Daniel Milstein, Real Estate Sales Representative at Forest Hill Real Estate Inc. Brokerage in Toronto, Canada, has been a longtime member of LuxuryRealEstate.com. In anticipation of his TV debut in the upcoming W Network series Buying The View, he has answered some questions on the local Toronto market and his work with Buying The View.
Buying the View explores luxury listings in Miami, Manhattan, Toronto, Niagara, Muskoka, Vancouver and Whistler with views that will take your breath away. Realtors from the hottest real estate markets in North American are searching for luxury homes for their clients – touring three very different properties, the buyers see exactly what their budget gets them. And when it comes down to it, what are they prepared to compromise on, and what will they ultimately decide to go for? Their journey gives an insight into the lives, tastes and personalities of those buying luxury properties with million dollar views.
What can Toronto buyers and sellers expect as we jump right into 2016?
As typical as this response may be, my personal forecast of the Greater Toronto Area market is certainly a positive one. We have started off the year on the right foot and will continue in the same capacity moving forward into the year of course. According to Toronto Real Estate Board, we have had an 8.2 per cent increase compared to January 2015 in sales and that is just for the month of January, not to mention a 10.7 per cent MLS listing price increase over a year-year basis review. The average selling price in the Greater Toronto Area over the same period was up by 14.1 per cent as well. Toronto is one of the best cities in the world and we are finally getting that international recognition that we deserve on a local and global scale. Its quite nice.
Why has the Toronto market grown in popularity in recent years?
Multiple reasons. We have the text book answers (low interest rates across the country, high demand/low supply, etc) and we have the real answer. Its a great place to be. We have a very conservative way of doing business up here. People know how much they can afford and dont generally overextend themselves too much. This is why we are where we are. The natural progression of common sense in a great city with everything to offer and more, of course its going to be on the top priority of places to buy or sell. We're the 4th largest in North America, we have excellent education, our crime rates are very low and to top that off, we have Drake and Justin Bieber. Where else do you want to be? :)
Are there any challenges as the market progresses in the modern world?
We're on the right track and we havent been better. We finally have Manhattan-esque skyscrapers in the city with luxury retail. Castles in the sky. A few years ago people were worried about the condo market crashing with too many cranes going up all over the city. The fact of the matter is that there are lots but not lots of great ones. You want a 2+1 condo with all the bells and whistles in a A+ neighborhood with door service and in an end-user building? Get on the list. I have lists of people looking to get into certain condominiums because the fact of the matter is that lots of these new buildings have been catered towards investors leaving the downsizers and end-user buyers out in the cold. I'm seeing a change in this in recent months. There are a few great developments coming that will be geared towards those types of buyers.
What are the strengths of Toronto as a luxury market?
Toronto is Hollywood North. The Los Angeles crowd loves coming here for the film festival, they can roam the streets without paparazzi cameras in thier face. We have some of the best internationally renowned restaurants and bars. Our retail and shopping has never been better with the expansion of Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and more on the way. Bloor Street (central) is the equivalent of New York's 5th Avenue. Queen Street (downtown) was coined by Vouge as the "2nd trendiest place in the world" next to Tokyo. Our arts and music community has never been better. Theres no question here, we've got it going on. The great thing about Toronto is that it is a luxurious city with a non-aggressive approach. We dont have a big divide amongst wealth brackets as cities such as Miami or New York City. Its no secret that the international community has been investing in our city for a while now as well. Come to Toronto and see what all the hype is about! (oh and if you're looking for a fantastic lunch spot give me a ring, I know a few great ones :-)
What are your favorite Toronto hot spots?
Too many to list but here I go.
Dinner: Frings Restaurant on King Street
Brunch: Lady Marmalade Queen East
Drinks on a date: dBar at the Four Seasons Hotel
Drinks with a friend: The Beaconsfield on Queen Street West
Dancing: Wildflower at the Thompson Hotel or Apartment 200 on Queen West
Why is Buying the View so important for today’s buyers?
During this past summer I had a great opportunity to be apart of a new hit series called 'Buying The View' which premiered on the W Network this past month (on Tuesday's at 10pm EST). During this time I really got to know my clients on a different level and what they, alike with many other buyer clients out there understand, is that buying a property is one thing, Buying a property with an inspirational view that makes you love every single moment you spend time at home is a whole different story. What we know is that buyers want more. My job is to deliver and introduce my clients to properties that make them melt to the ground and say "How much?!..I need this place now!!!" Views inspire. They allow us to dream, they allow us to play pretend, they allow us to envision and most of all they allow us to conquer. As our busy lives become cluttered each day with work and stress and our urban jungles continue to grow, sometimes all you need is a pretty sunset or a treelined horizon to make you feel alive again.
What were your big takeaways from working on Buying the View?
Working on the show was fantastic. I really enjoyed what the team brought to the table. Connecting with something further than just a "oh, thats a beautiful kitchen" was special for me. I think the magic of this process was really the creativity we all brought together. Prospective buyers with an artistic touch, a great team that helped display all of this on camera and of course myself being the middle man, we all had a great time. One thing I can say for anyone out there thats in the market for a new home is buy the one with the view. You'll appreciate your decision in the long run :)