Was it intended that entertainers would actually "play" the Dominion Club? I had the impression that it was the type of Club-with-a-capital-C that would be inhabited mainly by men of a certain age puffing cigars after dinner, or possibly being leased out for big society weddings. Perhaps I was mistaken.
I have to wonder what kind of crowds the Hummingbird will be capable of drawing, given the number of other venues in the city and the fact that it has long been acknowledged as offering a second-rate experience because of its size and design. I will be called a Philistine for saying this, but I wonder if it might not be better to tear it down, or at least change the name to "Money Pit".
House price rises to continue
Study predicts 5% this year and next
Slowest gains in recent years
Oct. 19, 2006. 06:01 AM
Alfredo Romano will take heart in the forecast that resale-home prices are expected to rise 5 per cent next year. The developer plans to open a sales centre to market condominiums at the Hummingbird Centre in 2007.
Analysts have been warning for some time about the possibility of a correction in the condo market, but Romano is betting distinctive properties in the right location will continue to sell.
"In the case of any slowdown, peripheral areas will go first, followed by luxury properties, but the right area helps," he says.
In this case, having a condo designed by star architect Daniel Liebeskind, who is currently doing the crystal addition to the Royal Ontario Museum, may help Romano stand out from the crowd. And a buoyant resale market should help to float all boats.
According to a report released yesterday by ReMax Ontario Atlantic Canada, average home prices in the Toronto area will rise 5 per cent by the end of 2006 and another 5 per cent by the end of 2007.
These are the slowest forecast gains in recent years, but still above inflation. The projections are in line with estimates from other economists, who say a slowing housing market will mean increases of 3.5 to 5 per cent.
"The market has cooled modestly, and we expect that to continue over the next 12 months," said Michael Polzler, executive vice-president of ReMax. "Will the numbers be down? Yes, but not so much that you won't see appreciation. You can expect to see listings to sit a little longer, and people will be able to look a little more intelligently for homes."
According to ReMax, the average price of a resale home in the Toronto area should hit $371,000 by the end of 2007, an increase of nearly $18,000 from 2006.
Another report released yesterday, by the Toronto Real Estate Board, said sales activity for the first half of October was roughly on par with a year earlier. The results would probably have been weaker without a flurry of activity in downtown Toronto, where mid-month condo sales jumped 43 per cent.
Affordability is becoming a major issue as housing becomes more expensive and interest rates rise.
Buyers are considering areas farther from downtown and alternatives to single, detached homes, such as townhomes and condominium apartments, ReMax said.
Polzler said many clients fear the house-price implosion hitting some parts of the United States will eventually spread to Canada. U.S. housing starts, however, defied expectations of a decline in September and jumped an annualized 5.9 per cent, the commerce department said yesterday, giving builders some hope that the market may be bottoming out. The market has been down for eight straight months.
"The increases have been much more massive in the United States, and they're much more highly leveraged, but so far it hasn't been a significant negative for us," Polzler said.
Still, a soaring Canadian dollar, which is cutting into manufacturing jobs in Ontario, coupled with a slowdown in U.S. demand, could eventually hurt the market, he acknowledged.
"We have not seen the full fallout from the housing correction," Bart Melek, an economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns, wrote in a note to clients yesterday. "The housing slump should continue to slow the broader economy."
In Canada, Calgary and Edmonton are expected to have healthy 10 per cent price gains in 2007, but nothing close to the 40-odd per cent for Calgary or the 25 per cent for Edmonton forecast for the end of this year.
Strong consumer confidence in 2006 has meant certain segments of the Toronto-area market have profited, including luxury homes priced more than $1 million.
ReMax is forecasting continuing strong demand for condominiums as the price of entry into single, detached homes becomes too steep for first-time buyers. An influx of purchasers from the 905 area into the downtown core will also help keep conditions tight.
More listings are expected, however, so prices will continue to moderate.
Sales are forecast to drop to 78,000 units in 2007, down from 80,000 in 2006, but still a healthy market.
Its taken them long enough. He may have waited to long and with other projects fighting it out to sell all their units, he may regret not opening up intill 2007 (much like the festival tower). Wait and see I guess.
As someone who wants to be able to afford to buy, I'm happy to see the market cooling somewhat. A cooling market will probably have the most impact on companies like Tridel, but it should not stop the quality projects from going ahead.