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Around the house: High-end houses are no longer just huge | Pro Club Bd

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What will define luxury real estate in 2022? In dollars, it’s priced at over $2.5 million. Or $4 million depending on who you ask. But for Sotheby’s Canada’s Paul Maranger, who sells quality homes in and around Toronto, neither cost nor size are the reliable indicators of the extravagant living they once were.

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“Luxury used to be defined only by size, but the segment has expanded beyond that equation,” says Maranger, pointing to smaller families, increasing numbers of individual buyers and rising property prices in cities as forces reshaping the luxury market.

For younger buyers, a very large home may come across less as a status symbol and more as a drain on their time and finances. They want to indulge, making their home more of a retreat but on a more modest scale – like many older buyers who downsize or renovate to stay.

It all makes sense for Maranger and his business partner Christian Vermast. Having both lived in Europe, they know that small spaces can make big style statements while still providing everyday comfort and convenience.

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In Dr.  Salah Bachir's lakeside condo leaves no corner unturned.  .
In Dr. Salah Bachir’s lakeside condo leaves no corner unturned. . Photo of delivered

In Europe, according to Maranger, the focus is less on square meters and more on surfaces and equipment, for example. “Now we have access to global design and we can look at smaller spaces in Europe or Japan, which I think is the epitome of luxury – that’s where you see the best work in a small space.”

In general, the higher the house price, the more customization options there are. “So you have to find the buyer who values ​​the same things that the sellers value.”

Customers are less likely to appreciate a huge kitchen with a two-door fridge (so much cleaning!) and more than a media room with a fridge drawer and 18-inch dishwasher (Netflix and Chill). “And me No way do you hear these days ‘where on earth should I put all my china, crystal and silver?’ Never‘ Maranger says.

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Personal expression in design is a hallmark of well-appointed homes, he adds. “For me, luxury is a multi-layered home that reflects the personality of the owner. It’s not a room that looks like someone walked into a design store and said I’ll pick up the living room set on the floor.”

Personality was certainly present in a recent offering on Lake Shore Boulevard West, a two-story condo where art collector and philanthropist Dr. Salah Bachir had lived.

Contrary to the real estate gospel of reducing or even eliminating art when selling a home, the 6,470-square-foot expanse, which soars high into the sky above HHHumber Bay, housed approximately 3,200 pieces, including work by Andy Warhol, Kent Monkman and Betty Goodwin . Here, the gallery vibe didn’t detract from how the property looked, says Maranger.

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“It tells a story. With real estate, we need to tell a story that creates a connection with a buyer. We don’t need to tell a story that resonates with 100 buyers, we need to connect with whoever it resonates with. I also see how eyes roll when people enter perfectly staged rooms. You’re tired of this look. “

Despite geopolitical and economic uncertainty, Maranger expects Toronto’s luxury real estate market to hold its own over the next few years. “There is no country and we have borders,” he explains. His concern is for suburban markets, which he says have been hyperinflated over the past two and a half years.

“There will be significant realignment in these markets. But in luxury, people return to what the city has to offer.” Regarding current market conditions, he uses a caffeinated example. “Let’s say there’s a cappuccino. There was foam on it last year. In February it had triple foam. There is no foam at the moment, but the coffee is really strong. Market fundamentals are strong.”

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