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New 2,000-home Innisfil development comes with affordable, leased land properties

A significant new housing development that promises to bring attainable units is in the works for the Town of Innisfil.

Over the next decade, more than 2,000 new mixed town and detached homes will be built at the Mattamy Homes Lakehaven development, with its townhomes priced to be affordable for those struggling to enter the market.

Each will be sold separately from the land they sit on, with that land to be leased out by Parkbridge Lifestyle Communities.

"The model of the land lease allows us to offer at a lower price point structurally," said Eric Malcolmson, Senior Vice President of Development for Parkbridge. "It makes sense to be the first home that you buy or maybe the last home that you buy, but the way we've designed this community, we have a number of different price points and different sizes of homes where you could enter in a townhome, and when it makes sense to move up, you can stay in the same community. We've designed this to be a full lifecycle type of community."

Eric Malcolmson (left), Mayor Lynn Dollin (middle) and Brad Carr (right) cut the ribbon on the Lakehaven development in Innisfil on Mon., June 5 (Christian D'Avino/CTV News).

Parkbridge is one of Canada's most prominent developers and owner-operators of land-leased homes.

It's a popular model in the United States, but it is still growing in Canada. This development also promises to be one of Canada's most ambitious projects.

"We think it's certainly one of the largest mixed-use communities, a mixed land lease and freehold of this size. We don't think it's been done before," Malcolmson added.

Townhomes range from $450,000 to just under $600,000, while detached homes exceed $1 million and will be traditional freehold units. It's admittedly an enticing figure for those looking to enter the market, according to the Barrie and District Association of Realtors (BDAR), but it comes with some disadvantages.

"You have to analyze the total cost, the carrying cost of both your mortgage eventually and the lease of the land," said Lindsay Percy, BDAR Chair. "You want to be aware of what you're purchasing. You need to be aware of any regulations in terms of making changes to the exterior grounds, and what amenities are included in your lease cost."

Percy said the resale of the townhomes shouldn't be difficult due to the demand for housing, but any potential buyer would have to be approved by the management company before selling.

"Financing is also a little bit more difficult. You definitely want to speak with your lender and your real estate solicitor, and your contract is fully analyzed by your realtor prior to firming up your purchase," Percy added. "But I think it's great to have ownership options, so it's great that this is becoming available."

Innisfil Mayor Lynn Dollin acknowledged that land-leased homes aren't for everyone but said she and the town council favour the model.

Dollin said two land-leased communities already exist within the town.

"For some people, it's a more affordable option for housing," she said. "We'd like to expand that option here."

The development will be built in four different phases, with the first already in the works. Mattamy Homes anticipates it will take roughly a decade to finish. Top Stories

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