Deciding where to buy a home is a tough decision. Do you stay in your current neighbourhood, or venture outside your postal code in search of a property that ticks off more of your must-haves?
One of the biggest struggles potential homebuyers wrestle with is the market, especially if the property is in a location you’re not familiar with. You want to know if the market is going up, if it’s going down, if there is too much supply or if there is too much demand.
Luckily there’s a lot of data available on the state of the housing marketing. We’ve done the research for you and compiled ten important findings to help you better understand the market and the opportunities we think will help you feel good about Pickering as a real estate investment. So let’s jump in.
1. Demand: Townhouses remain very popular in Pickering, with the 160 under construction in September, representing the highest level since 2013 (CMHC). If you’re considering a townhouse, you’re in good company. Everyone wants to buy something others will want down the road.
2. Supply: Looking at the wider Pickering/Ajax/Uxbridge area, of the 851 new homes completed in the last 12 months (of all types), only four are unsold — and not a townhouse among them. What’s the takeaway? Almost everything sells before they’re completed. Buyers are getting in on opportunities early.
3. Bang for buck: According to Altus Data Solutions, the average new townhouse available in Pickering will cost you $440 per-square-foot (psf), compared to $1,100 psf for the average condominium apartment in downtown Toronto. You get more bang for your buck in Pickering … and you don’t have to pay extra for a parking spot.
4. Price appreciation: According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the average new single-detached house that was completed and sold in September 2017 was $933,283, an increase of 14.4% annually. Double-digit price gains indicate that demand is far exceeding supply, and waiting to buy could cost you.
5. Resale strength: According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average resale property in Pickering sold for 105% of the list price in September, and it took just 13 days on average to sell a home. In the current market climate, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your future home has strong resale value.
6. Townhouses are popular: According to the MLS House Price Index, townhouses in Pickering have increased by 9.3% annually. Buyers are looking to maximize their indoor square footage, often at the expense of a side yard. Townhouses continue to gain market share.
7. Relative affordability: According to Zolo.ca, Pickering is ranked 18th of 23 municipalities in terms of average resale house price, an indication of how affordable the city is. In comparison to the adjacent municipalities to the west, Pickering is still very affordable.
8. Top 5 for sales: Over the past 30 days, Pickering is tied for the 5th fastest selling municipality in the GTA for resale housing (Zolo.ca). It shouldn’t be a surprise that the more affordable homes in Pickering are selling very quickly in the high-priced Greater Toronto Area market.
9. Easy commute: According to GO Transit, it takes 28 minutes to get from Union Station to the Pickering Go Station on an express train. It might take you that long to go three blocks on a downtown streetcar during rush hour, the commute is quite manageable.
10. Compare: Nearby Markham, less than 20 minutes from Pickering, will cost you $300,000 more on the the price of a home, based on average housing values from Zolo.ca.
With changes coming to the mortgage qualification rules in January, it will become that much more difficult to afford the home you really want. Buyers will flock to markets with the most affordable homes as they find themselves further priced out of their current communities. Pickering will be a market drawing even more attention, a small community with big data and enormous potential.
Building better, more efficient homes has been part of our mission for decades. But with energy costs double what they were a decade ago, it’s never been more important.
When it comes to energy efficiency and green building practices, we’re no Johnny-Come-Lately’s. Building better, more efficient homes has been part of our mission for decades. But with energy costs double what they were a decade ago, it’s never been more important.
That’s why we brought our latest cutting-edge initiative to The Atlona Towns.
In this 27-townhome community, we are bringing together our earth-conscious building philosophy with new technology from Tesla. A cursory look around the community reveals clues there is something different about this place. Solar panels on the roofs and an on-site Tesla battery capable of powering the entire community are obvious giveaways.
By now, it’s no secret Ontarians pay the highest electricity rates in the country, and costs are still on the rise. That’s the bad news. But here’s the good news: We are determined to disrupt the status quo. We are continuing our role as a major player in the the energy efficiency scene by infusing Altona Towns with the latest in clean energy home technology.
At the core of the movement is the microgrid.
Don’t let the jargony, techno-term throw you off. A microgrid is simply a small-scale electric grid with its own generation source. While each of the residences in Altona Towns will be traditionally powered and solar powered, the microgrid is the real game-changer. It relies on an enormous battery—created by technology powerhouse Tesla—to store electricity. Being tied to an on-site microgrid will allow the community to disconnect from the main grid and operate autonomously when necessary.
Here are just a few of the perks of independent electric energy storage The Altona Town residents can expect:
1. Reduced energy costs*
Did you hear that collective sigh of relief? Ontarians weary of skyrocketing energy bills catch a break in Altona Towns. As a direct result of the community’s solar-plus-storage solution, homeowners will save roughly ten percent on their hydro bills. So, while the rest of Ontarians bills are going up, up, up; Altona Towns residents will welcome reduced rates. (Exact savings will vary based on a number of to-be-determined factors.)
2. Positive environmental impact
Thanks to solar power and energy storage being integrated into the community’s operation, Altona Towns will effectively produce fewer carbon emissions and lessen the strain on the main grid—great news for the environment and green-energy conscious consumers who want to take tangible steps towards meaningful conservation.
3. Increased reliability
If an impending winter storm has ever sent you into a frenzy of preparation (and on a hunt for a battery-operated radio and flashlights), listen up. Temporary, widespread service interruptions (which could happen when events like stormy or windy weather disrupt the distribution grid) will be a thing of the past at The Altona Towns. When the main electric grid experiences a hiccup, the microgrid kicks in to keep the juice flowing.
(Bonus: Beyond these three benefits and others, future buyers will earn bragging rights: as a demonstration project built in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s Smart Grid Fund, The Altona Towns is the first Canadian community of its kind.)
While The Altona Towns is clearly on a fast track to the future, there are still some things about the revolutionary community that echoes the past—namely, Marshall Home’s history of quality, well-built homes. Buyers can expect to find open concept, modern interiors within the three-bedroom townhomes, along with plenty of modern amenities and on-site green space.
But what may be the best part about Marshall Homes’ newest development is the peace of mind that comes with an investment in The Altona Towns. When people take a step into the future by purchasing one of the town homes, they can leave behind fears over skyrocketing hydro costs and arbitrary power outages and rest assured they’re doing their part to make a positive move towards building a greener, more sustainable world.
It’s one more reason to be excited about our latest community. Are you on the list? Register and we’ll keep you in the loop with all the details.
You’ve made up your mind, it’s time to buy your first home, but where do you start? Purchasing your first property can be a daunting task. The first step should be a visit to your bank to see what you can realistically afford. You’ve likely been dreaming of your first home for several years, but be realistic, you won’t get everything you want the first time around, don’t be this guy:
Setting your budget will help you narrow your search, but the next big consideration is location. Do you want a skyline view or a backyard?
Let’s take a closer look at Option A: The Downtown Condo
Downtown Toronto may sound appealing, with its array of bars, nightclubs, and trendy shops, but a new condominium in the Entertainment District will run you $500,000 for just 500 square feet. Add in a parking spot at $75,000, a locker at $7,000, two land transfer taxes, and a hefty monthly maintenance fee. You’ll be paying a lot for the “fun” of downtown living and that high-rise view, assuming you can afford the additional $1,000 per floor premium and clear the neighbouring towers. When deciding where and what to buy, you should not only think about your current needs, but your future needs as well.
It won’t be long before you find that tiny condo is a little too crowded, that elevator ride is a little too long, and that spiral underground parking ramp extremely annoying. You’ll find yourself looking for a bigger, hassle-free home. You might think that moving isn’t expensive because you’ll just buy your uncle a case a beer to hall all of your stuff for you, but there are a lot more costs. A Realtor’s commission can cost you over $10,000, you will need a lawyer to review your sales contract, and you may have to pay to break your existing mortgage.
You might not be thinking about starting a family now, but things can change quickly. If you think housing is expensive, take a look at downtown daycare costs. If you survive those years, you might not be able find you’re a school for junior anywhere near your high-rise.
Option B: The Financial Benefits of Being Flexible
A key consideration that will save you a lot of money when buying your first home is flexibility. Perhaps a larger townhouse with a short commute is a better choice. You may not get the gimmicky condo amenities like a golf simulator, a bowling alley, a zen spa, or super high-end appliances, but you don’t really need the first three, and you can always upgrade your countertop, backsplash and refrigerator a couple years down the road. If you have a second child, need to park another car, a townhouse provides you with that level of flexibility.
As we’ve witnessed in 2017, market conditions can change quickly, and right when you want to move-up from your downtown condominium, prices might be down and the market slow. Skip a step, and make an affordable move-up now.
Marshall Homes has launched a brand new community in west Pickering, a collection of family-friendly townhouses from 1,617 square feet to 1,927 square feet. The Altona Towns may cost you more than a tiny condominium in downtown Toronto, but you’ll get two parking spaces, a backyard, three bedrooms and up to four times the space. There is only one land transfer tax in Pickering (you’ll save $8,000 to $10,000 dollars — think of what you can do with that) and you won’t have to shell out for that constantly-rising condo fee.
And importantly, you won’t need to move again next year meaning another round of legal, real estate and moving expenses to add to the tally.
Add it all up and a smart purchase today could end up saving you tens of thousands of dollars.
It’s possible to get more for your money and we can help you with that.
A home at The Altona Towns will not only give you peace of mind by offering a new home warranty, you’ll have the flexibility to grow into it, and you might just have have more fun in Pickering anyway.