Luxury condo wars: how the Trump Tower, the Four Seasons and the rest are doing so far

Luxury condo wars: how the Trump Tower, the Four Seasons and the rest are doing so far

Donald Trump, with daughter Ivanka and sons Donald Jr. and Eric, launches the Trump Tower (Image: George Pimentel)  

Sure, their high-profile restaurants and over-the-top ribbon cuttings have netted the Ritz-Carlton, Trump Tower, Shangri-La and Four Seasons plenty of press, but we’re still wondering if people are actually buying the luxury condos. In January, we noticed some early signs that the thousand-plus upscale suites heading to market could be too many (even for Toronto’s hot condo market), and this week, Reuters investigated how well the sales have been going. It turns out that none of the towers has sold out yet, and developers are feeling a wee bit nervous about getting their initial stock sold before the resale market kicks in. We broke down the numbers to see which tower is outdoing the rest and which is having the most trouble finding buyers.

Four Seasons Private Residences
• Total number of units: 210
• Number of units already sold: about 90 per cent (including the record-setting $28-million penthouse)
• Opening date: August
• Resale risk: the Four Seasons seems to have fared the best so far—several early investors who bought in 2004 or 2007 have been able to resell at nearly twice the price

Trump International Hotel and Tower
• Total number of units: 379 (including both residences and hotel rooms). The developer is trying to sell all the hotel rooms to private investors, who can either live in the suites or make them part of a rental pool and take a cut of the income from hotel guests staying there
• Number of units already sold: 80 per cent of all the units—but only 40 per cent of the residential condos, which are priced at $2.3 million to $6.3 million
• Opening date: January 2012
• Resale risk: the Trump Tower has had the rockiest start of the four, with construction delays, bad press and angry buyers trying to get out of their deals

Living Shangri-La
• Total number of units: 393
• Number of units already sold: about 85 per cent
• Opening date: August
• Resale risk: a marketing manager for the developer Westbank Corporation told Reuters that it could take until 2014 to sell the 50-plus remaining units

Residences at the Ritz-Carlton
• Total number of units: 159
• Number of units already sold: more than 90 per cent
• Opening date: mid-2011
• Resale risk: more than 20 units are already back on the resale market—and are languishing there—making it difficult for the developer to sell its remaining units

Caviar condos set to flood Toronto market [Reuters]