Why you can’t buy a house in the neighbourhood you really want
Just how pricey have some of Toronto’s most sought-after neighbourhoods become over the last 16 years? We found out.
David Topping – The Grid
This week’s cover story of The Grid is all about real estate, and where to look to live in Toronto when you’re priced out of the area you like. If you can’t afford The Beach, try New Toronto, suggest writers Edward Keenan and Katie Underwood; if you’re priced out of Leaside, try Todmorden Village; if The Kingsway’s too costly, try West Hill; if Moore Park can’t happen, try Cliffside; and if the Junction won’t do, try Weston Village.
But just how out-of-reach has buying a detached house in one of Toronto’s most sought-after areas become? This out-of-reach: There’s been a 362% increase in the average price of detached houses in the Leaside area, a 310% increase in the Kingsway area, a 268% increase in the Junction area, a 252% increase in the Beach area and a 243% increase in the Moore Park area. (If housing prices had only increased with inflation after 1996, the average price for a detached house in the Leaside area would have been $430,894 in 2011, rather than what it actually was: $1,165,197.)
Comment: But prices increase more than inflation. Unfortunately.
Why May, and why 1996? May is a “representative month” for any given year because so many sales are happening, says Jason Mercer, the senior manager of market analysis at the Toronto Real Estate Board (or TREB), which keeps track of this kind of data. And 1996 is the earliest year you can take the big pile of housing data they’ve got and break it down by both district (where a property is located within the Greater Toronto Area) and category (what kind of property it is, whether detached house, semi-detached house, condo apartment, row house and so on, though there haven’t been enough sales of any other kinds of housing than detached and semi-detached houses to chart them accurately, so we haven’t). You want to compare “apples to apples,” as Mercer put it; going further back, you couldn’t with this level of detail.
Comment: And May is usually the month with the highest price of the year, so it makes the numbers spin the best (wink, wink).
The districts, it’s also worth mentioning, are larger than the specific neighbourhoods that are contained within them: C9, the area that Moore Park is in, also includes Rosedale. W2, the area that the Junction is in, also includes some of what we’d think of as Bloor West Village, High Park and Bloorcourt. C11, the area that Leaside is in, also includes Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park. W8, the area that The Kingsway is in, includes West Mall. (E2, which the Beach is in, doesn’t contain that much more than what we’d call the Beach.) We’re calling W2 the “Junction area” because it doesn’t only include the Junction.
Comment: That totally skews the data. Including Rosedale with Moore Park? I know Moore Park is expensive enough, but lumping in multi-million-dollar mansions from the 1880s makes the numbers flawed. Lumping Corso Italia with The Junction? Not the same. And Thorncliffe skews Leaside. Your whole methodology is wrong.
So detached houses are all but out of reach. But the prices of semi-detached houses is no less bleak.
The prices might be smaller, with one exception, but they haven’t grown any slower than they did for detached houses: they’ve gone up 327% in the Moore Park area, and in the Junction area, they’ve gone up 288%. Had Toronto house prices only risen with inflation since 1996, the average price of a semi-detached house in the Junction area would have been $234,020 in 2011, rather than more than twice that, at $503,536. There’s one anomaly with the semi-detached prices, and that’s Moore Park, where for seven of the last 16 Mays the average sale price of semi-detached houses has been higher than that of detached houses (though now’s probably a good time to remind you that the TREB district Moore Park is in also includes Rosedale).
Toronto: this is your housing boom. But hey, Cliffside’s nice, right?
Contact the Jeffrey Team for more information – 416-388-1960
Laurin & Natalie Jeffrey are Toronto Realtors with Century 21 Regal Realty.
They did not write these articles, they just reproduce them here for people
who are interested in Toronto real estate. They do not work for any builders.
Incoming search terms
- Home prices bounced back in 2009 House prices in neighbourhoods across Toronto rose significantly last year,...
- House prices skyrocket The C3 region, which includes much of Forest Hill,...
- TREB move to neighbourhood names draws flak The changes appear on the website realtor.ca, which displays...
- GTA house prices aren’t in collapse "Real estate is a great investment, and it's not a...
- The Next Hot Neighbourhood Wondering where to buy next? The experts weigh in on...