Fortress Real Capital

Fortress Real Capital

August 09, 2011 14:09 ET

Fortress and Lamb Project Royal Profits in King West District

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 9, 2011) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

Toronto's sizzling condo market continues its strong performance with new projects performing at a record breaking pace. Developers are on pace to complete 25,000 new condominium sales and 17,000 resale transactions for 2011. Two new projects in the King West district, Brant Park and King Charlotte, are part of the burgeoning recovery since the market slowdown of 2008. Both are projects by Brad J Lamb, president and founder of his eponymous realty company and Lamb Development Corporation, and his partners at Fortress Real Capital, headquartered in Richmond Hill Ontario.

King Charlotte, a 232 unit condominium on Charlotte Street just south of Oxley, had a strong launch from the high end sales centre on site at 11 Charlotte Street. A one day opening to invited brokers only at an exclusive sales event pushed pre-sales to over 60% and cracked the $600/ft price. Initial investors were rewarded with handsome returns by buying during the initial availability. "I've got a solid following of investors and agents that know my product and are comfortable with my style and design. They are just waiting for a new project to launch and line up to be the first ones in. They know I'll make them very good money", said Lamb. The solid results at King Charlotte only encouraged his progress to launch his next project in the area, the Brant Park at the corner of Brant and Adelaide Street West. Overlooking scenic St Andrews Park, the sensible design incorporates "a quietness and practicality that fits the area" says Peter Clewes from architects Alliance who presented the preliminary renderings at a town hall meeting earlier this month where they were met with rousing praise from local constituents.

This is the kind of growth that is attractive to investors. "There is excellent value in the condominium market, especially here in Toronto. Good developers like Brad have the skill to see these opportunities and craft quality projects that look great in the skyline and on the balance sheet" said Zafar Khawaja, Vice President at Fortress Real Capital. The most recent report from market research firm Urbanation echoes support for the strong market and forecast continued growth. The condominium market in the Toronto CMA smashed nearly every existing record in Q2-2011. The most noteworthy record was for quarterly new condo sales: 9,455 units sold in Q2, topping the previous record high of 6,997 set in Q2-2007 by a whopping 35 per cent.

Q2-2011 also set records for the number of active projects, active units, sold index price, unsold index price, new condominium launches, units and projects under construction, and quarterly unit registrations. There have been 24,731 new condominium sales over the past 12 months, topping the previous record high of 22,654 set in Q4-2007 by 9 per cent. There were 39,196 condominium units under construction in the Toronto CMA in 153 projects in Q2-2011, a high water mark for the CMA. Just 16 per cent of the 78,142 units in 306 active condominium apartment projects were unsold at the end of the second quarter, a record low.

"These results for Q2 are remarkable, but they will likely bring about more talk of the sustainability of the condominium market," says Ben Myers, Urbanation Executive Vice President and Editor. "But it's clear that the market is not experiencing rapid increases in pricing, which is the hallmark of a real estate bubble. The market is very healthy, as condominium resale activity remains strong, and results from our new UrbanRental report show that condominium rents have improved over the first quarter."

Urbanation's analysis acknowledged the "negative attention" over concerns about investor-fueled condo growth, but said there is no need for concern as long as rental rates remain strong and the resale market continues to absorb the higher priced newly registered units. A recent National Post article referenced a July 22 report by RBC that stated new condo units will fill the gap in the rental market left by lack of apartment development. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, apartment vacancy rates dropped to 1.6% in April 2011 from 2.7% a year earlier.

"Low vacancy rates and a 100,000 people a year coming into the city is why we love Toronto projects", said Fortress CEO Jawad Rathore. "Demand currently outstrips supply and that makes for a profitable market."

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