Category Archives: mississauga

Mississauga Moves Towards Making Housing More Affordable

Source: Insauga.com – by Ashley Newport on October 17, 2017

It’s no secret that housing in Mississauga (and the overall 905 area) has become increasingly more expensive over time. With detached houses costing buyers $900,000 to $1 million and compact condos selling for over $400,000, residents are turning to the rental market and being equally as disappointed to see that prices are no more kind there (in some cases, two-bedroom suites can cost close to $2,000 a month).

The housing crisis is one that Mississauga has been, to its credit, taking seriously.

The City of Mississauga’s Planning and Development Committee recently adopted the city’s first housing strategy: Making Room for the Middle: A Housing Strategy for Mississauga.

According to the strategy, there’s a pressing and dire need to create affordable housing for middle income earners who are in danger of being priced out of the city.

Some of the draft’s findings are alarming, even though they’re not at all surprising.

Some key facts:

  • A home is considered affordable when its inhabitants spend 30 per cent or less of their earnings on housing costs
  • 1 in 3 households are spending more than 30 per cent of their income on housing and research suggests this number will rise
  • Middle income households typically net between $50,000 and $100,000 a year
  • Middle income earners include nurses, teachers and social workers
  • People who want to purchase homes can typically afford to pay between $270,000 and $400,000, meaning their only options are condos and a limited selection of townhouses
  • Housing prices are adversely affected by supply and demand imbalances (there’s much more demand than there is supply)
  • The average rental unit costs $1,200 a month
  • Rental inventory is 1.6 per cent (which is troublingly low)

The city is focusing on middle income earners because they typically make too much to qualify for government assistance, but still cannot afford to rent or purchase homes in the city. When people are priced out of their communities, the social and economic fabric of the area is compromised. If the middle class is forced to move further away, the city will only be suitable for very high and low-income earners–something leaders are hoping to prevent.

The city says the Strategy is Mississauga’s plan for fostering a supportive environment for the development of a range of housing that is affordable for all. While it targets middle-income households, it will also benefit lower-income households.

To be clear, the Region of Peel is responsible for subsidized housing (meaning housing associated with low-income earners who require special assistance to afford adequate shelter in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon). While attention must still be paid to lower-income residents (Peel has a notoriously long subsidized housing waitlist and too few shelters for those in need), middle-income households have not been widely supported in terms of housing supply.

Generally speaking, middle-income earners—think social workers, journalists and clerical workers—do not qualify for financial assistance and cannot afford housing at current market prices.

Ideally, the strategy will help provide opportunities for lower-income households by freeing up supply.

The strategy offers 40 actions supported by the Mississauga Housing Advisory Panel, a group of over 20 housing professionals from the public, private and non-profit sectors that shared their knowledge, advice and solutions. It also includes a five-year action plan centred on municipal powers and funding partnerships to achieve its goals.

“Housing is an issue that touches every Mississauga resident and business,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “Council has already endorsed in-principle, actions to protect existing rental housing and create a housing-first policy for surplus lands. Making Room for the Middle: A Housing Strategy for Mississauga is the City’s plan to provide, together with our partners, a supportive development environment for a range of affordable housing.”

So, what has the city proposed?

  • Petition senior levels of government for taxation policies and credits that incent affordable housing
  • Pilot tools such as pre-zoning and a Development Permit System to develop affordable housing in appropriate locations (close to transit systems, for example)
  • Encourage the Region of Peel to develop an inclusionary zoning incentive program for private and nonprofit developers
  • Continue to engage with housing development stakeholders
  • Encourage the Region of Peel to investigate the cost of deferring development charges on the portion of affordable units provided in newly constructed multiple dwellings

The city has also been working to legalize accessory units (better known as basement apartments). At this juncture, basement suites remain a very viable option for people looking for affordable units, as the suites tend to cost $1,000 or less. Right now, most units remain unregistered and the city is responsible for levying fines against landlords operating unregulated units.

“Making Room for the Middle: A Housing Strategy for Mississauga defines how the City of Mississauga will address the affordable housing crisis in our City,” said Crombie in a statement. “We’re ready to do our part to ensure that those who want to live in Mississauga can afford to do so. The strategy provides bold, innovative solutions to increasing affordability. Safe, affordable housing is a pillar of a complete city and we will achieve our goals if we work together with our partners to create a supportive development environment for a range of affordable housing for all.”

According to the staff report, the strategy has received wide support since its release on March 29 from residents, agency partners and the building and development industry.

Speaking of the development industry, it appears that one affordable housing project is already in the works.

A few weeks ago, we learned that a brand new building development has been planned for the City Centre area.

The Daniels Corporation, the development firm who has built multiple properties in the City Centre and Erin Mills Town Centre areas in the city, is slated to construct an affordable housing project at 360 City Centre Drive.

Since this building will help the city fulfill its mandate, council will a provide a sizeable $2.7 million to the Region of Peel to offset development charges for the project.

The Region approved funding of the much-needed project to the tune of $65 million ($65,966,522, to be exact) on June 22. After approving funding, the Region asked Mississauga to “consider granting relief from City Development Charges (the aforementioned $2.7 million) by waiving or providing a grand to offset such DCs.”

As for how the development will work, 40 per cent of the units (70 in total) will be Rent Geared to Income suites. These units will take residents off affordable housing waitlist. The city also says that 60 per cent (or 104 units) will be set aside for renters and owned by the Region. They will be available to middle-class residents.

A second tower on the same podium will boast market-value units, creating a mixed-income property on City Centre grounds.

The movement of the affordable housing strategy is encouraging, especially since the city has been working to build consensus for sometime now.

The Mississauga Housing Forum held last spring enabled stakeholders to hear from renowned housing experts, “road test’ the strategy and provide their input. City staff say they have since have fine-tuned the strategy based on the feedback received.

“We heard from our residents and stakeholders and are taking action,” said Ed Sajecki, commissioner of planning and building. “Our strategy reflects the input we received. We can now create, together with our partners, a housing affordability solution that could be a model for other Canadian cities.”

The city says the next steps include actions to help preserve purpose-built rental housing, support for the Region of Peel in implementing its programs, and ongoing work with senior levels of government to make their surplus land available for affordable housing and provide standardized local housing data to measure housing affordability.

The final strategy will go to Council for approval on October 25.

 
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GTA’s hottest market outside of downtown Toronto

Source: Canadian Real Estate Wealth –  Neil Sharma

Mississauga has become the GTA’s largest condo hub after Toronto, and its torrid pace of residential, infrastructure and amenity development are conspiring to make it ripe for investment.

In tandem with the Places to Grow Act, Mayor Bonnie Crombie has recalibrated the city’s growth plan to quickly turn it into an urban hub. Mississauga’s city centre already has a dazzling skyline, and it’s expecting 23 new mixed-use condominium towers.

Major builders like Daniels, Amacon, Camrost and Solmar all have major projects going up there that promise to bring life to what’s been a sleepy downtown. However, without a crucial piece of infrastructure, some of these developments might never have been conceived.

“The timing is largely a result of the LRT breaking ground next year,” Crombie told CREW. “It is 20-kilometres long with 22 stops, beginning in Port Credit, and then looping around downtown where there will be four stops. It will pull into the transit terminal – the second-biggest in the GTA – then go into Brampton.”

The city centre in Canada’s six-largest city has long been built around Square One Shopping Centre, which just received a major facelift and extension, but there are newer arrivals. Sheridan College has two campuses in or near the city centre, with a third in planning stages, and University of Toronto Mississauga isn’t very far away, either. Apartment buildings in the area are being outnumbered by condos, and students will naturally rent them.
Over the next two decades, Peel Region is expecting 300,000 new residents and 150,000 jobs, of which 60% are projected to be in Mississauga.

Zia Abbas, owner and president of Realty Point, a brokerage that’s grown to 26 franchises in only two years, says the cost per square foot in Mississauga’s condos make investing there a no-brainer.

“The average of any new launch in downtown Toronto is around $1,000 (per square foot),” he said, “with the cheapest I’ve seen in Liberty Village starting around $850 to $900 per square foot before parking. In Mississauga it’s between $640 and $670, parking included.”

Abbas says the LRT will add substantial value to the city centre’s condo cluster, and added that Mississauga has other hot spots too, like Erin Mills and the Hurontario and Eglinton neighbourhood.

“Compared to downtown Toronto where eight out of 10 people rely on transit infrastructure, in Mississauga it’s five out of 10, I’d say.”

But as Crombie’s vision for an urban Mississauga materializes, that number could start rivalling Toronto’s.

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Mississauga House Sparks Unbelievable Bidding War

While it’s no secret that GTA houses have never been more in demand, it’s always a little surprising to hear stories about homes selling way (and we do mean way) over asking.

A Mississauga house on Glen Hawthorne Blvd. just sold for $900,000—$261,000 over asking price. The modestly sized, two-story detached home in the Hurontario and Eglinton area was listed quite competitively for $638,800 and generated 24 offers and over 400 showings—200 of which occurred over a two hour period during an open house.

“In 14 years in real estate, that was the first time I ever saw that many people at an open house,” says Milosov Lukaroski, the listing agent with Sutton Group Signature.

While $638,800 is indeed a competitive price that some may say was too low for the house type and neighbourhood, Lukaroski said that the home was one of the smallest in the area and had originally been purchased for much less a few years ago.

“The sellers bought in 2009 for $414,000 with me. I was calculating what increase we see every year on average in Mississauga and I discovered, according to that data, the real price of house was around $650,000.”

Lukaroski also added that he generated interest by marketing the home on social media and targeting prospective buyers in the 25-60 age range who live in and around the Square One area.

“It was a very good decision [to do that],” he says. “People still keep wanting to see it, even though it’s sold.”

As for what drove the wild bidding war, Lukaroski echoed what other real estate experts have been saying for months and laid blame squarely at the feet of a market utterly bereft of inventory.

“Inventory is very low, so people are competing more and more. The last time a house went on sale in that neighbourhood was four months ago. People were bringing certified checks for over $50,000 to showings. I’ve never seen that before. We got eight offers for over $800,000.”

Wild sales like this one are becoming more common, even in the suburbs that surround Toronto. Last week, a home in Brampton sold for $200,000 over asking and a Don Mills home sold for an absolutely incredible $1.15 million over asking.

While it’s actually not unusual for detached homes in the 905 to sell for close to $1 million, the feeding frenzy that ensues when a house goes on the market is indeed a unique phenomenon that’s a boon for sellers and an absolute nightmare for buyers (especially those trying to enter the market for the first time).

Because of persistently low inventory and attractive interest rates, buyers are scrambling to purchase homes at a time when houses—and even condos, in some instances—are quickly becoming something of a rare and precious commodity.

According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, the MLS Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up 21.8 per cent compared to last year. The average selling price for homes is also up, with the average home going for $770,745 (up 22.3 per cent), with double-digit gains in the average prices for all major home types .

Right now, the average detached home in the 905 (which obviously includes Mississauga) is selling for an astonishing $999,102. Semi-detached homes are going for $651,545 and towns are typically running buyers $604,263. Condos are selling for about $379,169.

“We expected close to $700,000. It was 11:00 p.m. and we sold for $900,000 and people kept trying to bid more,” Lukaroski says. “The market will get crazier, because there’s no inventory at all and interest rates are below three per cent. I came to Canada in 2003 and I’ve been in real estate ever since. Something like this has never happened before.”

Source: insauga.com – by Ashley Newport on February 14, 2017

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Do You Know the Rules of Condo Living in Mississauga?

The might of the heavy hand of the condo corporation has been in the news lately. Recently, a judge ruled in favor of an Ottawa condo corporation that took legal action against residents who rented out their suite on short-term rental service Airbnb.

The judge ruled that condo corps can indeed forbid owners and tenants from listing their units on short-term rental websites and the ruling has far-reaching implications because it confirms that such organizations can put limits on what owners can and can’t do with their spaces.

But while that’s an interesting case, it makes one question what rules condos have (and are permitted to have) and how residents follow them.

While the Airbnb case is complex, it’s often interesting how people misunderstand rules and, in some cases, plain common sense.

I live in a typical 20+storey condo. It’s challenging living in a place filled with such a diversity of people. But even so, you would expect people to be able to do simple things like dispose of their garbage and enter the underground garage properly.

Recently, our condo management began posting notices about procedures for residents to follow, and when I read them I couldn’t help wonder if they were actually serious. The instructions were rather simplistic and I was surprised that people needed to be reminded to follow them. Here’s a brief sampling, and my own comments pertaining to those instructions:

Garbage must be properly tied in plastic garbage bags (so they don’t break open while being tossed down a chute)

Unless you’re just taking your garbage container and dumping its contents down the garbage chute, I don’t know anyone who isn’t supposed to be already doing this. Maybe some residents are unfamiliar with garbage bags, or are just too lazy to use them?

Please remember that glass items are recyclable and must be taken to the depository on the ground floor

It sounds ridiculous that in 2016, people are still throwing out glass like it’s garbage. Even if glass wasn’t recyclable, don’t people realize throwing glass down a garbage chute, especially if you live on a higher floor, could smash into pieces and injure someone? At the very least, broken glass is a nightmare to clean up.

Please do not allow anyone without a key to enter the building, nor grant access through the entry phone to unidentified individuals

This may sound crazy, but there are people out there who will unlock the front door to the building for just about anybody. All you need to do is make up some story about how you’re seeing a family member, friend or dropping someone off. I’ve seen the police show up at my condo numerous times; people really shouldn’t just let random people in. You never know what might happen.

Please be sure to close and lock all suite and patio doors and windows

As a follow up to the previous point, just because you live in a condo with security in the lobby doesn’t mean some random weirdo can’t access the building. You may feel no obligation to lock your door if you live in the countryside by yourself with your nearest neighbour 10 miles away, but in a condo (as well as standard detached homes in neighbourhoods these days) you can’t assume you’re not at risk.

When parking your car in the underground garage, please ensure that no visible items are in your car, especially your garage door opener

I actually leave my garage door opener in my car, because I can’t tell you how many times I would forget to bring it with me if I didn’t. That said, something like that should be stored in a safe, discreet place in your vehicle if you do leave it in there, so as to avoid the prying eyes of potential car thieves.

When entering the underground garage, please allow the garage door to close behind you before proceeding to your parking space

This one had me baffled, because I literally was not sure what it meant. My underground garage entrance is a ramp like structure, and if I were to wait until the garage door closed behind me, it would be quite inconvenient, especially for any vehicles behind me. That would definitely slow things down for people going in and out of the underground garage.

This isn’t the first time my condo management attempted to convey instructions to their residents. But if they have to issue notices on rather obvious rules to follow, then maybe posting notices isn’t working. One of my neighbours suggested that management host meetings for the residents to go over these instructions and then give all residents a written test that they must pass before returning to their unit.

Okay, I was being facetious on that last point.

But while some rules are a little more complex (no pet policies, Airbnb bans), I understand it must be frustrating for condo corporations and management companies to deal with people being inconsiderate and, in some cases, negligent.

Source: insauga by Alan Kan on December 27, 2016

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Did You Know? Mississauga Has the Same Population As…

 

Once a suburb, always a suburb.

Or is it?

Although one could probably concede that Mississauga can still be defined as something of a suburban satellite city, it’s impossible (and inaccurate) to classify it as quaint or quiet or small. With a population of 713,445 people and several grand-scale urbanization projects moving forward (M City, Inspiration Lakeview, etc.), it’s safe to say that Mississauga is, in fact, a big city — albeit one that’s still developing its identity.

If you look at Mississauga’s population, you’ll see what we house almost the same number of people as world famous cities.

In fact, here’s a list of cities with similar populations to ours (often lower!), based on 2015 estimates:

Canada:

1)    Edmonton (812,201)

2)    Winnipeg (663,617)

United States:

1)    Seattle, Washington (684,451)

2)    Denver, Colorado (682,545)

3)    El Paso, Texas (681,124)

4)    Detroit, Michigan (677,116)

5)    Washington, D.C. (672,228)

6)    Boston (667,137)

7)    Memphis (655,770)

8)    Nashville (654,610)

9)    Portland (632,309)

10) Oklahoma City (631,346)

11) Las Vegas (623,747)

12) Baltimore (621,849)

 Europe:

1)    Zagreb, Croatia (790,017)

2)    Valencia, Spain (786,189)

3)    Leeds, U.K. (774,060)

4)    Krakow, Poland (761,069)

5)    Frankfurt, Germany (732,688)

So, there you have it! We may not be as much of a household name as Leeds or Frankfurt or Boston, but we have almost as many (and sometimes more) people.

It really puts things into perspective.

We’re bigger than we think.

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Mississauga to host 10-tower condo project

A bird's eye view of planned M City condo development in downtown Mississauga

The Rogers development promises more than two acres of public parkland in an area once meant for a radio transmitter.

A parcel of land bought in the 1960s by Ted Rogers in farm country at the western edge of what is now downtown Mississauga is to be transformed into a 10-tower condo development hailed as a fitting tribute to the telecom pioneer who passed away in 2008.

Rogers Real Estate Development Limited, a private holding company owned by the Rogers family, along with Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie on Tuesday unveiled a $1.5-billion, 15-acre, 4.3-million-square-foot project at the southwest corner of Burnhamthorpe Rd. and Confederation Pkwy. that promises more than two acres of public parkland downtown.

“Rogers has an enduring history with the City of Mississauga,” Edward Rogers said, noting that his father originally planned a radio transmitter for the site he bought for just over $170,000 a generation ago.

“We believe in the city and in the vision that was set forward in Downtown21,” he said, citing Mississauga’s strategy embracing a more pedestrian-friendly core with community squares, outdoor markets and abundant green space.

Called M City, the Rogers project is on part of the tract that was coveted because it offered wide-ranging reception to transmit signals from broadcast stations being assembled by the progenitor of Rogers Communications Inc., including Toronto radio outlet CHFI, whose transmitter is now located atop the CN Tower.

In an interview Monday, Edward Rogers said much of the land had been sold off, but the family held a long-standing ambition to develop the remaining acreage. He called M City a first foray in real-estate development that could pave the way for further projects down the road.

The project will be anchored by an iconic design, will prioritize public spaces and parkland, and offer residents the best in wireless, high-speed Internet and cable-TV technology now and into the future, he said.

Plans call for 6,000 units to be available for rent or for sale at prices ranging from around $200,000 up to $750,000. Some 700 units are envisioned for the first phase, with construction to begin in late 2017 or early 2018 and to continue in stages as units are pre-sold or rented and as the Rogers family retains ownership of the land.

While his father did not live to see the development finally take shape, his son said “it feels as though he is a part of it.”

“It’s a wonderful project,” Edward Rogers said. “It will be built to specifications that would have made Ted proud.”

According to architectural renderings, M City features will include extending existing city streets on a unique, angular plane to create a fine-grained network of blocks, enabling a pedestrian-friendly environment. Typical residential blocks will provide two-way roads with on-street parking, generous sidewalks and residential frontages.

“Rogers has put forward a bold, exciting and forward-looking vision for Mississauga’s growing, thriving and promising downtown,” Crombie said in a statement.

“These new planned developments by Rogers are consistent with the City of Mississauga’s commitment to build a livable, walkable city, home to mixed-use residential and commercial developments that are connected to an extensive public transit network.”

New York-based urban design firm Cooper Robertson was brought on board to design the framework for M City while Cooper Robertson partner Donald Clinton was the lead designer on the project.

Architects delivered a winning design that will “redefine Mississauga’s skyline with a striking, undulating tower that rotates seven typical floor plates in repetition as it rises 51 storeys,” said a press release outlining the development.

“Rogers, because they’re not builders, they’re a renowned Canadian corporate entity that doesn’t have to squeeze every penny out of this, Rogers is creating a legacy here,” said the area’s councillor, Nando Iannicca.

Rogers will partner with a construction management company and a highrise builder on the project, which Iannicca said will be a defining feature of Canada’s sixth-largest city. The towers will house privately owned condos and rentals, with a wide variety of leased commercial properties on the lower floors.

The Toronto-based holding company’s plan describes a signature tower just west of city hall and right next to the downtown loop of a future $1.3-billion LRT to be fully funded by the province. The land has sat as a vacant field for decades, while vertical development has exploded around Mississauga’s city centre.

The project is being assembled by the Rogers family independent of Toronto-based Rogers Communications, the telecom and media giant founded by Ted Roger’s father, Edward S. Rogers.

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Toyota Takes Over Target Location at Square One

Toyota is launching a pilot project on the second level of the former Target location at Square One and it officially opens on March 5 and runs until May 31.

The pilot is called Towards Tomorrow by Toyota and it’s an interactive gallery that will feature Toyota’s newest selection of vehicles, including the RAV4 Hybrid, Scion iM, Prius and Prius c.

The pilot will include digital art, painting stations and virtual reality simulators – a different and more interactive consumer experience geared towards millennials.

This non-traditional dealership is an unconventional method to generate brand awareness and engage with consumers in a different format.

“Clearly, our customers today are well-educated, using the web and have a greater idea of what they want. They certainly still want to see the vehicle, drive the vehicle and touch the vehicle to make sure it fits. But they want to do that in a pressure-free, non-traditional retail environment,” says Cyril Dimitris, VPof Sales, in a recent Canadian Auto World article.

While this isn’t the first time an auto OEM has branched out from traditional dealership models, it is a first for Toyota’s Towards Tomorrow pilot at Square One. Tesla Motors successfully launched its first Canadian dealership at Yorkdale mall about three years ago.

The pilot is currently slated as a temporary project at Square One but perhaps there’s a possibility of it becoming permanent since Dimitris notes the factory has already heard from dealers that have interest in running something similar in other markets.

Source; Insauga.com – March 3, 2016

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