Affordability draws homebuyers to 416 neighbourhoods outside the core in 2013, says RE/MAX

MISSISSAUGA, ON, July 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Affordability remained the strongest driver of residential housing in the Toronto market in the first half of 2013, with single-detached homes in neighbourhoods east and west of the central core posting the best overall performances, according to RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada.

RE/MAX examined 35 Toronto Real Estate Board districts between January and June of 2013 and found that single-detached housing values had appreciated year-over-year in close to 86 per cent of neighbourhoods in the 416 area code (30/35 districts).  While the central core experienced the highest percentage gains in Don Mills, Parkwoods-Donalda, and Victoria Village (C13) at 12.7 per cent  ($1,105,574 vs. $980,727) and Oakwood-Vaughan, Humewood-Cedarvale, and Forest Hill South (C03) at 11.7 per cent ($1,324,608 vs. $1,186,320), these were the only markets in the core that experienced significant growth.  On the other hand, average prices increased across the board in both the west and eastern districts—with gains ranging from just under one per cent to 10 per cent.  Rounding out the top five for average price appreciation were the west-end neighbourhoods of Keelesdale, Eglinton 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); and York, Glen Park, Amesbury, Brookhaven, Weston and Fairbank (W04), with a 9.2 per cent increase (to $538,469).  Competition was clearly evident in the city's top five neighbourhoods.  In June alone, 46 per cent of detached homes that sold between $400,000 and $1 million changed hands for over list price.

To view heat maps of Toronto's top neighbourhoods by average price (detached and condo), click here:

"While we have seen solid price appreciation virtually across the board in the single-detached housing category, the most pronounced gains were in affordably-priced areas in the city," says Gurinder Sandhu, Executive Vice President, Regional Director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada.  "In many of these areas, inventory played a role in hampering sales activity, placing further upward pressure on pricing.  The top five neighbourhoods reported days on market ranging from 13 to 18 in June—well below the 24 days reported for the overall GTA—and a sale-to-list-price ratio of over 100 per cent in three of the top areas."

Of the 35 City of Toronto markets highlighted, just 14 per cent saw an increase in unit sales activity, as supply hampered buyer intentions.  New listings for detached homes fell another two per cent in the city proper during the first six months of 2013, exacerbating already tight conditions.  Those areas that bucked the sales trend included 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.

Single-detached homes seriously contributed to overall percentage increases in average price in the 416 during the first half of the year, compared with the same period one year ago.  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 townhomes were less marked, with 66 per cent of TREB 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 three per cent.  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 Sandhu.  "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 townhomes.  Both are signs that the market remains healthy.  While the Bank of Canada has expressed concerns, solid fundamentals continue to prop up the condo segment, including affordability, new household formation, immigration, a reduction in low-rise starts and tight vacancy rates."

Following the citywide trend, just 17 per cent of neighbourhoods 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.  "That said, prices continue to edge higher in the bulk of Toronto neighbourhoods, fuelled by certain market realities.  Given the city's ongoing evolution, the long-term outlook remains positive, particularly as land availability declines while the population within the 416 climbs. As prices rise, so too will the appeal of Toronto's more affordable areas.  Revitalization—including renovation, rebuilding and repurposing—is evident in just about every corner of the city.  Toronto is moving on up in more ways than one."

RE/MAX is Canada's leading real estate organization with over 19,000 sales associates located in 750 independently-owned and operated offices nationwide.  The RE/MAX network, now in its 40th year, is a global real estate system operating in more than 90 countries, with over 6,300 independently-owned offices and more than 89,500 member sales associates.  RE/MAX associates lead the industry in professional designations, experience and production while providing real estate services in residential, commercial, referral, and asset management.  For more information, visit:

SOURCE: RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada

For further information:

David Brown 
RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada 

Eva Blay/Charlene McAdam 
Point Blank Communications


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