Toronto's condominium sales may be cooling overall, according to the latest figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association, but there's a hot spot in Yorkville that's defying the sharp downward trend in the hardest hit segment of the market, producing sales results that one expert called "revolutionary."
In October 2012, at a time when the condo market's fast-cooling trend was creating significant trepidation and fears of a severe correction, Mizrahi Developments launched 181 Davenport, a building of 110 units, in Toronto's Yorkville neighbourhood. Amidst gloomy media reports about a persistent downturn in the condo market and uncertain economic conditions, 181 Davenport has defied market predictions. In just over 60 days of the launch date, over 50% of the residences have sold. Occupancy is scheduled in 2015.
At the start of January 2013, Mizrahi Developments achieved a weekly record in dollar-figure sales with customers purchasing homes at both 181 Davenport and Mizrahi Developments' adjacent luxury condo building, 133 Hazelton.
Mizrahi Developments entered the luxury condominium market in Toronto in the fall of 2011, when it launched 133 Hazelton in Yorkville, a mid-rise boutique building on the northern edge of Toronto's mid-town heritage neighbourhood with 35 residences and three townhouses. Within the first 60 days, over 50% of the residences had sold. When construction began in June of last year, 95% of the building, on schedule for occupancy in 2014, had sold in less than 9 months.
Sales in luxury residential buildings, which constitute the top 5% of the condominium market in Toronto, have slowed in excess of the rest of the condo market, which has seen a 30% decline in sales, quarter over quarter, since 2011, according to Ben Myers, editor and executive vice-president of Urbanation Inc, a market research firm specializing in condominium development in Toronto.
"In 2007 and 2008, there were very strong sales in the luxury Toronto market with the new Four Seasons, The Ritz Carlton, the Shangri-La, Museum House and 77 Charles, but there has been significant cooling since then, and some projects have had to be pulled from the market.
Mizrahi Developments has been extremely successful in the face of this slowing in the luxury market," says Mr. Myers.
Mizrahi Developments, which has experience in real estate development and the building of luxury Toronto, entered the condominium market in 2011, offering homes with unique features such as indoor/outdoor fireplaces and a high degree of custom-design flexibility, provided at no extra cost. They became known for superior standard finishes and a degree of craftsmanship reminiscent of another era.
At 133 Hazelton, condominiums were priced over $1,250 per square foot. The largest suite is 4,125 square feet with a panoramic view and over 2,000 square feet of outdoor terrace. 181 Davenport offers suites ranging in size from 7,000 square feet to 750 square feet. The average price in the building is $1,000 per square foot.
"At a time of economic uncertainty, we created certainty with a quality product with superior craftsmanship in Toronto's most valuable location," says Sam Mizrahi, president of Mizrahi Developments. "Toronto is transforming itself into an international city. The immigration behind Canada's growth was driving an international style of building. That's what we went out to create: an old-world style of building with craftsmanship that reminds people of a more international, European sensibility," explains Mr. Mizrahi. "People were looking for homes, not condominiums, and so we made sure we provided the kind of finishing details that you would find in luxury homes. It's about perfection. That's what luxury is."
"The rate of sales success that Mizrahi Developments has had is revolutionary, not at all the norm in a market of high-end customers, who are the ultimate discretionary buyers. They buy not because they need to, but because they want to," says Mark Cohen, founding partner of The Condo Store, who has worked in the Toronto condo development market for 30 years. "With many luxury projects, many people don't want to buy until they can see the completed building. But with these projects from Mizrahi, the customer recognizes the value of the location combined with the attention to detail and the ability to custom-design their spaces. Mizrahi Developments has created buyer confidence, and their Yorkville projects are a testament to the high-end discretionary buyer wanting and recognizing something better."
"What this sales shows is that when you see a slowdown in condo sales generally, you do not see a slowdown when you're dealing with a real quality project that's giving people what they want," comments Jimmy Molloy, sales agent with Chestnut Park Realty in Toronto. "Mizrahi Developments has a great understanding of what the market wants. They read the market and then they respond with the right product."
About Mizrahi Developments
Mizrahi Developments has built a real estate brand in Toronto, founded on superior craftsmanship and attention to detail. With roots in single luxury homes in Forest Hill, one of Toronto's premier neighbourhoods, Mizrahi Developments works to top industry certifications. They are the only builder in Canada with the ISO 9001 certification, a Swiss-based process management system that demands a high degree of accountability and frequent reporting on customer satisfaction.
SOURCE/Photo: Mizrahi Developments