consistent demand that will always be there. People get married, people have children and people immigrate to the GTA. That demand is a bedrock of our industry. In a growing population, new homes are always needed, and it won’t be long before the lack of supply begins to heat up demand, and the market will

rise again. Hopefully, at a less feverish pace than the last few years, but these factors all point to a rebound for 2023.

What advice would you offer to buyers?

First, given the changes in the market, it is important to invest with builders that are reputable and can deliver. You need certainty when you are making what is likely the largest investment of your life. Second, don’t be frightened by shortterm changes in the real estate market. Over time, the market has consistently gone up. The macro-economics are there for strong demand in Canada, particularly in the GTA. Immigration is a powerful driver of our economy, and that means a continuing demand for homes, which helps to support the value of any real estate investment. Right now, there is an unusually low supply of housing. This will soon push the market back to where we were before the recent correction.

How is your company addressing the affordability issue?

We’re constantly looking at innovative ways to make homes affordable, more energy-efficient and more sustainable. We are focusing on property along major transit routes that need additional density. People want and need the affordability of condos and townhomes.

We are also continuing to work with municipalities to ensure the development approval timelines are met to bring more projects to market. Slower development usually means higher costs and higher prices.

We also research and innovate with new products, such as our awardwinning Panergy Wall Systems with increased energy efficiency, lower carbon footprint, superior fire, acoustic and thermal performance, faster build times and reduced waste. We incorporate a wide range of technology into our homes that saves homebuyers time and energy.

What is it about your company that you would like prospective buyers to understand as they go through the homebuying process?

At National, our philosophy has always been that “You are the Blueprint.” This means we put an enormous amount of effort into understanding and meeting the needs of the people who buy our homes. We design them with the input of buyers, and we include unique, important features that research from real people tells us that they want and need. Our product development is an in-depth process with multiple Blueprint Workshops and buyer surveys to help determine what people really want.

So, if you are looking for a home that’s designed from the inside out, a home that starts with the needs of the buyer, National could have the home that’s right for you.

We’re constantly looking at innovative ways to make homes affordable, more energy-efficient and more sustainable.
52 Builders’ Annual 2022


Given the various characteristics of today’s housing market, what is your outlook for 2023?

In our outlook for 2023, we’re certainly going to see some adjustments in the residential real estate market. Buying from a reputable builder will be more important for buyers in the upcoming year.

Buyers will enter the marketplace with a different discipline then what we have seen in the past. With higher interest rates, their finances, personal budget and lifestyle will all have to adjust to these realities, until rates decline again. We are already seeing this in our launches in the last three months, and I believe other builders who have had recent sales success will echo this perspective.

What advice would you offer to buyers?

I would recommend that you have a complete understanding of your personal finances, and make sure you are buying from a reputable builder that will deliver your new home in a reasonable period, and know that your investment dollars are in good hands with that builder.

How is your company addressing the affordability issue?

At Plaza, we are always considering design as an important part of the affordability process. We continue to have a great deal of success with smaller, corner two-bedrooms that were traditionally larger corner two-

bedrooms. We are doing this to meet the market demands for affordability. With our launches in our last two quarters of 2022, we have successfully met the market demand.

What is it about your company that you would like prospective buyers to understand as they go through the homebuying process?

We will always build what we sell. That is our motto. We will always communicate with our purchasers during the buying, construction and move-in processes. Our award-winning practices give us a leading edge in the marketplace. We continue to strive to meet that benchmark and exceed that benchmark on every Plaza project.

Our award-winning practices give us a leading edge in the marketplace. We continue to strive to meet that benchmark and exceed that benchmark on every Plaza project.

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Expert Panel

Angela Marotta


Given the various characteristics of today’s housing market, what is your outlook for 2023?

There isn’t too much supply in the market today, especially in resale. Given some of the financial circumstances many vendors are experiencing right now, buyers who have some financial flexibility could see great opportunities here where vendors can no longer afford to maintain their homes.

The increase in interest rates is a result of high government spending, which is unfortunate, and it has knocked off 10 to 20 per cent of people from the buying market.

With respect to pre-construction, land pricing and the cost of construction has increased significantly, will continue to do so. Purchasing from a reputable builder with a long lead time of about four to five years would be a very smart investment right now. Buying now with

a 2026-27 closing date can see high appreciation in value and sidestep the increase in interest rates. Many are forecasting a reduction in interest rates in less than three or four years.

What advice would you offer to buyers?

Depending on your financial situation, I would recommend buyers invest now in pre-construction. Prices will continue to increase as a result of higher labour and materials costs, and rising land values. With many highrise builders offering extended deposit structures and estimated closing dates for many to be 2027, it is a solid investment that can see high returns. The average rent is about 40 per cent higher than it was in 2021. With rent continuing to increase, and interest rates expected to have decreased by three or four years out, buyers can experience a decent margin on their return. Buying in proximity to transit is important, as people may be looking to alternate means of transportation as apposed to owning a car, due to high gas prices. Renting in communities here will also see a high demand.

How is your company addressing the affordability issue?

Solmar Developments has launched Bristol Place in Brampton, which will be Brampton’s tallest towers and a landmark community. Our pricing per sq. ft. is not out of market and is reasonable given today’s landscape and our forecast time of construction. With closings estimated in 2027, it’s a good opportunity for investors and first-time buyers looking to enter into the market. Bristol Place is a two-minute walk to the Brampton GO station; it was very important for us to build this community of two towers close to transit to make it

convenient for homeowners, potential renters and investors alike. It adds great value to the project and is a big draw. We are offering an extended deposit structure of 20 per cent with zero at occupancy, recognizing purchasers will need all the resources they have to commence their journey of owning a condo at that time.

We will also be offering a “car sharing” program that gives residents immediate access to electric mobility options, such as scooters and cars. This app-based car sharing program will be an economical option for those who can’t afford to buy a car.

What is it about your company that you would like prospective buyers to understand as they go through the homebuying process?

Canada is expected to have 440,000 immigrants this year alone. Due to a shortage of land, and long and complicated development approvals processes at municipal levels, the supply of new homes and condos will continue to be low. This imbalance between supply and demand will cause prices to rise. Therefore, taking a long-term view and locking in at a price now for pre-construction is a wise decision for homebuyers.

Buyers should also look at purchasing in areas that are close to postsecondary institutions and transit, and where growing manufacturing and development will afford employment opportunities.

At Solmar Developments, these are the requirements we look for when looking to develop high- or lowrise communities. It is always with the consumer in mind, and ensuring we are building something that meets their needs and lifestyle, while providing a home or condo that they can see a positive return on investment.

54 Builders’ Annual 2022

Samson Fung


Given the various characteristics of today’s housing market, what is your outlook for 2023?

The characteristics impacting today’s housing market don’t necessarily apply equal pressure or have a universal impact on all real estate types. What I mean by this, is that while certain challenges can impact one housing type like detached homes, or locations such as the downtown core, this can actually create unique opportunities in other areas. For example, while we’ve seen certain areas experiencing a slowdown in interest others, such as the Mississauga waterfront, have had a huge appeal to buyers, with plenty of interest. In 2023, if a building or community is unique in nature, appeals to a wide demographic, and contributes to the lifestyles of its residents, then I anticipate those offerings to experience good

We promise to deliver the homes our purchasers have been looking forward to, with the unsurpassed quality they expect, all with an exceptional customer experience along the way.

What advice would you offer to buyers?

My advice is always the same: Do your research and know who you are buying from. Prioritize what’s most important to you (such as location, transit and neighbourhood amenities) and then choose a builder with a good reputation, that has demonstrated experience, is committed to quality workmanship, and cares about the community as well as providing an exceptional level of customer service.

How is your company addressing the affordability issue?

For us, we continue to identify sites with multi-phase potential and partners for additional land opportunities to deliver new supply into the marketplace, as well

as offer a diverse range of product (such as location, price point and suite type) that appeals to different audiences.

In addition to the downtown core, we have introduced new communities in Etobicoke, and most recently Mississauga, which offer more choice and flexibility for buyers.

Tridel is also a proud partner of Toronto Community Housing. Together we’re working to revitalize three under-resourced communities by rebuilding existing housing and integrating the affordable suites with market condominium units, all within a cohesive community.

What is it about your company that you would like prospective buyers to understand as they go through the

When you’re buying a Tridel home, you’re buying more than just a condominium. To us, your trust matters most. We promise to deliver the homes our purchasers have been looking forward to, with the unsurpassed quality they expect, all with an exceptional customer experience along the way. It’s

Tridel has been a proud builder of homes for more than 85 years, and we’ve delivered more than 87,000 homes to happy homeowners. Our commitment to quality, community and sustainability has earned us numerous awards within the industry, including Home Builder of the Year in both the GTA and Ontario, and Green Builder of the Year this year, as well as others for Customer Care,

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Going into 2023, the opportunities for

will be there. Times of caution can also be a good reason to be opportunistic.

Mark Cohen

Oh, how the market has changed. Early this year in the resale market, we saw bidding wars and multiple offers everywhere, selling prices way over asking and in days. Fast forward six months, and we’re seeing record numbers of expired listings, delayed openings for some new projects and uncertainty as to where pricing is going. Resale prices have effectively come down. In new construction, however, there isn’t much room for that to happen, as builders’ costs continue to rise.

Even before the interest rates increased the economic uncertainties hit, the COVID factor caused additional hesitation to consumer confidence. We seem to forget what was normal and a potential return to normal. A home, particularly a principal residence, remains about as sound an investment as one can make; one of the few financial gains that remains tax-free. And it’s your home; nothing is more important than that. But during the pandemic, many of us thought it would also remain our place of work forever. That simply isn’t true. The price increases were unimaginable. They had to slow down, and they did.

Going into 2023, the opportunities for purchasers will be there. Times of caution can also be a good reason to be opportunistic.

Buy what you can afford. It’s tempting to borrow to the maximum and sink whatever you can in your new home. It’s the most important and financially sound investment you will likely ever make. But it’s also essential to not make yourself “house poor.” You don’t want to be “owned by your home.”

Do your own stress test. At the moment, we are in a higher interest rate environment. Run the numbers and test your finances at these higher rates – even if rates are expected to decrease in the next year. You’ll have some comfort in knowing what you can afford, and if rates do drop, even better.

Demand more from your realtor or sales agent. These professionals provide great insight into the market, and they provide objectivity because they know what else is out there. But it’s your responsibility as a buyer to ask the right questions about anything you may wish to purchase. Don’t just buy a particular home because your realtor has access to it or because someone else is buying it. The most important question to ask is very simple: Why should I buy this? If you’re satisfied with the answer, and you know what else is available in your area of choice, go forward and buy with confidence.

Think long term. Buy a place you and your family want to live in. Or, if you’re buying as an investment, buy a property that has a built-in rental market. Be patient. If you think long term, you generally can’t wrong. Look carefully. The opportunities will be there. Buy with confidence. And never look back.

Managing Partner TCS Marketing SystemsINDUSTRY ALL-STARS
58 Builders’ Annual 2022

Debbie Cosic

& Founder


At In2ition Realty, we deal with pre-construction real estate, and my advice for prospective homebuyers is to consider buying now rather than waiting until the new year. Right now, there’s a window of opportunity, with prices having settled, builders offering financial and other incentives, and closings as far away as five years for condominiums and 2.5 years for lowrise homes. You can attempt to play the mortgage interest-prediction game, but in two to five years, who knows what that will be? It’s not all that long ago that interest rates were in the double digits. If you buy pre-construction now, by the time you take possession, rates may have settled into the 10-year average of slightly less than four per cent. Time will tell, but I don’t think we’ll see the low, low pandemic rates again in our lifetime.

Contrary to what you may have read or heard in the media, preconstruction sales aren’t lagging. Multiple launches we held in the spring have already met the 70 per cent of sales they need for banks to finance them to begin construction. Taking a few months to get to that point is normal. At In2ition Realty, we’re selling steadily, especially to investors who recognize good deals when they see them. Real estate is traditionally a lucrative investment and is much easier to understand and manage than stocks. Investors know that if they ride out real estate cycles, in the long run, they’ll be ahead of the game.

If you’re waiting for new home and condo prices to fall, you’ll be disappointed. Builders cannot lower prices because of the costs of land acquisition, construction materials and labour. Prices may very well go up in the new year. Add to that the fact that demand exceeds supply, and especially with immigration fueling the demand, there is even more reason to buy sooner rather than later. In addition, Ontario’s unemployment rate is less than six per cent, and there aren’t enough people to fill jobs in several segments of the economy. This translates to a lot of Ontarians feeling stable enough financially to own homes, adding to the demand – which is not likely to change anytime soon. Sitting on the sidelines is fine, but we could go on for decades with this more normal scenario. Whether you buy now or wait, consider preconstruction for amazing value.

Right now, there’s a window of opportunity, with prices having settled, builders offering financial and other incentives, and closings as far away as five years for condominiums and 2.5 years for lowrise homes.
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Riz Dhanji President RAD Marketing

Regardless of the direction that the real estate market is moving in, we’re finding that when it comes to preconstruction condominiums, the market is being dictated by numerous factors.

Firstly, the cost of land and delayed approvals by the municipal governments –are leading to higher costs and longer delays including interest costs over the long approval timeline.

We then have inclusionary zoning; new condominiums that applied after September 2022 will now be required to include an affordable housing component for up to five per cent of units in their buildings. How does this affect the end-buyer? It means that market-based units will have to subsidize the balance meaning higher pricing.

Thirdly, we’ve seen development charges increase by 49 per cent since April. When these charges get phased in over the next few years, buyers will be the ones to be passed on those costs. Furthermore, construction costs are not decreasing – in fact, we’re seeing them stabilizing but doing so at an eight- to 10-per-cent rate, not unlike what we’ve been seeing over the past four or five years. Though some material costs have decreased, lack of labour is an even bigger challenge in the city, contributing to the maintenance of high construction costs.

Overall, if you’re interested in buying pre-construction real estate today, it’s important to try to anticipate where the market will be in four to five years when your unit is completed, as opposed to the current state of the market. The truth of the matter is that our industry has seen prices increase on every project. The Bank of Canada will likely overshoot its rate increase program, but we anticipate that interest rates will go down in the next one to two years. This is why today is the best time to take advantage of pre-construction real estate, regardless of the market sentiment and the media telling you otherwise. With increased immigration and lack of supply, we know the GTA will continue its price ascent within the next six months to a year. You get the benefit of hedging tomorrow’s price increases by purchasing preconstruction today – a rare opportunity when the stock market and other investments are trending downward.

is why today
the best time to
advantage of
estate, regardless
the market sentiment and the media telling you otherwise. INDUSTRY ALL-STARS 60 Builders’ Annual 2022

Michael Klassen

Broker of Record and Partner




The main message I have for prospective homebuyers is to research the market diligently, and not necessarily wait until the new year. Those who spend time looking carefully at locations, communities and builders can find real deals right now. If you are a seasoned buyer and are in a good position to make an informed decision, you might want to act before we see a flurry of launches next spring. Demand continues to exceed supply, so prices are not likely to go down over the long term.

There will be a huge pent-up demand next year, as well, because of people sitting on the sidelines waiting to see what happens with interest rates. If, on the other hand, you are looking to buy your first home, now is a great time to shop. Unlike the pandemic days, you can visit sales offices, spend time with representatives and ask all the questions you have. Sit down, get comfortable and talk until you have all the information you need. Consult a real estate lawyer and know where you stand on every step of the buying and owning process.

When it comes to interest rates, keep in mind that buying preconstruction means you usually have two or more years before you close. You buy at today’s pricing for tomorrow’s reality. Predicting the rates for the future is educated guesswork at best. Inflation is going down, so the Bank of Canada’s approach is working. The best advice I can give is to figure out your affordability level now, and if rates go down before you close, that’s a bonus.

While interest rates are likely to decrease, pricing probably won’t, especially with builders’ material, labour and development costs continually on the rise. To keep up with demand in the GTA, we need an estimated 1.5 million new residences, and that’s not going to happen any time soon. In the meantime, demand is not waning. People who needed houses during the pandemic still need them. They may be sitting it out, hoping for interest rate stabilization, but the demand is there.

Now is also an optimum time for investors to buy, because when interest rates go up, rental rates skyrocket. In addition, units are being snapped up so quickly that it’s difficult to find a rental. Savvy investors will recognize this, and act sooner rather than later.

In short, be an educated consumer and do what’s right for you.

There will be a huge pent-up demand next year, as well, because of people sitting on the sidelines waiting to see what happens with interest rates.
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Barbara Lawlor

Contrary to what you may read in the media, this fall we are extremely busy at Baker Real Estate Inc. We have several exciting projects launching, and our clients have not postponed introducing them to the market. Previous deals are closing well, with just a handful of cancellations, which is always normal. My first piece of advice for anyone thinking of purchasing a home or condominium suite, now or in the new year, is to buy new. In fact, new construction is a great hedge against inflation. When you purchase pre-construction, you have a few years to save and plan for your move. In addition to being covered by Tarion Warranty Corp., you will be the first one to live there. Like sliding into a new car, the feeling is amazing.

Recent mortgage rate increases have, of course, influenced sales. Trying to predict the Bank of Canada is nearly impossible, but with inflation decreasing, we may see lower interest rates in 2023. My next piece of advice is to keep your eyes open for deals now. Next year, we are likely to see a spike in sales from those who have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for rates to go down again. Even if that happens, our demand-exceeding-supply situation means prices are likely to continue going up. There are deals to be had this fall, with some developers offering financial or upgrade incentives, so waiting may be counterproductive. Frankly, today’s rates are still very low compared to a decade or two ago. Owning a home or condo is well worth sacrificing a few luxuries – something people have been doing for generations. Owning real estate is historically a lucrative financial and lifestyle investment.

Importantly, it’s wise to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Going into ownership or right-sizing with an idea of how much you can afford is a solid approach. Then make your lists of must-haves and nice-to-haves. Consider location carefully, especially if you are an investor. Buying next to or on a public transportation route means it’s possible to live without owning a vehicle. That saves a lot of money for those who plan to live in their purchase – money that could go toward mortgage payments.

Shop around, hire an experienced real estate lawyer and do your homework. To sum up the advice I give regardless of the market and economics, buy new and buy sooner rather than later.

Next year, we are likely to see a spike in sales from those who have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for rates to go down again.
INDUSTRY ALL-STARS 62 Builders’ Annual 2022

Hersh Litvack

Broker of Record Hersh Realty Group Inc. Brokerage


When is the right time to buy? Do you wait until interest rates trend lower? How will you know prices are at their lowest?

Next year will bring change to the marketplace, but probably not the change most people are expecting. The housing demand will continue to increase at a rate Canada has not seen in past years. With the recent bump from the federal government, there will now be 450,000 new immigrants entering Canada each year for the next three years. Assuming there are four people per family immigrating, which is not likely as there are couples and singles who also immigrate, Canada would have to produce 112,500 new residences per year to accommodate them. We currently do not have the labour force to build housing for those numbers. Demand for housing in Canada will continue to increase for the foreseeable future.

Whether you already own or are a first-time buyer, prices of detached, semis, towns and condos have more than likely reached their lowest price point and, if not, are not far from the bottom.

While Toronto sellers are proving to be more stubborn than expected, you likely have more power to negotiate the price of a condo or house today. Sellers aren’t giving their properties away, but the condo that used to sell in one day for above the asking price is now taking 30 to 40 days to sell, and selling for a few thousand dollars under asking price.

If you have cash, you may still find it advantageous to wait a few more months, possibly until the spring of 2023, when you may see further decreases in pricing. For the rest of us, almost 87 per cent of buyers will require a mortgage to purchase a property. I do not believe the savings of lower prices will offset the cost of a new mortgage with higher rates. With rising interest rates planned for the last quarter of 2022 and the beginning of 2023, now is probably one of the best times to find the perfect property that suits you.

Higher interest rates will not stay where they are. They have been put in place to curb inflation, and that is exactly what they will do. Once inflation rates begin to fall, interest rates will follow accordingly.

The best option today is to take advantage of the lower prices and go with a floating mortgage rate. As rates begin to fall, prices will start to climb. You will have saved thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars on the property you purchased, and have the option of locking in a lower rate that aligns with your monthly budget.

Higher interest rates will not stay where they are. They have been put in place to curb inflation, and that is exactly what they will do.
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Christopher Markovic


The Ontario new home industry is filled with some of North America’s best and brightest talent, and they are creating community and home designs that are truly world-class.


s we all manage through the many changes in our economy, with the rise of inflation globally, higher interest rates and conflict abroad, so much of the tried-and-true advice remains the same. My colleagues in the new home development industry are all sharing with you some very good best practices. As a new-home buyer in today’s market, this type of advice can be very beneficial, but I encourage you to make this read just one piece of the puzzle as you prepare for this exciting homebuyer journey.

With that in mind, preparation and doing your due diligence is one piece of that advice. First, do your homework. Prepare a realistic budget, not just based on your situation today, but look into the future – will you have an addition to the family, or do you foresee any large life changes ahead? Get in touch with your mortgage specialist, preferably one who specializes in new homes and condos, and begin the process early so you have assurance of knowing that you have a partner along the way with you. We are increasingly seeing the requirement from new-home builders and developers (and their financial institutions) that the homebuyer provide a firm mortgage approval, so it is as important that you have a clear and firm commitment so you can relax and enjoy the next step in the journey.

This next step is also research based, but more fun than building a budget. Now’s the time to explore your options, and along the way you’ll probably end up learning more about yourself and your needs. Develop a reasonable and realistic list of must-haves in location, home type (townhome, condo, detached home or a stacked townhome) and your other requirements, and then set out to learn about all your options. I encourage you always to have your sights set, but be open to unique opportunities and be flexible. Separate your “nice to haves” from your must-haves. Have a few “nice to haves” and be really focused and critical in must-haves.

Finally, now is definitely the time to look for innovation. The Ontario new home industry is filled with some of North America’s best and brightest talent, and they are creating community and home designs that are truly world-class. That means you, as a new-home buyer, have access to leading innovations – in smart-home tech, energy efficiency and home designs. Such innovation will mean real value to you and longer-term value in home appreciation, energy cost savings and the satisfaction knowing you bought the best. PMA Brethour is working with some of the best new-home builders in the country to bring to market some amazing value and innovation across the GTA, north to Barrie and Georgian Bay to Ottawa and southwestern Ontario.

64 Builders’ Annual 2022

Hamilton needs to build 50,000 NEW HOMES

The West End Home Builders’ Association (WEHBA) – previously known as the HamiltonHalton Home Builders’ Association – was formed in 1942 and is one of the oldest homebuilders’ associations in Canada. The association was established in a period when home construction in Hamilton and Halton experienced immense growth. Since then, WEHBA has grown along with Hamilton and Burlington, to become the third largest homebuilders’ association in Ontario, with its members spreading right across southwestern Ontario. For the past 80 years, WEHBA has been a strong supporter of existing and future homebuyers, representing the industry at all three levels of government and successfully advocating on behalf of consumers for housing choice, affordability and supply. In 2019, WEHBA was recognized both provincially and nationally by its peers across the country as it received top honours for a local homebuilders’ association in Ontario and Canada.

Over the past decade, the cities of Hamilton and Burlington have undergone tremendous change. This is primarily due to rapid population increases in part from international immigration, but mainly through internal migration. Thousands of young people and families from the Toronto and Peel regions decided to resettle, while looking for new opportunities and a larger living space. Both Hamilton and Burlington are known for their high quality of life, and have become an attractive place to work and raise a family. However, this really is only the beginning of this new wave of growth in population and investment in what is known as the Bay Area. This population increase means new, complete communities and housing opportunities in the region, as well as vibrant city centres with a burgeoning variety of restaurants, retail stores, entertainment options and recreational facilities. The future is very bright in these two growing cities.

The growth of Hamilton and Burlington has actually accelerated in recent years. In fact, Hamilton is

68 Builders’ Annual 2022

projected to grow from 584,000 residents today, to over 823,000 residents by 2051. To accommodate this rapid pace of growth, the Smart Prosperity Institute has stated that over the next decade we are going to need to build 52,400 new homes in Hamilton alone. That is more than double the current pace of housing construction. Burlington is on a similar trajectory in which housing production in the emerging downtown and along the three GO stations will have to increase significantly. This pace of growth brings major investment opportunities, new business prospects and abundant job creation. For homebuyers – this means a wide variety of different options for new communities to lay down roots in.

The transformation of the Bay Area is very exciting. A brand-new West Harbour GO Station downtown just opened, and a new station at Confederation Parkway is under construction. The federal and provincial government have invested an astounding $3.4 billion towards the Hamilton LRT that will connect the city through McMaster University, the downtown core and Stoney Creek. A colossal federal investment has been made towards cleaning up Hamilton Harbour and

converting steel production into a greener, emissions free methodology. Much of the former Stelco industry lands are being cleaned up and converted to modern light industry and manufacturing. Hamilton and Burlington are transforming right before our eyes. As our cities continue to grow and bring in talented young students, families, and workers, the future is looking even brighter. With a wide diversity of complete, vibrant communities and a variety of housing options inclusive of all ages and budgets, the west end is truly the place to be.

Mike Collins-Williams, RPP, MCIP, is CEO West End Home Builders’ Association. westendhba.ca.

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How to increase your affordability in the face of rising interest rates and HIGH INFLATION

The Canadian housing market is looking a lot different these days than it has over the past two years. Some home prices have declined, interest rates are consistently rising and inflation continues to be a protagonist in our global economic story. The bidding wars, high competition and the red hot activity we were getting used to has slowed, and many Canadians are wondering what lies ahead.



Historically, most buyers tend to choose a fixed rate mortgage. Fixed rates give homebuyers more security in their budget as they are subject to the same monthly payment throughout the life of their mortgage term. Further, if rates go up, their fixed rate will not change. Nevertheless, a fixed rate borrower may not be able to save as much money as they could if they chose a

variable rate mortgage and rates drop in the future. Given the state of the economy, it may be a time where homebuyers and owners consider shorter-term fixed rates of two or three years, with hopes that rates drop over the next few years as inflation decreases and the economy stabilizes.

In the last decade, variable rate mortgages have saved homeowners more money than fixed rates have, as rates have been dropping. However, in recent months, variable rate mortgages have gone up, as the Bank of Canada has been focused on reducing inflation. So, while many homebuyers and owners went with a variable rate mortgage over the last two years, given historically low rates, variable rate options may be of less interest to borrowers right now. It’s important to note that on a variable mortgage, you can switch to a fixed rate at any time. This could be a good financial move if fixed rates drop below your variable rate.

70 Builders’ Annual 2022


Some prices are lower and buyers are showing interest, but many are waiting to see if they drop even lower in the winter months. From a seller’s perspective, some are worried about the current drop in prices and think the best course of action is to wait until prices rise again. This is mainly because Canadians have been so accustomed to thinking “home prices only go up.” However, it’s essential for sellers to understand that this may not be a shortterm situation, and waiting may not be the best approach, as prices could drop even further.

Despite recent rate increases, the influx of first-time homebuyers and new immigrants is a driving factor in today’s housing market. These two groups of buyers are very eager to make their first home purchase in Canada, and our housing market is deemed more resilient as a result of their persistence. So, while the market has slowed due to interest rate hikes and price declines, there is definitely room for more activity in the coming quarters. This is especially true as sellers who were waiting to see if prices rise again realize that the waiting game may not be a good idea.


With talk of another rate increase coming this fall, many prospective homebuyers are looking for ways to increase their mortgage affordability during this time. Here are a few ways:


One of the key steps you can take to increase your mortgage affordability is making a larger down payment. If your down payment is below 20 per cent, you will be required to pay for mortgage insurance. This can add between one and four per cent to the price of your home, and decrease affordability. In Canada, every property purchase requires a minimum down payment, ranging from five to 20 per cent of the purchase price. So, if you increase your down payment to 20 per cent, you will not be required to pay mortgage insurance, and those extra dollars can be placed against your affordability.


Your lender will look at your credit score and debt-toincome ratio to determine how large of a mortgage they will approve you for. For some, these can be the limiting factors in mortgage affordability. Your debtto-income ratio shows lenders how much debt you can manage based on your current financial situation, and in the case of future financial difficulties or rises in interest rates. Some things you can do to improve your debt-to-income ratio and credit score are:

• Pay your bills on time and in full

• Avoid going over your credit limit

• Eliminate making large purchases on credit

• Pay off your debt sooner rather than later


More than ever before, parents are helping their children buy homes. This is not just first-time buyers, but for those buying their second home, too. This is often done in two ways: Co-signing, or a gifted down payment. Co-signing basically adds their income and debts to yours in the mortgage application to increase your total affordability. As many parents are mortgagefree, it is a major boost to affordability. It is important to understand, however, that this means that they are on title and liable for any missed payments.

A gifted down payment is an amount of money provided by an immediate family member to help with a down payment. This will, of course, increase what you can afford, as it’s extra money you can put down on your home. Additionally, if you move from an insured mortgage (with a down payment below 20 per cent) to one paid by the lender, this will also increase your affordability.


Before making any big purchase, it’s always recommended to get comparables to ensure you’re getting the best price and value. The same goes when shopping for a mortgage. Most Canadians head straight for their bank, but there’s an entire market of lenders available who can shop around and help you find the best rates and most flexible products that may align better with your financial situation. Not only that, but shopping around can bring to light better mortgage features you would not otherwise have access to with a prime lender, including prepayment privileges and penalties, which could save you thousands of dollars over time. Surprisingly, some lenders will actually provide more mortgage affordability based on their qualification options, so that is another very important reason to shop around, as you could potentially afford more than you think.

In the face of inflation and consistent rate hikes, remember that buying a home is still possible. Taking the time to understand the various mortgage options available, improving your spending habits to save more and shopping different lenders are some of the key steps you can take to achieve homeownership, regardless of the market conditions.

Jesse Abrams is Co-Founder at Homewise, a mortgage advisory and brokerage firm based in Toronto. thinkhomewise.com

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Staying REMOTE

Tips to make your home office a productive and comfortable space

76 Builders’ Annual 2022

For many of us, the remote work trend is here to stay. Perhaps it has taken over your dining room table, the kitchen island or a spot in your bedroom, and the chaos of your ad-hoc work area is impacting your life. Research shows that clutter negatively weighs on anxiety levels, stress, appetite and sleep, not to mention the uninspiring esthetic. But you don’t have to surrender to the madness.

Here’s some designer advice to help lift that weight, so you can work and live in harmony.

Where to locate your office in your home

While you can’t deny the flexibility and convenience of working from home, I’m a huge believer in the separation of professional and personal space. This provides privacy while working, and also the opportunity to shut the door on your workday and get some wellearned R&R. For this reason, I always encourage my clients to carve out a


Consider using multifunctional furniture whenever possible. By not cramming the room with unnecessary furniture, you’ll not only save on floor space (less can be more, people!) but your budget, too.

dedicated office area in their home.

If you have a whole room to spare with a door and a few other key essentials that I’ll get into, all the better. But remember, even where space is limited, you can still have a home office within a larger area of the home that brings function, while meeting your esthetic expectations.

When it comes to your home office, location is everything. Try to choose a space that’s separated from foot traffic. Find a quiet area away from the hustle and bustle, such as a spare bedroom, a spot in the basement, or

a corner where you can tuck-in and plug-in for your workday.

If you’re setting up in a larger, open-concept living area, you can define your office space by adding a rug that’s large enough to accommodate your desk and a few key pieces of office furniture. This anchors the parameters delineated for office use. Then, create some separation and storage by adding a view-through bookcase between the workspace and living area. This will allow light to flow through, while adding some privacy.

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Office essentials

Once you’ve figured out the “where” of your home office, determine what you’ll need in order to get the job done. Every office needs a desk and chair, storage, lighting and, ideally, a door to close come 5 p.m. However, depending on your role, you may also need to accommodate additional equipment such as multiple computer monitors, a drafting table, and if you host meetings, a sitting area for colleagues or clients.


This is arguably the most important element in the room. Poor lighting is the culprit behind headaches and strained eyes. Incorporate a layered lighting plan into your design, which includes ambient lighting, task lighting and, if you choose, accent lighting. And if you have any natural light via a

window, maximize that, too. If you’re in a basement or a dark corner, just ensure you have sufficient ambient lighting, which is the general overhead illumination in a space. Task lighting, often in the form of a desk lamp or a floor lamp, would light your work area. Finally, accent lighting isn’t an essential per se, but it is a nice touch that works wonders for the ambience of the space.

The desk and chair

The biggest consideration for the desk is its size and height. On the other hand, the desk chair is often underestimated. If you sit for long periods, it would be wise to take the chair for a “test drive” if possible. Even with online reviews, it can be difficult to gauge comfort from a photo and written description. Take a seat and consider support and adjustability, and even how you move as you

work (think swivel seat or a chair on wheels.)

Storage space

Stuff accumulates quickly, so be sure to declutter regularly, and plan to store the rest. Storage solutions may include shelves, bookcases, filing cabinets and the like. If your office is in a living area, be sure to factor style into your criteria. To save space, you can transition to digital files that can be saved on your computer or cloud. Just do your due diligence when it comes to back-up and security!

All that you need

Your home office can be everything you need functionally, and everything you want esthetically, regardless of its size. Create your own inspiration board and put your vision into practice. Then, get busy!

Kate Davidson, is the founder and principal designer of Kate + Co Design. For more than a decade, the multidisciplinary interior design firm has been providing complete residential and commercial design services throughout North America. Kate + Co is known for creating luxurious livable interiors. kateandcodesign.com IG@kateandcodesigninc

78 Builders’ Annual 2022


For over 25 years, Kylemore has created inspired master-planned communities and luxury homes. Following this tradition, today the company is focused on offering residents wellness in a superior living environment.

This Model Town Manor, designed by Kylemore’s in-house team, received multiple industry awards at the local, provincial and national levels.

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A list of contact information from builders and developers to help you stay connected {}

Altree Developments

2828 Bathurst St., Ste. 300 Toronto, Ont. M6B 3A7 647.715.5711 altreedevelopments.com altreedev altreede

Georgian Communities

85 Bayfield St., Ste. 300 Barrie, Ont. L4M 3A7 705.730.5900 georgiancommunities.ca Geranium

3190 Steeles Ave. East, Ste. 300 Markham, Ont. L3R 1G9 905.477.1177 geranium.com geraniumhomes geraniumhomes

Hersh Realty

1260 Caledonia Rd. Toronto, Ont. M6A 2X5 905.415.0332 hersh.ca HershRealtyGroup HershRealtyGroup

Kylemore Communities

9980 Kennedy Rd., Ste. 200

Markham, Ont. L6C 0M4 905.887.5799 kylemorecommunities.com KylemoreLiving kylemoreliving

Lash Group of Companies

10 Kodiak Cres., Ste. 200

Toronto, Ont. M3J 3G5 416.630.9393 lashgroup.ca LashGroup LashGroupca

Lifetime Developments

49 Jackes Ave., Ste. 200 Toronto, Ont. M4T 1E2 lifetimedevelopments.com 416.987.3344 LifetimeDevelopments Lifetime_Dev

Losani Homes

430 McNeilly Rd., Ste. 203 Stoney Creek, Ont. L8E 5E3 905.561.1700 losanihomes.com losanihomes


Mason Homes

70 Innovator Ave. Stouffville, Ont. L4A 0Y2 905.640.6777 masonhomes.ca MasonHomesLtd masonhomes

National Homes

291 Edgeley Blvd. Concord, Ont. L4K 3Z4 905.669.9199 nationalhomes.com NationalHomesCanada nationalhomesca


10 Wanless Ave., Ste. 201 Toronto, Ont. M4N 1V6 416.481.2222 pureplaza.com

Remington Group Inc.

7501 Keele St., Ste. 100 Vaughan, Ont. L4K 1Y2 905.761.8200 remingtongroupinc.com remingtonbuilds

Solmar Development Corp.

122 Romina Dr. Concord, Ont. L4K 4Z7 905.660.9222 solmar.ca solmardevelopmentcorp solmardevelopmentcorp

StateView Homes

410 Chrislea Rd. Woodbridge, Ont. L4L 8B5 905.851.1849 stateviewhomes.com StateviewHomes stateviewhomes

Tribute Communities

1815 Ironstone Manor, Unit 1 Pickering, Ont L1W 3W9 905.839.3500 tributecommunities.com TributeCommunities

82 Builders’ Annual 2022

the pursuit of

perfect air. Only Lennox® offers a full line of HVAC equipment to cover We offer a wide range of award-winning, innovative and visit Lennox.com or call 1-800-9-LENNOX. Follow us on Google+ YouTube.com/lennoxFacebook.com/lennox © 2021 Lennox industries Inc. Lennox dealers include independently owned and operated businesses. AWARD-WINNING PRODUCTS.
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