According to the Red Pin, a few key Toronto intersections are cornering the market (pun intended) on condo appreciation.
The brokerage looked at 25 intersections in the downtown core, and found that two-bedroom condos at Bay and King and Bay and Bloor brought in some of Toronto’s highest prices between January and the end of August, averaging more than $1.5 million.
Yorkville’s Bloor Street and Avenue Road brought in an average of $1.3 million, but one-bedroom units nearby were more expensive than the Bay Street intersections, averaging $753,735 versus $494,51 at Bay and King and $626,989 near Bay and Bloor.
A city-wide average price for a one-bedroom during the same period was $545,000 and a two-bedroom about $925,000.
The data, which considered a 250-metre radius around it (about a three-minute walk) to be “at” a given intersection, found that the lowest-priced one-bedroom condos were at Queen and Yonge at an average of $371,444 (there were no two-bedroom sales at that intersection during the relevant period) and the lowest-priced two-bedroom units, at Yonge and Dundas, averaged $658,234.
Away from the downtown core, prices were considerably lower, with a one-bedroom at Ellesmere and McCowan in Scarborough averaging $356,227 and a two-bedroom $500,800.
Downtown living is where it’s at for many buyers, some because they have their eye on future appreciation, and some because they just love the vibe, the convenience, the immediate availability of just about everything, but those willing to live a little further away can still enjoy considerably more bang for their housing buck.
We’re not talking about taking off for the 905, even. The used-to-be-suburbs we’re talking about are still on the TTC and offer some great lifestyle options of their own.
For foodies, look east, where Scarborough has been lauded by one prominent US economist and food writer as the “best ethnic food suburb” he has ever seen. If you live there, this isn’t news, but if you’re one of those diehards who thinks you’ll turn into a pumpkin if you set foot west of Broadview, let alone Victoria Park, it’s past time to visit.
Sri Lankan, Hakka, Indian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, Japanese, Malaysian, Armenian — there are as many cuisines in Scarborough as there are cultures represented in Toronto. And the food prices, like the condo prices, are generally more palatable than their downtown counterparts. Plus, there’s parking!
To the west, south Etobicoke has experienced enormous growth over the last few years, and it continues with a condo boom of its own. Perhaps Mimico, New Toronto and Long Branch used to be, shall we say, on the seedy side, and it always struck me as a shame — not only are they right on the lake, but they all had their share of quirky restaurants and shops, and some really stunning old-world architecture dotted here and there.
These neighbourhoods have transformed, and community spirit is strong, with lots of support for several annual festivals and new businesses cropping up regularly. There are lots of family friendly amenities, as well as some fine parks and proximity to the waterfront trail.
If you’re willing to venture off the beaten path, you could find yourself with an enviable lifestyle, and enough money left over from your home purchase to actually enjoy it.
Condo investment may cool in Vancouver
In other news, there was a move that could cool speculation in the Vancouver preconstruction market. A federal court judge this week approved a court order requiring a BC developer to turn over to tax officials information about those who bought and flipped condos before or during construction, according to the Globe and Mail. There are several other, similar applications currently underway.
The developer is required to provide to CRA all documents related to assignments (presale flips) in the Residences at West community. Developers such as Concord Pacific Developments, whose One Pacific is getting similar scrutiny, has cited protection of buyer privacy when requiring a court order before turning over the data.
Residences at West was required by the court to turn over proofs of payments and correspondence between the builder and the buyers of such assignments in July.
A condo unit can be “assigned” several times between its initial pre-construction sale by the developer and its eventual owner of a completed unit, but only the transfer of legal title from the builder to the final purchaser is required to be registered with the B.C. land title office, which leaves the CRA in the dark about all buyers but the final one, with no way to check whether those in between have paid any taxes due, potentially including non-residents whose profits from such a sale should be subject to a federal withholding tax.
Will this affect preconstruction investment in Vancouver’s condo market? Toronto has a knack for mimicking Vancouver…do you think the CRA will be taking a closer look at Toronto assignments?