The Ground Up

Spring 2018

Freed Developments

Cameron Stephens is proud to announce our latest DealTalk video — two downtown Toronto condominium projects by Freed.

The first project is 75 Portland, featuring two hundred and eleven 1- and 2-bedroom contemporary suites designed by Philip Starck, with high-ceilings and luxurious amenities. The second project, 346 Davenport, is a 10-storey upper-Yorkville sensation designed by the award-winning team RAW, offering spectacular views and access to the best of everything in the city.

Introducing Daniel Stewart

Executive Vice President, Western Canada

Daniel Stewart

Cameron Stephens is pleased to welcome Dan Stewart to our growing team in Western Canada, responsible for originating new mortgage financing in B.C. and Alberta.

Over a span of almost 40 years, Dan has amassed a wealth of expertise in providing working capital to Canadian developers in B.C. through lenders such as Royal Trust, VanCity, and Bank of America (Vancouver).

He spent a decade as a sales and marketing consultant for Maverick Real Estate Corporation (in Vancouver, Calgary and Seattle) as well as for his own firm, Stewart Real Estate Advisors, where he developed a deep understanding of the consumer side of the industry.

In the past seven years, serving as Managing Director of Atrium Mortgage Investment Corporation’s Prairie Region (Calgary office) and VP Mortgage Banking/Lending with Peoples Trust (Calgary), Dan has helped to drive the success of numerous high-density residential projects in Alberta.

Dan is a graduate of UBC’s Urban Land Economics program, Vancouver College Appraisal program, and a long-standing Professional member (RI) of of the Real Estate Institute of B.C.

Dan is an ideal fit for our firm, and we look forward to the insights and expertise that he brings to Cameron Stephens West.

GTA Condo Market in a Nutshell — Past, Present, and Future

Milborne Group

For 42 years, Hunter Milborne has been marketing and selling condominiums in and around the GTA. To date, the Milborne Group has sold over 105,000 units in 725 developments, generating more than $30 billion in total sales. They are the longest-operating firm in the field with the largest market share, which is why we’ve asked them to share some history and insights on this important market sector.

Condominium legislation was first passed in Ontario in 1967 and B.C. in 1966, which makes the industry still fairly young and evolving. In the early years, condos were considered the poor cousins of the housing industry. They were a cheap but affordable alternative to what everyone really wanted: a single-family house or townhome.

When Milborne started out in the mid 1970s, we established the luxury condominium market in Toronto with four developments. Two on the waterfront — Harbour Square and Palace Pier — and two in midtown — Hazelton Lanes and 150 Heath. We sold Harbour Square for an average of $60 per square foot and Hazelton Lanes for the very-high-at-the-time price of $100 per square foot.

As a percentage of all new homes sold in the GTA in the 1970s and ’80s, condominiums remained a blip on the radar. At the end of the 1990s, however, condo ownership had become mainstream and was representing an increasing percentage of total new homes sold in the GTA. By the early 2000s, of the roughly 40,000 to 45,000 new homes sold annually in the GTA, both apartment and townhouse condominiums represented about 25 to 30%.

Then the rules changed!

In 2005, with urban sprawl, disappearing farmland, and longer commutes, the government created the Greenbelt. Significant parcels of land were frozen from development and plans were made to go vertical around existing transit lines and already developed zones.

Net immigration to the GTA has been significant: 100,000 to 125,000 newcomers per year for the last 25 to 30 years and increasing. The Greenbelt choked single-family supply and caused an unprecedented spike in price that has continued since 2005 (with a few brief plateaus).

In hindsight, it seems easy to see what would happen, but even we didn’t understand the impact this would have on the future. Single-family and townhome prices began to rise and kept rising because of diminishing supply. In fact, in each subsequent year until now, condominiums have become an increasing share of the GTA’s new home housing market sales.

By 2017, roughly 36,000 new condominiums were sold in the GTA compared with less than 8,000 new single-family homes (most well over $1,000,0000). The vast majority of new condos are selling for $350,000 to $750,000, which is still relatively affordable. Meanwhile, the approval process has increased from an average of 18 months to over 36 months, in an industry where demand continues to exceed supply.

In 2012, CIBC issued a report that said, “The most expensive real estate in the world are the islands of New York, Hong Kong, Singapore. Effectively the Greenbelt has made Toronto an island.” CIBC Chief Economist Benjamin Tal recently said, “If you think it’s expensive now, just wait!”

In the next few issues, we will comment on the recent foreign buyers’ taxes imposed by British Columbia and Ontario and whether the top of the market is coming soon or is already here — $3,000+ per square foot!

Market Overview

By Tim Ryder
Assistant Vice President, Underwriting and Investment Management

Market Overview

Ontario Market Analysis

  • 2017 housing starts exceeded 2016 by approximately 5.6%
  • Residential sales activity was approximately 19% in January 2018 than January 2017
  • Ontario homes sales dropped 23.3% from December 2017 to January 2018 (largely attributed to buyers moving closing dates forward to avoid new OSFI stress test)
  • Average home price in January 2018 is 2.3% lower than January 2017

Toronto/GTA Analysis

  • January 2018 residential transactions within the GTA were down 22% compared with sales reported in January 2017
  • New listings in January 2018 were up 17.4 % over January 2017
  • Average home prices have increased approximately 5.2% year over year, with growth driven primarily by the condo apartment market, which produced annual growth in excess of 10%

Alberta Market Analysis

  • Alberta home sales were up year over year in January 2018
  • Average home price in January 2018 was down approximately 1.5% year over year
  • 2017 housing starts were up approximately 20% from 2016, representing the largest increase in any province across the country

British Columbia/GVA Market Analysis

  • Provincial annual housing starts in 2017 increased by 4.4% over 2016
  • Residential home sales in the GVA in January 2018 were up 19.4% from January 2017 but down 9.8% from December 2017
  • Average home price in January 2018 was 16.6% higher than January 2017 and 0.6% higher than December 2017

Cameron Stephens Gives Back

Merry February

For the third year in a row CSMC graciously sponsored our “Merry February” project. By providing funds, sourcing additional donations, and giving of their time to assemble care packages for our 120 residents, the CSMC staff made a huge impact at our shelter and sent the message that they care. February is the coldest and darkest month of the year, and it’s also the month where we see the least volunteer and donor engagement. A huge thanks to everyone at CSMC for stepping up when we need it most!


Jake Aikenhead
The Salvation Army Gateway

Recently Funded Projects

Bolton - $13.55 M
Mississauga - $18 M
Mississauga - $15.7 M
Kitchener - $7.07 M
Hamilton - $5.45 M
Vancouver - $11 M
Keswick - $19.51 M
London - $26 M
Mississauga - 10.5 M