Featured Agent: Cheri McCann of McCann Realty Group Ltd.

Cheri McCann

McCann Realty Group Ltd.

3307 Yonge Street, Toronto, Canada

416.481.2355 | cheri@cherimccann.com | www.mccannrealty.ca

McCann Realty is one of the finest boutique brokerages in Toronto. Cheri, ranked among the top 7 agents in Canada with her previous brokerage, has over 30 years of experience in Toronto’s high-end real estate market. Our clients have access to a team of highly experienced specialized agents with intimate knowledge of the Toronto market providing our clients with white glove service, deep practical expertise, exclusive access to opportunities, and a strong network of buyers and sellers. Hardwork and integrity get you the results you want!

HARDWORK — INTEGRITY — RESULTS

Listing by Cheri McCann

2 CHEDINGTON PLACE PH | BRIDLE PATH

One-of-a-kind, 2-story penthouse with 4 bedrooms and 6 baths in Bridle Path. Private elevator to the 8th and 9th floor, 5,390 square feet, 4 terraces, 4 parking spaces, and 2 lockers. $8,100,000.

 

 

 

Cheri McCann originally appeared as an Elite agent in the Unique Homes Spring ’17: Elite edition. See her page here.

Every year we select locations to highlight as Markets to Watch. This year change is underway and we take a look at some top performers, others that are beginning to transition, and a handful of under-the-radar locations that are emerging.

Austin, Texas

On track for another record with sales up more than 3 percent, Austin’s luxury patina shines ever brighter. In October, the medium home value in Barton Creek increased to $1.02 million, making it the city’s first million-dollar neighborhood. Austin’s charms include no income tax to win over newcomers, but music and tech might be tops.

Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman might seem like a sleeper on this list, but with ranches, the Yellowstone Club and Big Sky country it’s an under-the-radar hangout for demi-billionaires and billionaires.

Brooklyn, New York

No longer second best! Buyers are making Brooklyn a first choice. Median prices in the most expensive neighborhoods hit the $1 million mark. Israelis, Chinese and Western Europeans also gravitate here. It’s no surprise this New York City borough is No. 2 on Urban Land Institute’s Markets to Watch. 

©istockphoto.com/Auseklis

 

 

Chicago, Illinois

By August, the Chicago area recorded as many luxury sales as in all of 2016 or 2017. Sales of $1 million-and-up properties set a record in the third quarter with a 19-percent increase over 2017. According to RE/MAX, luxury is booming in the west loop area. Upscale suburbs trail the city. Lots of new condos and stunning new buildings open doors to more urban opportunities in a market that hangs in the balance.

Dallas, Texas

Few cities have charted a post-recession course as strong as Dallas and the city remains Urban Land Institute’s No. 1 location for overall real estate prospects in 2019. But the dramatic post-recession price increases are over, say economists. Moderating prices and adjusting inventories are positive indicators that that a move back to a normal market is underway.

© istockphoto.com/Kanonsky

Denver, Colorado

Real estate’s Rocky Mountain high isn’t over yet. Denver continues to rank in the top group on many lists. In the upscale bracket, a shift toward balance is underway with the inventory of $1 million-plus homes at about seven months. Year-over-year prices are up on average 9.29 percent. Boulder remains a sweet spot for luxury, ranking 10th among cities and towns with at least 10 neighborhoods considered million-dollar.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Projections call for appreciation as high as 10 percent this year. Nevada was the fastest growing state, with new platinum communities; forward-looking, innovative architecture; and spectacular views capturing the attention of buyers looking for lifestyle and tax relief.

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Coastal South Carolina and Georgia are ground zero for demographic shifts and the growing ability among the affluent to live wherever they want — a trend just taking off. New developments including Palmetto Bluff add to demand for the Hilton Head region.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Moving toward balance. A long-awaited uptick in homes on the market is one of several hints of a market shift. Median prices reached a record high this fall, and homes still sell quickly. Still the inventory of homes for sale is one of the lowest in the country. Upper tier and move-up brackets are less competitive.

Northern Virginia

D.C. continues to be in the top group on watch lists but Amazon’s recent announcement makes real estate in Northern Virginia much more interesting. What the prospect portends for current homeowners is uncertain, but sure to make this a market to watch in 2019.

Park City, Utah

No longer just a ski hangout, this Salt Lake neighbor is luxury’s newest player. The most desirable neighborhoods see a shortfall of inventory. Land prices increased by 25 percent with the highest number of sales occurring at Promontory. Opportunities abound: new projects at The Canyons, a large expansion of Deer Valley, a $4 billion renovation of the Salt Lake airport and a bid for the 2030 Olympics.

Wikimedia Commons / Don Lavange

Portland, Maine

Beaches and skiing, does it get any better than that? Hipsters meet old money here. Ranked among the top 20 for entrepreneurs, the city has a growing tech industry and one of the best foodie scenes in the Northeast. Look for more new construction. Prices will continue to ease upward as more people discover this hidden gem.

© istockphoto.com/DougLemke

Santa Barbara, California

Opportunities for buyers in many California locales continue to increase as markets shift. Median prices in Santa Barbara in November were down more than 25 percent, which is good news for buyers. The area remains a prized luxury refuge and lower prices open the door for newcomers to enjoy one of the most unique locations in the U.S.

Sarasota, Florida

The city’s iconic waterfront is being reimagined with a vision to increase cultural programming and urban amenities. Median prices have been increasing steadily, up 25 percent since 2014. New construction means more inventory with more on the horizon. Agents report steady and growing interest in individuals from high tax states.

© istockphoto.com/KarolinaBorowski

Seattle, Washington

Happier times are ahead for buyers in Seattle with active listings up by 41 percent. Even though inventories are still slim, it’s a good indication the frenzy is over. Closed sales in November were down 28 percent. Homes continue to appreciate but the increase has slowed to 5 percent. For buyers and sellers this is definitely a market to watch. The city still is in top groups in many rankings, but the frenzy is over.

Wikimedia Commons / Jeff Gunn

Toronto, Canada

Canadian Baby Boomers and Millennials came together and turned up the heat on the luxury condos in 2018; single-family home sales decreased by as much as 44 percent. While the foreign buyers tax has reduced sales to overseas buyers, it’s also opening new opportunities for locals. Local buyers will continue to drive demand for condos here.

Resort Markets

Luxury’s top performers in 2018. Not only are residences in demand, but new resorts are raising the bar for luxury and reinvigorating current markets. New developments in Turks and Caicos, including the ultra-indulgent Gansevoort Villas, turn up the heat on interest in the Caribbean. Easy reach from the U.S. and private enclaves generate new interest in the Bahamas. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is seeing new resorts and other regions along the Sea of Cortez are seeing new development. Mandarina in Nyarit is the site of One & Only’s first collection of private homes. Owning a private island continues to be an ultimate purchase and the Bahamas is ground zero.

Thanks to:

Austin Board of Realtors

Michael Saunders, Founder and CEO Michael Saunders & Company

Anthony Hitt, President and CEO, Engel & Völkers Americas

Aleksandra Scepanovic, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Ideal Properties Group

National Association of Realtors

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, Kirkland, Washington

RE/MAX  Canada

Trulia

Zillow

This story originally appeared in the Winter 2019 issue of Unique Homes Magazine. 

Through its Random Acts of Kindness campaign, real estate marketing leader Parkbench.com encourages good deeds in every neighborhood.

By Roger Grody

One of the fastest-growing start-ups in the real estate industry is Parkbench.com, an innovative, neighborhood-based collaborative through which real estate professionals enhance their presence in the community. The platform also hosts businesses, residents and nonprofit organizations, connecting people on multiple levels and strengthening communities throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The Toronto-based company was founded by entrepreneur Grant Findlay-Shirras and his wife Amanda Newman, a local Realtor. The concept, which establishes an exclusive website for a Realtor in every neighborhood, provides a vehicle through which that real estate professional can build his or her business while creating a more cohesive, tightknit community. After launching his wife’s website in 2013, Findlay-Shirras founded Parkbench.com to accommodate demand from Realtors in every state and province.

Parkbench.com CEO
Grant Findlay-Shirras

“Everybody who lives, works or plays in a neighborhood has something to say, and this platform provides immense value to the community while building a Realtor’s brand,” says the CEO. Findlay-Shirras explains Parkbench.com allows Realtors to elevate their roles to what they once were: pillars of the community who generate referrals by collaborating with local businesses, residents and organizations. It is a technology-driven approach to old-fashioned relationships.

“All Realtors want to provide value to their communities and expand their spheres of influence, but most don’t know how to go about it,” says Findlay-Shirras, who adds, “We believe in the Law of Reciprocity. Those who provide value to their communities will prosper.” Parkbench.com has also become the largest single provider of local news, aggregating local content from around the Internet and updating it daily on its Realtors’ respective websites.

Because Parkbench.com’s mission is to make neighborhoods stronger, both socially and economically, a corporate culture of giving comes naturally. After Hurricane Harvey hit Texas last August, Parkbench.com donated 10 percent of its revenue the following month to the nonprofit Feeding Texas. This past February, the firm implemented a Random Acts of Kindness campaign in honor of National Random Acts of Kindness Week, February 11-17, 2018.

“The entire company is built on this motto: Give value first, and have faith that you will receive something in return,” says Findlay-Shirras, who adds, “And why not give it randomly to see people’s awesome reactions?” The Parkbench.com CEO, who created the Local Leader® Marketing System used by his network of 1,000-plus Realtors, reports that members in cities throughout the U.S. and Canada — including New York, Vancouver, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Austin, Philadelphia, Seattle, Toronto, and Miami — participated in the February campaign.

Among the random acts of kindness extended by Parkbench.com, Realtors were buying coffee for the neighborhood, handing out flowers on Valentine’s Day, reprising the lost art of dispensing compliments to strangers, and cleaning up litter in the community. Local Realtors videotaped and posted their random acts for a companywide competition, with the winning Realtor receiving $1,000 to donate to his or her favorite charity.

Parkbench.com also supports nonprofits beyond the neighborhood level, and selected causes have included fostering entrepreneurship in Kenya, assisting the homeless and funding disaster relief. “The spirit of the company is giving to the community,” reminds Findlay-Shirras of Parkbench.com’s core value. “That’s who we are.”

Photo courtesy of Parkbench.com

Headshot image courtesy of Malcolm Crowther

British architect Will Alsop recently passed away at the age of 70, leaving behind a legacy that encapsulated a variety of architectural styles throughout Britain and Canada. According to his studio’s website, all Design, Alsop’s core values were innovation, expression and originality with an emphasis on enjoyment, to ultimately “make life better” by designing individual buildings or spaces that embrace broader principles of urbanism and city development. To further this philosophy, he often used painting, writing and “playing” to further an understanding of design.
In cities like Toronto, London, and Hamburg, many projects completed by Alsop can be defined through colorful and striking details that both stood out and completed the surrounding community. Below we’ve listed several of his projects that emphasized his values.

North Greenwich, Finch West and Pioneer Village Stations
Alsop partnered with John Lyall and Jan Störmer in 1999 to complete the North Greenwich station of the London Underground. This station boasts a tiled interior with striking cobalt-blue columns, inspired by the design of Mass Transit Railway stations in Hong Kong.
The architect also had a hand in several stations “across the pond” in Toronto, Canada. While the Pioneer Village station features irregularly-shaped chandeliers and a dramatic outdoor canopy, the Finch West station is, by contrast, “a happy assemblage of brightly coloured glass panels,” according to Simon Lewsen of Azure Magazine.

Courtesy Jason Paris

Courtesy Mike Knell

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Sharp Centre for Design, OCAD University, Toronto
Alsop’s design for OCAD University’s Sharp Centre features a large checkerboard slab centered above a school building atop tilted, multi-colored pillars. The $42.5 million expansion and redevelopment received numerous awards, including the first Royal Institute of British Architects Worldwide Award, the award of excellence in the “Building in Context” category at the Toronto Architecture and Urban Design Awards, and further redefined the university and the surrounding neighborhood.

Peckham Library, London
Opening in 2000, the Peckham Library in south-east London features pre-patinated copper and is shaped like an upside-down capital L. The top section of the structure, an elevated reading room expertly set above the noise of the street, is supported by slender steel pillars set at different angles. Winning the Stirling Prize for Architecture that year, Peckham Library was the project that heralded Alsop as an iconic architect.

Style Selector
Select the layout
Choose the theme
Preset colors
No Preset
Select the pattern