Mystery foreign buyer purchases Yorkville penthouse for a record $28 million
The 55th-floor penthouse suite of the new Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences in Yorkville has sold for a cool $28 million, the highest price ever for a Canadian condominium. All we know about the new owner is that he or she can be identified only as an “international buyer”—a non-disclosure agreement was signed—so we’re holding out hope that it’s James Bond. The price works out to roughly $3,000 a square foot for the 9,038-square-foot space, causing most market watchers to wonder how anybody (even persons of international mystery) could possibly pay that much.
According to the National Post:
“It’s a stupid price. I could not conceive of anything in the city of Toronto worth $3,100 a square foot today,” said Brad Lamb, founder of Brad J. Lamb Realty Inc., and a well-known Toronto condo broker.
“That price, $3,100 a square foot, competes with the most expensive condominiums in the city of New York. It competes very well. I’m sorry, I love Toronto, I think it’s a great city, and I think the Four Seasons is amazing, I think it’s an amazing property, but someone paying $3,100 or over $3,000 a square foot in Toronto for a condo needs to get their head examined.”
Lamb added that this is clearly a case of somebody comparing prices with other global cities (yay, Toronto!) and then thinking they got a bargain (um, okay). As always, we’re struck by Toronto’s adorable desire to be in the first tier of global cities—even if it might not be all it’s cracked up to be. On CBC’s Metro Morning, Michael Hlinka called the news “a watershed moment,” proclaiming that Toronto had joined the ranks of the global elite, alongside cities like Hong Kong and New York, with the sale. But we’re not sure we’re ready to wave a “fabulous wealth affords absurd price” flag just yet.
• Four Seasons penthouse sells for $28-million [Globe and Mail]
• Yorkville condo sells for $28M [National Post]
• Metro Morning: Very Expensive Condo [CBC]
12 thoughts on “Mystery foreign buyer purchases Yorkville penthouse for a record $28 million”
oh great… now there’s a precedent.
Stop looking down at ur own city. Things r not necessarilty better in other cities.
Well Brad if they got the money why not go for it maybe is an investment of some sort but I am sorry they didn’t buy it from your company or else you wouldn’t be saying their head need to be examined !!!
I smell jealousy, Mr. “Big City Broker”…!!
The condescending, snide remarks about Toronto in this article must be an editorial requirement; the patronizing tone runs through every issue. For a publication called “Toronto Life”, the writers have never convinced me they even LIKE the city they’re writing about. I cancelled my subscription last year, and this article reminds me why I did.
This is city is certainly not NY or London or Paris or Rome for that matter. All cities in which I have lived in.
Brad Lamb is right. Someone paying that much for a condo in this city got totally ripped off. Toronto has a long way to go before it is considered a first class city.
This article is filled with weird anti-Toronto tone and Brad Lamb particularly sounds pathetic. He’s a obviously a middle-income guy who cant stomach nor understand how wealthy people operate. He’s ridiculing someone who has clearly millions more than him and saying they need to get their “head examined”? Maybe you need to figure out how someone else became so wealthy, they are not number crunching a one-of-a-kind piece of real-estate like you are. If he revisited business school, he would know scarcity rules the mighty dollar, not square footage charts. There is a certain prestige associated with the Four Seasons, Yorkville etc. that is unlike any apartment in Toronto. People with the cash handy are willing to pay for that.
You claim NY or London or Paris or Rome are better? But what about Chicago, Zurich, Geneva or San Fransisco? These cities all have much pricier real estate than Toronto also.
NY, London, Paris, Rome also all have their own limitations.
Brad Lamb you are wrong. Toronto will be at $3,000 in the very near future. These condos at the penthouse levels will resale for these amounts. I am surprised by your comments. However, you don”t need much of an I.Q. to be a real estate agent.
The article is simply highlighting the fact that prices in Toronto are high relative to incomes. There is no disputing that real estate as an asset class has grown substantially faster than incomes that implicitly put a ceiling on prices; the last 8 years of real estate purchases have been facilitated by easier credit (CMHC has a statistic of 6-8% downpayment as the average the last few years). This purchase is not the norm; definitely a tail purchase. However, when one compares home ownership rates in say London or New York, they are about half of Toronto’s. New York’s home ownership is about 31%. Toronto’s anywhere from 65-70% from what I’ve gathered. In London and New York cities you see a broader distribution of property values and incomes; perhaps even bimodal with a lot of wealth on the upper end and then a bunch clustered around what would be considered average. The low home ownership explains this divergence. In Toronto, you have high real estate prices relative to incomes and high ownership rates. That reeks of bubble. You can not compare Toronto to NYC or London. Simply impossible. These are cities with a very large concentration of global companies, hubs of the global capital markets, intellectual capital coming out the door, and massive public transit systems. It’s laughable to compare Toronto to these cities. Toronto is still stuck in the 50s with its transit system.
And the rumor has that the international buyer is connected to a prime minister of a poorest & corrupted country in south east asia.
@ Greg300 – I can assure you, international buyers that can afford a $28MM condo could care less about the so called “prestige of Yorkville”. No one cares or knows about Yorkville outside of Canada, and I can guarantee you, there aren’t multiple bidders trying to out bid each other at that price point. It’s not exactly the Champs d’Elysees, 5th Ave or Ginza, I mean come on. I’m from NYC, and luxury condos in that range rarely even sell here – there’s not that many people in the world with that kind of money. The Four Seasons is a good brand, but there’s no doubt they got lucky here with a very wealthy buyer for whom money is no object.
@ gt – Rome?! Really? Maybe Tokyo, Hong Kong or Singapore, but Rome isn’t exactly one of the greatest cities in the world apart from the art and architecture. You really lived in New York, London, Paris and Rome?! I’d give you the benefit of the doubt for the first 3, but who the hell works in Rome?! I’d rather live in Toronto than Rome.
Let me stop you here because i’m italian.
I’m from Rome and i lived in rome, Houston, texas, New york and Milano,
And let me tell you that Milano last year came out in 4th place in the best cities in the world to live and Rome came out in 10th place.
And its because in Rome we have the righ weather, beaches, food, fashion, culture and safety so yeah Rome is a better place to live than the United States,
Have you ever been in Rome or Milano?
I think we all need to live in Italia in some point of our lifes.
Italia is an amazing country for living just like Canada.
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