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SteelTown Jan 11, 2008 12:27 PM

Housing market
 
Condo lifestyle rapidly rising in popularity

The Hamilton Spectator
(Jan 11, 2008)

It's top dog, literally, in Hamilton's booming condo market.

Priced at $549, 900, the penthouse suite in the historic Pigott Building on James Street between Main and King streets is the most expensive condo now on the market.

While houses are still king in this area, condominiums are growing in popularity. Sales in the area -- Hamilton, Burlington and Grimsby -- grew by about 10 per cent last year. At 2,821, they represented about 20 per cent of the total resale market. There are 83 for sale right now. The majority of sales are in Burlington.

The Pigott penthouse isn't the most expensive unit ever to be sold in this city. Two other penthouses in a Mountain Brow building now under construction sold for a cool $1 million each.

SteelTown Jan 11, 2008 12:29 PM

Sitting on top of the city

Amberlee Mcateer
Special to The Hamilton Spectator
(Jan 11, 2008)

Sixty metres above James Street, Helena Donaldson has a unique view as she tidies the kitchen of her two-storey penthouse suite in the historic Pigott Building.

"The view from the top is simply incredible," she said. "I can see all of Hamilton.

"We can literally look from the escarpment right down to the bay. How amazing is that?"

Donaldson, a financial planner, and her husband George Seehaver, a steel fabricator, traded in their 10-hectare escarpment property about three years ago for the condominium lifestyle, after their four children grew up and moved out.

"We're busy, working people," she said. "I don't want a garden anymore. I want to be able to just lock the door and go to work and travel when I want."

The couple is selling their home in the Art Deco building near the corner of James and Main streets in favour of a larger condominium in Burlington with a rooftop terrace -- one of the few features absent in their penthouse suite.

The original gold and green elevator car opens directly into the two-storey Pigott penthouse, which has porcelain floors, gothic ceilings and a wood-burning fireplace. A wrought-iron staircase leads to the master bedroom, nestled in the very peak of the building.

With 32 windows in the 1,835-square-foot space, the views include the Toronto skyline and Hamilton's downtown. An iron beam in the living room is a reminder of the original structure, built eight decades ago.

Hamilton's first skyscraper, the Pigott's unusual architecture stands out. Constructed with New York City gothic style influences, the limestone building was used for offices until it was transformed into condominiums in the 1980s.

"This is definitely a unique space," said Carissa Spithoff, one of a dozen real estate sales people who have been showing the suite since September. "In terms of its view, history, architectural detail, this place is truly special."

In order to determine the $549,900 price tag, Spithoff said her agency looked at suites in Burlington, Oakville and Toronto because "there's literally nothing like it in this city."

Potential buyers, usually "young professionals or empty nesters," have included Stoney Creek dwellers and Torontonians.

SteelTown Jan 11, 2008 12:30 PM

Movin' on up

January 11, 2008
Steve Arnold
The Hamilton Spectator

The average price of a Hamilton-area home will hit $300,000 this year.

That prediction from the local real estate board comes after the busiest year on record when 14,400 homes changed hands for an average $272,800, up 7.5 per cent from 2006.

"We had a strong seller's market in 2007 and we're predicting exactly the same thing for 2008," said Ann Cosens, newly installed president of the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington.

Cosens said several forces are driving up local housing prices -- demand remains strong because the area's economy is performing well while the supply of houses for sale remains tight.

The local market is also getting a boost from "housing refugees" from the Greater Toronto Area attracted by the fact a house that sells here for about $270,000 costs $400,000 in Toronto.

Looking ahead, Cosens said mortgage rates are expected to remain low, the turmoil in the American housing market won't have a depressing effect here, and while the rate of growth will slow, sales and prices will continue to rise.

DC83 Jan 11, 2008 1:51 PM

Quote:

The Pigott penthouse isn't the most expensive unit ever to be sold in this city. Two other penthouses in a Mountain Brow building now under construction sold for a cool $1 million each.
I'm assuming it's the Maddison they're referring to? That's pretty kewl... I wonder how many units they've sold in total so far??

SteelTown Jan 11, 2008 1:59 PM

And somehow BCTed placed a bet with me that the Madison will be a failure.

DC83 Jan 11, 2008 2:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SteelTown (Post 3274921)
And somehow BCTed placed a bet with me that the Madison will be a failure.

Maybe if they built it somewhere that didn't have that view... but the view alone is worth $1million!
Plus the size of the units... 2 per floor... unheard of in this city!!

DC83 Jan 11, 2008 2:47 PM

Here's the unit in the Pigott:

http://www.mls.ca/PropertyDetails.as...ertyID=6170567

SteelTown Jan 11, 2008 2:48 PM

You can see the penthouse on the Spec too, the video.

BrianE Jan 11, 2008 2:58 PM

Yeah, I would live there, but apparently my $550 000 in Canadian Tire money isn't "legal tender".

Pffftt. Capitalist pigs.

DC83 Jan 11, 2008 3:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrianE (Post 3275036)
Yeah, I would live there, but apparently my $550 000 in Canadian Tire money isn't "legal tender".

Pffftt. Capitalist pigs.

I wonder if you can buy a Unit at the Canadian Tire Condo at Church/Yonge with Cdn Tire Money?? If so, you're set man! hahaha

BCTed Jan 12, 2008 8:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SteelTown (Post 3274921)
And somehow BCTed placed a bet with me that the Madison will be a failure.

Two out of twenty to date certainly doesn't equal success, Mr. SteelTown!

raisethehammer Jan 12, 2008 11:03 PM

are those the only 2 units that sold?? wow. I would have expected the million dollar penthouses to go last, not first! pretty impressive.
How much are the rest of the units??

SteelTown Jan 12, 2008 11:05 PM

The entire article was only talking about penthouses in Hamilton not the whole building. Penthouses in Hamilton sell quick.

BCTed Jan 13, 2008 2:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SteelTown (Post 3278252)
The entire article was only talking about penthouses in Hamilton not the whole building. Penthouses in Hamilton sell quick.

I made the assumption that those are the only two units that have sold in the entire building, and it may have been an incorrect assumption.

I think that all units in the building are selling within a fairly narrow price range. I believe it is in the 800K to 1 MM range, or something similar.

raisethehammer Aug 11, 2008 2:08 PM

Housing Market
 
I figured we could use a thread to keep an eye on the housing market in the city and watch for hopeful signs of an increasing condo/apartment market.


Housing starts jump 70% in July
Rick Zamperin
8/11/2008

Total starts in the Hamilton Census Metropolitan Area were up 70 per cent in July compared to July 2007.

Canada Mortgage and Housing says townhouse and apartment starts in Hamilton and Burlington drove the increase in total starts.

Total starts in Hamilton rose 87 per cent.

Single-detached home starts are up by 4 per cent from last year.

Starts of semi-detached homes, townhouses and apartments increased 55 per cent over last year.
[/I]

FairHamilton Aug 11, 2008 2:56 PM

Let's also look at the speed & prices of resale homes in lower Hamilton (if possible). I hate when they use terms like 'Hamilton Census Metropolitan Area' because it's a large area and provides little in the way of local trending.

I've noticed many houses in my local area coming on the market and getting sold relatively quickly. Some are going in less than a week like the nice home with great gardens south of Dunsmere on Garfield. The one across from us is Pending Sale at $5K more then we paid for ours 4 months ago. Though I don't know the condition inside, I expect like ours it will need $30K worth of work (i.e. I can see from my front porch their windows need updating and the chimmney needs straightening and pointing, there's approx. $10K out of the gate).

DC83 Aug 11, 2008 2:56 PM

good news re: Condos vs Single-Detacched Homes.
I'm going to say Burlington is the major contributor to the condo percentages.

flar Aug 11, 2008 3:02 PM

Burlington is probably responsible for most of the condo sales, but don't count out Dundas and to a lesser extent Ancaster, where there are plenty of condos, both built and under construction. Many of the "condos" being sold now in Burlington, Dundas and Ancaster are in townhouse style developments rather than towers.

SteelTown Aug 11, 2008 3:08 PM

Most of Hamilton's condos are townhouses.

DC83 Aug 11, 2008 4:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SteelTown (Post 3727583)
Most of Hamilton's condos are townhouses.

(lower) Stoney Creek has tons of Tonwhome Condos. It's basically geared towards the super-old population of SC and those who want to own a home but not have to worry about the maintenance.

However, I'd still rather save $400 /mth and cut my own 5'X5' lawn (if there's even one)!


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