Are Boomers transforming the Toronto condo market with a Bevy of Unprecedented Luxuries?
Tuesday Jun 11th, 2019
Condos are no longer construed as mere starter homes. While the condo market was once dominated by starting out professionals in their twenties, on the first step of the real estate staircase, we have recently witnessed a wave of baby boomers stocking them for their golden years, escalating the demand for turnkey, ostentatious developments that can appeal to their exuberant taste.
Royal LePage conducted a survey of 1000 Canadians baby boomers in 2018, which revealed that more than half were in the throes of downsizing or looking to do so in the near future, 17% were planning to buy a new house in the coming years, while 32% asserted that they were considering buying a condo in the next 5 years.
However, it in no way means that that they are thinking of being close to their kids. In both Canada and U.S., baby boomers possess the lion’s share of the household wealth. Not to mention, why would high-end buyers settle for anything less than luxurious after forfeiting their spacious, exuberant estates. Most of the baby boomers are retirees holding myriad properties, who need a low-maintenance home base when they visit town briefly.
Even though some condos could be as expansive as 4000 plus square foot, it’s not the case always. The century old notion that luxury is defined by square footage is greatly starting to change. Instead, buyers who can afford to pay $1.2 million and beyond, see prestige and value in high-end built-in amenities, hotel like service, and walkability.
It comes as no surprise that well-known hotel chains such as Shangri-La, Ritz Carlton, and Four Seasons are increasing their residential offerings not just in Canada, but across the globe. This also includes spacious residences within Toronto. Even if we leave out official residences, extended hotel stays are also seeing a gigantic increase of 34%, just over the last 5 years. In high hopes of capitalizing on the fast-growing demand for small but opulent quarters, developers are looking to mirror the hotel offerings that baby boomers love in their condo projects.
For instant, Yorkville, famous for its posh restaurants and designer boutiques, is the hub for wealthy boomers. The neighborhood is currently seeing 9,840 developments under construction with an expected time of 5 years and 6,630 finished condos. Most units will be in luxurious properties.
For instance, 50 Scollard, developed by Lanterra Developments, is touted as a “seven-star” condominium. The property will constitute 77 units spanning across 1,293 to 4,209 sq. feet, with prices starting from $2.5 million on average. Some of the most awesome amenities include lavish free-standing tubs, wine fridges, gas fireplaces, and heated bathroom floors. A round-the-clock concierge will attend to residents when they are home and take care of their property while they are away. This offers an ideal solution to Freebirds who are frequent travelers.
In the vicinity, we witness the glory of The Davies by Brandy Lane Homes, which will consist of 8 penthouse suites and 36 residences, overlooking he Robertson Davies Park. While the price may be a little on the higher end at $2.2 million starting, suites will be equipped with gas barbecue hookups and gas fireplaces, which we don’t get to see much in Toronto Condos for sale, and access to elevators for a feel of sub-urban privacy in the midst of the city. Rooftop terrace will house a wet bar, a pace to sunbathe, and outdoor reading gardens.
Meanwhile, an under-construction project in Lawrence Park, The Winslow Condos offer 68 units, with prices starting from $1.6 million at 1,100 square feet. The property boasts open floor plans, and a spacious kitchen, with each unit’s design ranging from classic to contemporary, depending on the resident’s preference. With a ground-floor pet wash in every development, pet owners won’t miss their mud rooms much while downsizing form detached homes.
The most charming part of these Yorkville properties is that with or without a car, they allow maximum mobility. The 50 Scollard, The Davies, The Winslow, are located at the heart of animated neighborhoods, appealing to a new wave of seniors who have no taste for an empty-nest life in the suburbs or the loneliness of run-of-the-mill retirement communities, and who are more active than ever.
Living in the vicinity of others, both near myriad social spaces such as shops, restaurants, and parks, or in buildings with attractive communal amenities, is certainly a choice for the health-conscious lot. Even Harvard research has proven that it is as important to healthy aging to live connected to others, as it is to maintain a good weight or not smoking. Social engagement may also help in boosting memory and preventing age related brain disorders.
All of this may just be the beginning of the luxury trend in Toronto. If the market here follows the trends of cities like London and NYC, braced yourself for more extravagant amenities geared towards downsizers, from tennis courts to onsite “experience coordinators”