Robert DeNiro believes in Toronto's real estate market. And he thinks you should, too.
The world-famous Academy Award-winning actor and his business partner, world-renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa, were in town late last month to kick-off sales of units at Nobu Residences Toronto, consisting 700 luxury units two, 49-story high-rise towers.
The development will also include a hotel and, of course, a 15,000 square-foot outpost of the Japanese-Peruvian Nobu restaurant DeNiro and Matsuhisa co-founded, the first in Canada and 16th in North America.
“I cannot think of a singular place that has a more unique and impassioned sensibility than Nobu,” said Josh Zagdanski of Toronto-based Madison Homes, which is developing the project.
Zagdanski hopes high-end buyers agree. They'll pay between $400,000 and $2 million to live there.
Nobu is one of several in-the-works Toronto developments targeting wealthy buyers, amidst market data that suggests the sizzling real estate market may be cooling.
Hottest real estate market in the world?
On May 10, Christie's International Real Estate pronounced Toronto the "hottest real estate market in the world," ahead of Victoria, British Columbia, San Francisco, Austin, Texas and Charleston, South Carolina.
"The Toronto market stood at 17 days on market.. the lowest in the world, fueled by extremely low inventory and rapid price increases that pushed buyers to act fast," Christie's said.
But three weeks later, the Toronto Real Estate Board announced for sale inventory rose and home prices fell in May.
Christie's described Toronto's sky-high market as being "fueled by foreign, and in particular Chinese, buyers," now the target of state regulators, who instituted a 15 percent "foreign buyers tax" in Toronto as part of an effort to cool things down.
A similar tax in Vancouver, implemented last year, "immediately dampened the high-end market," according to a report by Inman Media, a real estate trade publication.
“Foreign buyers typically aren’t interested in a $450,000 condo,” explained Elton Ash, the regional director of Re/Max of Western Canada. “They’re typically buying luxury homes."
Toronto's 2017 test
How much depth exists in Toronto's high-end market-- foreign and otherwise-- will be determined over the rest of this year.
The future of a score of proposed high-profile luxury skyscrapers depends on it.
Typically, lenders require a developer to book 70 percent of a development's revenue in pre-construction sales before they will finance a project. Failure to meet that threshold means a project heads back to the drawing board-- or to the dustbin.
Pre-construction sales are underway at Nobu Residences, but developers say they don't expect to break ground until 2018. They haven't announced a firm date.
Other developments face a much longer road before they become reality.
The One, which promises to be the tallest building in Canada, has received zoning approval from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). But it hasn't released any specific details about its proposed 416 units, like their price range or floor plans, nor has it started selling them.
Other luxury high-rises still in the "pre-sales" process are One Scollard, by Cityzen Development Group (194 units/59 stories), 100 Davenport, by Diamante Developments, (53 units/39 stories) and Phantom Development's 8 Cumberland (371 units/ 51 stories), which, tellingly, built its web site in English and Chinese.
If any of the above are actually built, they'll be are competing with already-completed luxury developments that are nearly new, like the elegant, 34-story, 210-unit Four Seasons Toronto Residences, home to many of the city's wealthiest. It opened in 2013.
Luxury developments in Toronto
Toronto's luxury real estate market has boomed in recent years. Will it continue? A series of proposed developments will put it to the test.
|Nobu Residences||49||700||Pre-Construction sales|
|The One||80||416||Zoning approved.|
|8 Cumberland||51||371||Seeking zoning approval|
|100 Davenport||39||53||Seeking zoning approval|
|One Scollard||59||194||Seeking zoning approval|