Prices Are Going Up
As we welcome 2016, it’s no surprise that condo prices in Mississauga continue to increase at around 3% per year. The major drivers of this force are freehold homes, which have increased in some places by nearly 60% in the past decade. Condos have become the norm for all first-time home buyers and investors.
Investors continue to enjoy the low 1.2% rental vacancy rates that Mississauga has to offer.
First time-buyers might be surprised to see certain buildings such as City Gate, list one bedroom + dens for around $300k and sell. Similar units 2-3 years ago were selling in the $270’s range.
Local Buyers Compete Against International Buyers
One of the key factors driving Mississauga Condo prices up; are international buyers. Although the exact number of foreign and oversea ownership is not available for public, experts estimate this number to be as high as 15-20%. With the falling Canadian dollar (around $0.68 at the time of writing this article), Mississauga real estate looks like a “good buy” for many people abroad.
This makes it hard for some first time home buyers to break into the market. It’s not uncommon for nice re-sale condo units to still attract multiple offers.
Pre-construction Condos have Inventory
If you are looking to get a brand new unit and you wish to take possession within one and a half years maximum, a few builders are offering interesting incentives which only require up to 5% total down-payment.
The standard down-payment with any pre-construction condominium is usually 20%. With this type of aggressive down-payment structure, I still encourage buyers to have a minimal of 10% down. We will release a blog shortly highlighting these projects but in the mean time please feel free to contact us.
P.S. Investor clients still need a minimal of 20% down regardless.
Do not buy Units with no Parking Spots
In order to keep prices lower for entry level condo units, some condo builders in Mississauga have decided not to include parking spots. This move reduces the overall purchase price of any unit by around $25k.
My strong recommendation to anyone considering to purchase such a unit is NOT to do it.
Even though the savings might seem nice for any buyer not planning to have a car, the re-sale value of the condo eventually suffers. Mississauga is not yet recognized as a super accessible by public transportation city. Unlike cities such as Toronto or even more so Manhattan, where most people living in these metropolitans rely on public transportation. This entry was posted on
Thursday, January 21st, 2016 and is filed
The rental market is a huge contributor to the Canadian economy and its growth. In large cities such as Mississauga, thousands of condos get rented out each year. With the internet at our disposal finding properties has never been easier. However, over the last few years, this has made it easy for internet fraud as well. In the United States alone, around $240 million is estimated in rental fraud and the number seems to be increasing each year. Canada has strict privacy laws that prevent us from finding out just how much money is being lost to rental fraud each year. However, if you were to look up internet scams online, dozens of articles pop up for the GTA alone. In this article I would like to focus on some stories that came to my attention and to let tenants know what to watch out for when browsing for properties online.
Over the past several weeks, we have seen a spike in the number of people calling us that have fallen victim of a rental scam in the Square One area. Below I will outline some scenarios that have occurred and what you need to look out for when you are searching for leases.
In this first case, the tenant was searching online for a property on kijiji. She found what appeared to be a great deal for a large 2 bedroom condo at the Marilyn Monroe buildings for $1500 per month. She wanted a short-term lease for only four months. She did not view the unit, nor she never met the landlord. She decided that she will follow the link in the ad, which lead her to a an official looking website with 50 and 60 Absolute on it. The tenant decided the website looked legitimate, and she contacted the person representing himself as the landlord. She was then asked to pay the money up front, and to transfer money into the landlord’s account. Once it was paid for, the landlord never picked up her calls.
In the above scenario, the tenant should have checked for a brokerage name in the ad. The scam artist also made the ad look real by including a link of the actual buildings in the ad. This can easily misguide anyone that is surfing the internet. As a general rule, you should never transfer money to anyone’s account, not even a real estate agent’s. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Another scenario was of a young couple that was asked to pay more money up front as a deposit, and to also transfer the money into a bank account. The landlord in this case showed them the unit, and promised to give them the keys once the money was transferred to him. Once the young couple transferred the money, they never heard of the person again. Although they had contacted police, there was not much that could have been done to help.
Using an rental real estate agent is absolutely free to anyone looking for a property, as the landlord absorbs our fees. If you work with an agent 99.99% of rental scams can be avoided. Real estate agents have access to all the listings in the Square One area. All landlords that are on MLS, also have an agent represent them and their names and other details about them are available to agents. Realtors also use a system called Landregisty to verify if the landlord actually is the rightful owner of the property they are trying to lease. In my brokerages case, Cloud Realty asks for certified cheques, that go into the bank trust were the money is held until you take possession of the property. Once we have the keys, then we can release money to the Landlord.
And lastly, many scams are created by creating fake ads that advertise properties that are far below market value. Media and experts believe that this is being done to entice as many tenants to respond to ads and that in an emotional moment one of them would think that the person is a real landlord and that they can safely transfer money with no worries.
Many culprits, may post someone’s property without the owners knowledge, and they may not even live in the city or the country. Others may simply be tenants of the property that they are trying to lease in order to not default on their payment, and use your money to pay for their rent, while others post a fake property altogether. By using a real estate agent, scams can be avoided and your money will be accounted for.
If you, or someone you know have been a victim of a rental scam we urge you to contact the RCMP. This entry was posted on
Monday, December 28th, 2015 and is filed
Exactly 33 months ago the Canadian dollar was at par; even a little higher than the American counterpart. Cross boarder shopping was cheap and Canadians took advantage by buying anything from clothing to cars, and even properties down south.
Since then, the Canadian dollar went down by roughly 25%. What does that mean for us here in Canada hoping to buy real estate?
Firstly, buying any property outside of Canada automatically costs 25% more than two and half years ago. Those earning income in Canadian dollars prefer to keep their money in Canada as the conversion rate is too high if they were to invest in the United States.
For the majority of us who work and live in Canada this has little effect on our real estate prices.
The low Canadian dollar is however bringing many oversea investors, who are taking advantage of this low rate. Over the past month we have had several clients from Dubai, the Middle East and the United States contact us in order to purchase pre-construction condos.
Putting down $50-60,000 as a deposit allows investors to secure real estate in Canada, and not worry about any payments until its ready. This process, depending on the project, can take anywhere from 2-4 years.
During the pre-construction condo waiting period, many of the investors who purchased a pre-construction condo will closely monitor the Canadian dollar. When the time is right, they hope to covert the currency. A $300,000US investment easily converts to enough Canadian dollars to purchase a two bedroom pre-construction condo in Mississauga. Two years ago it would have cost closer to $350,000 to make the same purchase.
Thinking of buying a new built condo in Canada? Read this article first, and give us a call! This entry was posted on
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015 and is filed
The Condominium Act in Ontario has been passed 17 years ago. Due to the new dynamic shift, and more and more condos being built, it is to no surprise that the number of condo units owned is estimated to be around 700,000. Over 300 of these condominiums are registered in Mississauga. It is also estimated that there are about 1.3 million condo owners and 10,000 condo corporations. It is inevitable that change comes about.
The new proposed revisions to the act, will be put in place to increase consumer protection for both buyers and owners. Improve how condos are managed and run and to strengthen the reserve fund for condos.
The new addition to the Act would allow disputes to be settled by using a third party, the Condo Authority. Who would in turn offer clearer information on condo owner’s rights & responsibilities, disclose information publicly and have an Auditor General to look over things. This would provide quicker, lower-cost dispute resolutions.
It would protect condo owners and buyers, since it would provide buyers purchasing pre-construction condos with a guide to condo living at the time of purchase, provide clear rules so that no surprise charges may arise to buyers purchasing pre-construction condos, the government will create regulations concerning all documents and amend the new home warranty act.
The act also proposes to strengthen the financial angel of condos, in order to prevent fraud. This will allow condo owners to have a more say in financial matters, if the condo corporations decide to any financial changes. This act will also regulate how much the reserve fund has. Many argue, that the current act is out of date and needs a revision.
This would tie in that the new reform to the act would introduce a new piece of legislation – the Condominium Management Service Act. This means that a new, third party, would regulate condo managers and management companies within condos by establishing a licensing system, which includes proper training and a code of ethics.
In the past we have written various blogs on the issues surrounding condo management companies and the roles they should play for the residence and visitors alike.
Check out the video from Mississauga City Hall and more info on this issue here. This entry was posted on
Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 and is filed
Mississauga condos continue to be a great option for first-time home buyers, investors, couples or people who choose to live alone. With prices still below $500 a square foot in the downtown area, the market continues to favour buyers with prices increasing moderately year over year.
For anyone looking to sell a condo, the market dictates that on average condos in the City Centre (downtown Mississauga) area sell for 97% of asking price and within 39 days (Toronto Real Estate Board Stats for 1st quarter of 2015).
An interesting trend has emerged where those who sell their Mississauga condo move further out west; primary Oakville, Burlington or Milton. These three cities are not known for their high-rise condos, but rather seen as “great places to raise a family”.
If someone has decided to sell their condo and continue to live in Mississauga, chances are that they would have to settle for an older home. Since there is not much more new land to build on in Mississauga, options for newer homes are limited. The idea of buying an older home, scares a lot of condo owners as they are used to the worry-free lifestyle they enjoyed while living in a condo.
Moving east towards Etobicoke/Toronto, is great for those commuting to Toronto every day; however prices tend to rise sharply the closer you get to Toronto. Also, the Etobicoke/Toronto areas are subject to a double land transfer tax, which ends up costing the purchaser an additional 1% of the purchase price.
A third option is moving north, towards Brampton/Caledon. Many clients I talk to, do not consider Brampton as a viable option for a few reasons. The quality of schools, the high costs of auto insurance and poor overall upkeep of the city are amongst the reasons. Further north of Brampton, closer to Caledon does look more promising, however the longer commute does deter many from making the move.
Milton continues to be a popular choice for many home buyers looking for an affordable solution for a newer home. The commute can be a little far, ranging from 15-25min to Mississauga however homes in Milton tend to be around 20% less than similar homes in Mississauga.
Although at least a 30-40min drive to Mississauga; Burlington is an upcoming city in Canada. It does well as a city and attracts families for a number of reasons. It has great restaurants and boutiques and holds some great touristic attractions such as Sound of Music Festival, Art Gallery of Burlington, Spencer Smith Park & holds Canada’s Largest Rib Fest. The city offers 29 public elementary schools and 14 Roman Catholic Schools, 8 public high schools and 3 Catholic high schools.
Oakville has really become one of the best places to live in Canada. With new development going on, great schools and parks, Oakville continues to thrive and grow. The new Oakville hospital is creating a lot of buzz and seems to drive real estate prices up. Oakville borders with Mississauga and is a 10min-20min drive to Mississauga. This may be a reason why many who sell their Mississauga condo prefer to move to Oakville.
These cities out west have come a long way and seem to be very popular and growing in demand for today’s home buyers. Some cities offer more affordable real estate than others. If you are thinking of selling your condo please click here. If you would like to know more about Oakville’s upcoming neighbourhood go check out my new blog on Preserve Oakville.
Have questions? Need advice? Contact us. We can help. This entry was posted on
Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 and is filed
Great news folks! Today Pinnacle released their next condo project that will be located by Hurontario & Eglinton Ave W. Currently, Pinnacle has 2 towers, Crystal, at 55 Eglinton Ave W & 75 Eglinton Ave W. The 3rd and 4th proposed towers called “Amber” will be located behind the first two towers. Standing at 23 and 26 storeys, the 1 Bedrooms will start as low as $260,900 & the 2 Bedrooms as low as $340,900. After the success of Crystal, this new set of condos will retain the same interior finishes and have a similar exterior glass look. Just as Crystal, Amber aims to have one large lobby connecting the two towers. Pinnacle is also famous for their other project close to Square One Mall; Pinnacle Grand Park 1 & Pinnacle Grand Park 2.
Amber will be situated close to Highway 10 and Eglinton Ave W. Currently, there are 3 Plazas surrounding the project that offer a variety of services such as Service Ontario, Post Office at Shoppers Drug Mart, Florists, LCBO, Convenience Stores & Scotiabank. Restaurants such as Montanas, Harvey’s, Swiss Chalet & Cora’s are within walking distance. As well as, Starbucks, Tim Hortons, & Oceans fresh food market are also within reach.
Surrounded amongst green landscapes, broad sidewalks and wide streets, everything is within ones reach. Highway 403 is down the street and Square One Mall is a 5min drive. There are numerous schools such as Saint Pio Of Pietrelcina (French Immersion Grades 1-4) & St. Jude (French Immersion Grades 5-8), Barondale Public School (French Immersion), Cooksville Creek Public School, Saint Hilary Elementary School, Bristol Road Middle School, Saint Matthew Elementary School, Fairwind Senior Public School, San Lorenzo Ruiz Elementary School & St. Francis Xavier Secondary School nearby.
These two towers will mimic Crystal, in terms of design and amenities offered. Standing at 23 & 26 storeys and will offer over 400 units. The exterior looks modern, made out of glass. The podium will offer 2 storey townhomes (still not released) and will complete the exterior look. Once you walk inside Amber, the modern concierge desk & interiors with its high ceilings and sleek design will take your breath away.
Indoor Swimming Pool, Jacuzzi & Sauna
State Of The Art Gym & Yoga Room
His & Hers Change Rooms
Party Room Equipped With A Kitchen
2 Guest Rooms
Kid’s Play Area
Outdoor Patio With BBQs
Features & Finishes
Amber will offer designer finishes and numerous layouts catering to every individuals taste. From 9ft ceilings, to floor to ceiling windows, the suites are stunning and welcoming.
Laminate Flooring In Main Living Areas
Broadloom In Bedrooms
Porcelain/Ceramic Tiles In Kitchen & Bathrooms
Designer Spa Like Baths w/ Soaker Tubs & Rain Showers
Designer Chef’s Kitchens w/ Brand Name Stainless Steel Appliances
Underground Parking & Private Storage Lockers
Note: This project is still not open to the public. For VIP agent access please call: 647-989-7517
If you are a first time home-buyer or investor and are interested in viewing this project, please register with me here. As always, I will have VIP specials and exclusive offers for my clients that are registered with me. Please note that these offers are not valid or offered by the builder. Please remember that all units are on a first come, first serve basis. Therefore, make sure to register ASAP & to reserve the unit of your choice. This entry was posted on
Monday, June 8th, 2015 and is filed
Prices are still low – Mississauga pre-construction condos are often below $500 a square foot, which is much cheaper than other major cities. By default, pretty much all pre-construction condos sold today in Mississauga come with one locker and one parking spot. In places like Toronto, parking spots are often reserved for only 2 bedroom units and buyers have to pay upto $50,000 (or more!) to actually get a parking spot.
With each new building coming up, prices set by the builder tend to increase slightly. Buying early at the VIP stage ensures that you get the first pick of a unit at the lowest possible price.
The downtown core is still growing – The number of condos in towntown Mississauga has almost doubled in the last 12 years. Over the next decade we can see as much as fifteen additional condos within the Square One area getting constructed. With the expanding downtown Mississauga core we not only see more condos, but also more roads, transportation and places to entertain. The recent opening of the Bier Markt has created a lot of buzz online.
LRT – On April 21st 2015, the Ontario government approved the budget for the light rail transit system. This 23 kilometer LRT line will run on Hurontario and have 26 stops connecting Brampton, to Square One down south to Lakeshore. Some of the stops included around the Square One Mall, is Living Arts.
Property values are known to increase when public transportation is accessible.
Square One renovation – In 2013 Square One shopping centre announced a massive $380 million dollar renovation project. The mall would expand to include stores such as Simon’s and Holt Renfrew. You can track the Square One renovation progress and even watch it on live camera here.
Located within walking distance to many of the condos, the mega mall gave the condos in downtown Mississauga the name “Square One Condos”. With many people wishing to live close to large shopping centers; Square One will continue to have positive effect on real estate prices.
Interested in a pre-construction condo? Please read this article first if this is your first pre-built condo purchase.
We just launched the VIP event for Amacon’s Block Nine and soon will be presenting the info for Pinnacle’s Amber condos. Register with us now and get access before the general public. This entry was posted on
Monday, June 1st, 2015 and is filed
Exciting news today as the famous builder Amacon is once again presenting a brand new condo project in downtown Mississauga called “Block NINE“. The project is not open to public or real estate agents yet, however as always we have VIP access for our clients and we can book up to two units per person starting today. At the moment they are releasing the first (south tower) only.
Since this is a pre-release sale, all interested parties must contact us directly at 647-989-7517 and book an appointment to the sales center.
– There are one bedroom units ranging for 546 square feet up to two bedroom units with large terraces totaling over 1600 square feet
– The project is schedule to be completed in June 2018
– The deposit structure is flexible allowing the buyer to pay only 15% within 1 year and the final 5% on occupancy.
– There are two model units available to see (1 bedroom and 2 bedroom).
Please contact us directly and we will be to e-mail you all the prices and layouts and be able to set you up with a private viewing! This entry was posted on
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 and is filed
Over the years we have been blogging about Mississauga condos by mainly offering tips for buyers and sellers. This special blog is being dedicated to all condo property management companies in Mississauga. The purpose of this blog is to shine a different perspective on what Realtors and the public feel is the role of a condo property management company, and how to increase overall condo owner satisfaction within any given building.
As an active Realtor, I have seen it all; the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to condos and the property management companies that run them.
The “good condos” are simple; the buildings are clean, the guidelines are strictly enforced, there are updates made in some of the older buildings, issues are addressed and fixed quickly.
The “bad condos” have a few problems, that can be fixed relatively easily. Minor things that need to be addressed, such as outdated gym equipment, burnt light bulbs and constant broken elevators. There may also be a need to change a contract for landscaping or the window cleaners, but generally speaking these condos still have hope.
The “ugly condos” are the ones that everyone tries to stay away from. These condos have a reputation which has been damaged during the years and it is very hard to restore confidence in these buildings. These buildings may have special assessments issued to some owners, which caused an increase in the condo fees. These condos may also show major signs of wear and tear even though they are only a few years old.
In this blog post, we will address four categories in which every single condo property management company should exam and look for ways to improve them. These include:
Security / Concierge
Its amazing what kind of an atmosphere a security company can create inside a condo building. Most square one condos do have security and it is up to the property management company to hire great concierge people.
The word “concierge” means service in french. Every person coming to the building should be treated the same, with a common courtesy. There is no need to be rude and unfriendly, it makes people not want to visit or live there. Need not to mention, the residents of that building pay for the salary of both the concierge and the property management company.
What is ironic is that real estate agents often get treated like criminals by the concierge in certain buildings, while showing the building to potential buyers. Buyers do take notice of rude security and it ultimately affects the likelihood of a potential sale for owners of the condo units.
There are some buildings that are two years old but look like they are twenty years old, while other buildings do not show that they age much. The upkeep of any condo building has a direct correlation on the values of the units within that building. To ensure good upkeep, the following should be considered:
– Routine patrols by security of entire premises at least every 24 hours.
– Making it easy for building residents to report problems.
– Ensuring building repairs don’t take a long time to get addressed.
As a side note to all property management companies, please ensure that the cleaners do not put the elevators in service to clean the condo during busy hours. Having one elevator in service during rush hour can be bad for residence.
Be Fair and Consistent
One of the best traits of a well run building is that the condo management is fair and consistent with every resident and visitor in the building. It might be tempting to sometimes grant a favor or exception for a resident however this may lead to greater dissatisfaction should another resident notice this.
Being fair and consistent also means that the property management is responsible for obtaining the best service contracts for that building. In the past, there have been cases that were reported to us, in which the condo management were negligent and got overpriced contracts, which in turn cost the residents money. In a more serious scenario, a condo management company was involved in fraud and used the money in the reserve fund in an inappropriate way.
A well run management company should be particularly concerned about the policies which are in place. Numerous times residents voiced their opinions that the policies and procedures within their building are either inefficient or ineffective. These may include:
– Forcing visitors to get parking passes even if they are staying for 15minutes
– Requiring residents to obtain certified deposits for moving in/out and deliveries
– Not having a suggestion box, that allows for feedback.
– Not having a designated, easy to find indoor spot for Realtor lockboxes.
– Security refusing parcels or keys on behalf of condo owners/tenants.
– Not allowing Realtor Photographers to take pictures of building amenities.
In conclusion, property management companies which constantly evaluate their own role in the condo building and the level of satisfaction they bring to residents of that building have a higher chance in succeeding in the long run. Websites such as mysquareonecondo allow residents of various condos to write positive or negative experiences in any particular building. This transparent process ensures that the condo property managements are ethical, consistent and always serving the best interest of the residents. This entry was posted on
Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 and is filed
If you want to rent a condo in Mississauga, you are required by many landlords to sign a one year lease with them. The one year lease is often seen as a good length of time for a landlord to commit to a tenant, and for a tenant to commit to a property. More than 50% of tenants end up staying for more than a year; sometimes for as long as 5 years. Read FAQ on condo rentals in Mississauga here.
Although there are no official definitions of short-term leases, for the purpose of this blog, I will define short term leases as any residential condominium rental for the period of one day to 90 days, or 3 months.
Why is there such a demand for short term condo rentals in Mississauga?
Unlike Muskoka or Miami, short term rentals in Mississauga are not primarily driven by tourism. Mississauga attracts a lot of short term rentals because of three main reasons:
1) Business – Compared to its sister city Toronto, Mississauga is very affordable and easier to commute in by car. Many business professionals come to Mississauga since it’s close to the airport and it’s the headquarters of many fortune 500 companies. Executives that stay in short term rentals, argue that they prefer condos over hotels. Living at times for a week in a hotel can be depressing and tiresome.
2) In between Condos – Another popular segment of the population who chooses to use short term rentals in Square One are those who are in between a purchase and a sale of a property. It happens that an owner of a condo sells his or her condo, and has to leave before they have a chance to move into their new place. In this scenario a short term condo rental looks like the perfect solution. He or she can move into the short term suite for a few weeks or so, while the rest of his or her stuff can stay in a locker.
3) Lack of modern hotels – This is a huge driving force behind the overwhelming demand for short term rentals. The fact remains that Novotel is the only hotel in downtown Mississauga. This hotel is over 30 years old and dated by today’s standards. Overcrowding and lack of choices of hotels for travelers forces travelers to stay in short terms rentals. Will another major Hotel be built in downtown Mississauga in the near future? I hope so.
Problems that arise with short-term rentals.
On the surface short term rentals can seem great as everyone seems to benefit from them (other than the hotel owners). However, at a closer look many problems seem to arise.
Owners of condo units in buildings that have short term rentals, argue that they are not happy when their condo building is run like a hotel. They claim that not only does it ruin someone’s unit, but it leaves wear and tear on the hallways – walls and carpets from the constant moving. Owners say that in order to fix the run down hallways their maintenance fees go up.
Larger problems arise when owners offer nightly rentals and people who rent these condos start to use them as “party suites”. In a recent extreme event, an owner of a condo in Tridel Ovation contacted me about how upset she was when a short term condo rental was leased for one night to some students. The email further explained that the party got out of control, to the point where a Pizza guy’s delivery car was stolen and cops were called in to investigate. Yikes!
It gets worse.
Condo buyers get often worried about short term rentals and what effect they might have on the value of units in their building. The good part is that, as far as we know Tridel Ovation and Skymark are the only two condos in Square One which legally allow short term rentals. What I mean by legally is that their condo bylaws don’t state otherwise. But, and there is a BIG But, that is not to say that owners in other buildings are not renting their unit out on a short term basis.
Just check out airbnb.com, a billion dollar company (yes Billion), just dedicated to short term rentals. Just at a quick glance, pretty much every single building in Mississauga has illegal short term rentals.
What can be done about short term-rentals?
In some buildings, such as 223 Webb Drive, an active role in “cracking down” on these short term rental suites has taken place. The property management got involved and shut many of these “operations” down.
Unfortunately, if you are an unhappy resident, who wants to take a proactive role in trying to eliminate the short term rentals you might have a lot of work ahead of you. Although it varies from building to building, typically it is up to the condo management on how they deal with short term rentals. Speaking to someone on the condo board should be your first step.
In buildings where short terms are legal and you wish to change that, it is almost next to impossible to do so as a single voice. This would require a change in the declaration and a very high % of unit owners to agree to this change. Since many of the owners in these buildings are already renting their unit out for short term, it will be difficult to get them on board.
How do you feel about short term rentals? Please feel free to share your thoughts below. This entry was posted on
Monday, February 9th, 2015 and is filed