I was recently interviewed by Point2Homes, a large internet real estate web portal, about the state of the Mississauga real estate market…. here is an excerpt from the Q&A session:
1. How has the Mississauga real estate market performed last year, and what are your expectations for 2016?
The Mississauga real estate market mirrored the overall Greater Toronto Area(GTA) in 2015. We saw very strong demand throughout the year, with multiple offers and bidding wars being the norm. There was an acute shortage of listings for freehold properties, and with nowhere left to build in the City of Mississauga, detached homes increased by about 9 percent during the year. What’s even more remarkable is that, on average, the average selling price for detached homes was 100% of the asking price – in other words, on average, throughout 2015, buyers were obliged to pay the full asking price for a detached home.
High-rise condos, where there are still many being built, especially in the Square One area of Mississauga, saw price increases of 5 percent overall. This is strictly a reflection of supply and demand, for unlike detached homes, there are many new condo projects coming on stream. Condos performed very well in 2015, in spite of the record number of new projects being completed. The average condo in Mississauga sold at 98% of asking price throughout 2015. Rental rates are also at record highs, something that condo investors can appreciate.
The strength in this long bull market has been built on three pillars: low interest rates, which make higher priced properties affordable; an overall good economy in southern Ontario, where most people have jobs; and immigration, where on average, 100,000 people move to the GTA on an annual basis. As long as these three pillars remain in place, my expectation is that the strength in the market will continue.
For the rest of the interview, check here.
Pinnacle Uptown Townhouses feature Modernist Style
Vancouver developer Pinnacle International has been busy in the GTA over the last decade or so, with multiple projects in both Toronto and Mississauga. One of their ongoing developments is Pinnacle Uptown, which is a 36 acre master planned community of both highrises and townhouses, located near Hurontario St. & Eglinton Ave. in north central Mississauga. Today we will look at the architecture of the very clean and modernist townhouses that are part of this development.
Mississauga Uptown Development:
There are 100 townhouses which are in various stages of completion. They are located in a triangular lot to the west of the current highrises, and are three stories. Each comes with a double car garage, located in the rear, something not easily found in the townhouse inventory of Mississauga. These townhouses were marketed and sold under the brand “Marquis Townhouses on the Park”. There are two new streets where the townhomes are located: Little Creek Road, and Four Springs Avenue.
Amenities are located on the inside of the triangle, and are bundled and branded as the “Marquis Club”. Features include an outdoor pool, hot tub, party room, and outdoor playground. Each townhouse unit features an outdoor terrace over the garage, and 9 foot ceilings on the main floor are standard.
What we really like about the design of these townhomes are the clean, modernist designs. Colours are predominantly soft pastels and warm earth tones, with tan, or sand colours featuring, and there are clean white framing details. Each unit has plenty of windows, and should provide a bright and airy living experience. The townhouses of Pinnacle Uptown have a very clean look. The architects are Richmond Architects of Toronto.
These are high end properties, each over 2000 square feet, and the few that remain for sale are in the $750K range..
Kudos to Pinnacle International for bringing such clean, modernist architecture to their Mississauga project. So many other developers are still stuck in the more traditional mode. It’s great to see a very urban design here in Mississauga. You’d expect it in the downtown areas of Toronto or Vancouver, so to find it here is yet another sign of Mississauga’s growing urban maturity. When I first saw these in person, they were like a breath of fresh air. Just my opinion, mind you!
So what are your thoughts about this type of modernist architecture! Do you like these, or do you prefer a more traditional style? The location is good. Would you live here?
Top 100 Neighborhoods to Invest in Canada
Mississauga was recognized as one of the Top 100 neighborhoods to invest in Canada, in the recently published annual investment guide put out by Canadian Real Estate Magazine. I was asked to contribute to the article, and in it we review three separate areas of Mississauga – Clarkson, Cooksville, and Meadowvale Village. In the guide we review detailed information on population, population growth, vacancy rates, cap rates, average price, average rent, and projected cash flow.
Canadian Real Estate Magazine puts out this special issue every year to provide investors with comparative information for cities across Canada. See the video here:
Clarkson has been selected as a good place to invest due to several reasons. It is an older area, where the price of housing is a bit less than some of the newer areas of Mississauga. It nevertheless has an excellent location, with close proximity to the QEW highway, the Clarkson GO station, as well as good schools and shopping. One profitable strategy for investors in Clarkson has been to purchase semi-detached homes with a separate basement apartment. This way, the investor benefits from two streams of income – one from upstairs, and one from downstairs.
Cooksville, along with Clarkson and Meadowvale, was one of the original towns which were amalgamated to form the City of Mississauga. Cooksville is centered near Dundas and Hurontario streets, the old intersection known as 5 + 10. It is also an older area, with pockets of reasonably priced homes that attract good rents. Cooksville may also benefit if the planned and fully funded Hurontario LRT is eventually built. As it is today Cooksville is ideally located near the QEW highway, and features Trillium Hospital, a major employer and source of good tenants.
Meadowvale Village is situated in the extreme northern edge of Mississauga, and has great connectivity to Pearson Airport, highway 401, and the major employment areas which surround the airport. Once again, for the investor we recommend the semi-detached house, with a separate basement apartment, for an ideal source of two streams of income.
These are just three neighborhoods in Mississauga which we are highlighting in Canadian Real Estate Magazine. There are many other options for anyone looking to invest in real estate, including excellent opportunities with condos in the Square One area. For much more information, see my main site here: www.randyselzer.com
A recent visit to the Grand Park 2 site being built by Vancouver developer Pinnacle International shows steady progress on the very deep parking structure. A large crew has been working later than most other work sites in the Square One area, and the results are impressive. Here are a few shots from this afternoon, showing crews pumping and pouring concrete. The above shot shows what appears to be a giant preying mantis, but what is in fact a giant concrete pump…
Grand Park 2 will eventually rise 48 storeys, making it one of the taller condos in Mississauga. There will be 469 units, and completion is planned for 2017. Architects are Turner Fleischer.
Lots of teamwork involved here with the crew, as some prepare the rebar, and others pour and work the concrete.
You can clearly see the vast size of the undertaking – there is an enormous amount of concrete and rebar on display, and this is just for the underground parking structure! Pinnacle’s Grand Park 2 condo tower is one of the dozens of highrise projects which are dramatically changing the downtown core of Mississauga City Centre.
Holt Renfrew Square One
On a recent visit to Square One Shopping Centre, in Mississauga, Ontario, we stopped by to check out the ongoing construction for the new Holt Renfrew outlet on the south side of the mall. Although Square One has been undergoing massive renovations and expansion over the last several years, which has resulted in new food courts, new store areas, and a large expansion on the north side (soon to host Montreal department store Simon’s), it is the south side where some of the most anticipated construction is taking place.
Attention Shoppers! Holt Renfrew coming to Square One
On the extreme southwest end of the mall, an approximate 120,000 square foot addition is being built to house a new Holt Renfrew location. Architects for this Square One Holt Renfrew expansion are Janson Goldstein LLP, who are based out of New York. You can see from the renderings and today’s construction photos, that there will be an interesting “scalloped” effect on the glass facade, a nice added touch in keeping with the luxury branding of Holts.
The new Holt Renfrew is expected to open in the spring of 2016, and will undoubtedly be a flagship for the luxury Canadian retailer, being part of its strategy to counter the entry of Saks Fifth Avenue, and Nordstrom, into the Canadian retail scene. Square One itself has been rebranding itself in a big way over the last several years, with luxury retailers gradually squeezing out many of the lower priced stores. The mall itself is looking pretty good these days – brighter, cleaner, and with many new additions. It’s pretty clear that Oxford Properties, the managers of Square One, have spent a lot of time and money doing all the recent renovations, and the results are a definite step towards an “upscale” shopping experience. The addition of Holt Renfrew will be another major addition to this upscale rebranding.
We will keep you posted with updates on the many changes taking place at Square One Shopping Centre. It’s such a central fact of life for those of us living in the city centre area of Mississauga. And for people who love shopping at Holt Renfrew, it looks like you will soon be able to get your Missoni teddy bears, and much more, at Square One.
As mentioned, Oxford Properties manages Square One, and they are overseeing the ongoing development. Municipal address for the mall is 100 City Centre Drive, Mississauga, ON. L5B 2C9
Possibilities by Michel de Broin
Possibilities is a public art piece by Montreal based artist Michel de Broin. Installed in late 2012, Possibilities is located in the roundabout in front of Sheridan College Mississauga campus, at the intersection of Square One Drive and Duke of York Blvd. Today we will revisit this sculpture, which has added a noticeable splash of colour to the area just west of the Square One shopping mall.
Created out of aluminum, Possibilities consists of eight coloured arrows, and is meant as a nostalgic reflection of 1950’s road signs. It seems to me that the sculpture is a pretty good reflection of Mississauga’s auto-centric past, also pointing to new possibilities as it morphs into a more urban future.
Michel de Broin is a noted Canadian artist, based in Montreal. He has had exhibitions of his work in Canada, the U.S., France, Germany, and South Korea. You may remember news items about his recent contribution to Nuit Blanche celebrations in Paris, which consisted of a gigantic lit disco ball, elevated high in the sky. It was a crowd favourite in Paris. Michel is past winner of Canada’s Sobey Award, and he has a website here.
Although most drivers on the roundabout probably won’t have much time to admire the work, I think that this latest piece of public art is another subtle and life affirming addition to the city centre. The folks at the City of Mississauga’s public art initiative are to be applauded for their ongoing efforts to bring splashes of colour for us all to enjoy. We all win, and Canadian artists benefit as well. I like the fact that the area around Square One, which was previously mostly a wasteland, has transformed into something pretty special, peppered with public artwork, even as it is a work in progress. As phase 2 of the Sheridan campus takes shape, more and more people will be able to enjoy the “Possibilities” at this busy intersection.
The City of Mississauga continues to make interesting additions to its public art program, with another new and colourful project coming on stream last month. This one is titled “Tree Quilts”, and it is bringing a splash of colour and whimsy to the intersection of Hurontario St. and Burnhamthorpe Rd. W.
Tree Quilts consists of decorative wrapping of 11 trees located in the median of Hurontario St., which are part of a larger group of trees which are normally wrapped in regular brown burlap to protect them against the elements each winter. These 11 trees have been wrapped in colourful fabrics and quilts, which were custom made by the artist. Created by Toronto based design studio Fugitive Glue, these bright and colourful quilts have brightened up the intersection, and have been bringing smiles to Mississauga residents since their unveiling.
People that I’ve talked to seem to like the splash of colour that the quilted wraps bring to this busy part of Mississauga, in the heart of the city, and directly across from Square One shopping mall. They certainly do make an impact when you first see them. This public art display will disappear when the trees are unwrapped in the spring; hopefully they will return next year. Fugitive Glue is a collective of artists and designers, under the direction of founder Jano Badovinac. They have a website here. My only complaint? I wish that all the trees had been wrapped this way!