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Yonge Street defines Toronto’s best return on investment neighourhoods in 2007

Central core homes ‘first and foremost’ in market performance

Unprecedented demand for single-detached homes along the Yonge St. corridor prompted double-digit price increases in the GTA’s top performing neighbourhoods in the first six months of the year.

In total, 56 of the 62 Toronto Real Estate Board Districts examined reported an increase in the average price of a single-detached home between January to June 2007, compared to the same period one year ago. Three of the top five were located in the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Central District, while the remaining two were located in the North and West Districts.

Leading the charge was Forest Hill, Chaplin Estates, Deer Park, and Cedarvale (C03) with a 16.8% increase over one year ago, bringing average price to a just over one million dollars. Thornhill, Vaughan (N02) followed in second place with an average price of $565,428, up 15% versus the same period in 2006. South Hill, Annex, Yorkville (C02) claimed third spot, with an average price of $883,869, 14.3% ahead of one year ago, while C07 (Lansing, Willowdale, Newtonbrook) reported a 12.2% upswing to $618,179. Port Credit, Mineola (W12) secured the fifth position, with an average price 11.3% ahead of last year’s figure at $581,167. Close to half of all GTA districts are now reporting a single-detached average price in excess of $500,000.

“The trade-up market is once again heating up Toronto real estate,” says Michael Polzler. “Significant equity gains have been the impetus behind Toronto real estate market activity. As a result, sales and prices continue to reach new benchmarks. Demand is particularly evident in the central core—from Bloor St. north to Highway 7 — where average price ranges from $565,000 to well over a million. In fact, nearly 60% of ‘C’ districts reported double-digit increases in unit sales for the first half of the year.”

Last year at this time, appreciation had slowed in the central core as the average price approached $830,000. Buyers were investigating more affordable alternatives east, north, and west of the city centre. This year, despite an average closer to $875,000, demand for properties is at an all-time high in the district and a limited supply of product has purchasers vying for homeownership.

In June, four central districts (C02, C10, C11 and C15) reported a sales-to-listings ratio above 100%. Multiple offers remain commonplace on quality, well-priced product, with detached homes selling for 100% of list price or more in all but one central district in June.

“With affordability a growing concern in the Greater Toronto real estate market, more and more purchasers are turning to condos and townhomes,” says Polzler. “Close to 80% of districts reported an average condo price under the $300,000 price point, making the product a more attainable first step for an entry-level buyer, particularly in sought-after locations.”

Condos and townhomes have also experienced solid upward appreciation in 2007, compared to the same period one year ago. Mississauga, Applewood, Rathwood (W14) escalated a significant 32.7% to just over $215,000, while Yorkville, Annex, and South Hill (C02) posted an equally impressive 28.4% increase in average price to $663,688. Port Credit, Mineola saw a 12.6% hike in condo prices, now hovering at close to $284,000, while Cabbagetown and the Distillery District (C08) rose 10.75% to approximately $303,000. Rounding out the top five was Downsview, Weston (W04) where average price was up 10.5% to $182,000.

“Home prices will continue their upward trend through to year-end, with new records expected for most Toronto Real Estate Board districts in 2007,” says Polzler. “The escalation has been spurred in large part by significant demand, but infill and renovation has also served to bolster appreciation in a number of neighbourhoods. Buyer enthusiasm is extraordinary, sparked by economic prosperity, job security, inheritance, as well as equity and stock market gains. To date, 51% of districts reported double digit sales gains for detached homes and 44% for condos. It’s been another banner year for Toronto real estate, and it’s far from over.”

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