Buy land, they aint making more of the stuff”, quipped Will Rogers in 1932. Fast-forward to 2013, and you might experience a degree of sticker-shock-anxiety, if your goal is to buy within central Toronto, that is.
Single detached homes situated in neighborhoods east and west of the City’s central core saw the largest price gains so far this year. The study conducted by real estate firm RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada, examined 35 Toronto Real Estate districts between January and June of this year.
The data revealed that housing values had appreciated year-over-year in approximately eighty six percent (30/35) of the 416 neighborhoods examined.
The highest percentage year over year gains occurred in Don Mills, Parkwoods-Donalda, and Victoria Village (C13) coming in at 12.7 per cent, which translates to a cool $1,105,574 vs. $980,727 last year.
Oakwood-Vaughan, Humewood-Cedarvale, and Forest Hill South (C03) saw gains of 11.7 per cent ($1,324,608 vs. $1,186,320). While these gains are huge, it’s worth noting that these were the only markets in the core that experienced such significant growth.
On a tamer note, average prices increased across the board in both the west and eastern districts—with gains ranging from just under one per cent to ten per cent.
Rounding out the top five for average price appreciation were the west-end neighbourhoods of: Keelesdale, Eglington West, Weston-Pellam Park (W03), posting a gain of 10.2 per cent (to $457,079); followed by Sunnylea.
The Queensway, Humber Bay (W07), where prices climbed 9.4 per cent (to $833,026). York, Glen Park, Amesbury, Brookhaven, Weston and Fairbank (W04), saw a 9.2 per cent increase (to $538,469).
Competition was clearly evident in the city’s top five neighborhoods. In June alone, 46 per cent of detached homes that sold between $400,000 and $1 million sold above the asking price.
Of the 35 City of Toronto markets highlighted, only 14 per cent saw an increase in unit sales activity. New listings for detached homes fell another two per cent in the city core during the first six months of 2013.
- Areas that saw increased sales activity when compared to the same period last year include: Riverdale, Danforth (E01), up 13.4 per cent (127 vs. 112 units) with an average price of $727,497;
- Sunnylea, Queensway, Humber Bay (W07), up 4.2 per cent (150 vs. 144 units) with an average price of $833,026; Agincourt North (E07), up 3.8 per cent (164 vs. 158 units) with an average price of $598,826.
- Birchcliffe, Oakridge, Cliffside, Hunt Club (E06), up 1.6 per cent (196 vs. 193) with an average price of $579,596; while The Beach, Woodbine Corridor (E02) was virtually on par (157 vs. 158), with an average price of $863,090.
- The west end reported a year-to-date increase of close to six per cent in average price, now hovering at $691,807.
- The east end also posted an increase approaching six per cent, with an average price of $580,270.
- By far the most expensive real estate can be found in the central core, where average price was up a more modest four per cent to $1,294,298.
Despite the solid gains made in the single-detached category, condominium apartments and town-homes were less marked, with 66 per cent of Toronto Real Estate Board districts reporting year-over-year increases in average price.
- The city’s west districts were the clear winners, with nine out of ten areas reporting upward momentum. On the whole, price increases in the condominium segment were generally more muted, with more than half of appreciating areas realizing growth under 3 percent.
- Don Mills, Parkwoods-Donalda, and Victoria Village(C13) claimed the top spot in the condominium/townhouse category. Average price per unit in the area rose 5.7 per cent to $335,818. Leaside, Thorncliffe Park, Flemingdon Park (C11) placed second, rising 5.1 per cent to $233,947.
- Agincourt North (E07) advanced 4.1 per cent, with the average price now at $257,603, while Richview, Humber Heights and Kingsview Village (W09) experienced a 3.9 per cent jump to $210,750.
- Tied for fifth place were the East district neighbourhoods of Steeles, L’Amoreaux, and Tam O’Shanter – Sullivan (E05) and Malvern, Rouge (E11), both posting increases of 3.2 per cent, with average price at $285,147 and $207,574 respectively.
“Condominium sales and price growth in the City of Toronto continues to be weighed down by softer demand, especially as tighter lending restrictions have impacted the entry-level price points to a greater extent,” says Gurinder Sandhu, Re/Max Ontario-Atlantic’s Executive Vice-President. “A good selection of product exists and buyers have more time to make decisions. Yet, condominium units in hot pocket neighbourhoods are generally being snapped up within 15 to 30 days.”
Sales to list price ratios are averaging 98 per cent for apartment-style units and 99 per cent for town-homes.
- Following the citywide trend, just 17 per cent of neighborhoods in Toronto’s condominium/townhouse market saw sales move ahead of year-ago levels in the first half of 2013.
- Bloor West Village, High Park North, Baby Point, and the Junction (W02) showed the strongest uptick in activity, with sales advancing nine per cent (145 units vs. 133).
- Riverdale, Danforth, Leslieville (E01) claimed second place, as the number of units sold climbed 6.7 per cent (112 vs. 105) year-over-year, while Leaside, Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park saw sales jump 4.9 per cent to 150 units (from 143).
“There’s no question that Toronto’s real estate market is demonstrating a trend toward moderation,” notes Sandhu, the RE/MAX executive. “That said,” he remarks, “prices continue to edge higher in the bulk of Toronto neighborhoods, fueled by certain market realities.”
In this blogger’s humble view, moderate-growth is preferable to stark-jumps. A stable and sustainable housing market must be premised on sound principles such as an expanding economy and increasing average incomes; neither of which we have seen in recent times.[contact-form-7 id=”5793″ title=”Contact form”]