If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in Toronto, this brief article will help you understand the market conditions, key neighborhoods, and the basics of how to buy or sell property.

By Estate Monthly

September 7, 2023

The market for residential real estate in Toronto, Ontario, Canada is one of the most dynamic and competitive in the country. Home buyers and home sellers face many challenges and opportunities in this fast-paced and diverse city. In this article, we will explore some of the factors that influence the demand and supply of homes in Toronto, as well as some of the strategies that can help you sell or buy a home or in this market.

Population Growth and Migration

One of the main drivers of the Toronto real estate market is the population growth and migration of people from other regions and countries. Toronto is the largest city in Canada and the fourth largest in North America, with a population of over 6 million people in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). According to Statistics Canada, Toronto had the highest net migration rate among Canadian metropolitan areas in 2019, with 117,000 people moving to the city from other parts of Canada or abroad. This influx of people creates a high demand for housing, especially for newcomers who need a place to live and settle.

Housing Supply and Affordability

The GTA has a very limited amount of land available for new development, which means that builders have to compete for scarce resources and face higher costs. As a result, the supply of new homes has not kept up with the demand, leading to a shortage of inventory and rising prices. According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), the average price of a home in the GTA was $1,062,256 in August 2021, an increase of 12.6% from a year ago. The average price of a detached home was $1,405,478, while the average price of a condo was $688,568.

The high prices of homes in Toronto make it difficult for many people to afford them, especially for first-time buyers who need a large down payment and a high income to qualify for a mortgage. According to a report by real estate website Zoocasa, only 9% of Toronto neighbourhoods were affordable for buyers with an income of $100,000 in 2020, down from 15% in 2019. The report also found that buyers would need an income of at least $178,499 to afford the average-priced home in the city.

Market Conditions and Trends

The Toronto real estate market is influenced by various conditions and trends that affect the behaviour and preferences of home buyers and home sellers. Some of these include:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic: The pandemic has changed the way people live and work, creating new needs and challenges for housing. Many people have shifted to remote work, which has increased the demand for larger homes with more space and amenities. Some people have also moved out of the city to seek more affordable and spacious options in suburban or rural areas. The pandemic has also affected the supply of homes, as some sellers have delayed listing their properties due to health and safety concerns.
  • The low interest rates: The Bank of Canada has kept its key interest rate at a record low of 0.25% since March 2020, in an effort to stimulate the economy and support borrowers during the pandemic. The low interest rates have made borrowing cheaper and more accessible for home buyers, increasing their purchasing power and willingness to pay higher prices. The low interest rates have also encouraged some homeowners to refinance their mortgages or take out home equity loans, which has reduced the incentive to sell their properties.
  • The government policies: The federal and provincial governments have implemented various policies to regulate and support the real estate market, such as mortgage stress tests, foreign buyers taxes, rent controls, housing subsidies, and infrastructure spending. These policies have different impacts on different segments of the market, depending on their target groups and objectives. For example, the mortgage stress test reduces the amount of money that buyers can borrow, which lowers their demand for expensive homes. On the other hand, the foreign buyers tax discourages speculation and increases the supply of homes for local buyers.

These are some of the factors that shape the Toronto real estate market, which is constantly evolving and adapting to changing circumstances. If you are planning to sell home or buy home in this market, you need to be well-informed and prepared for the challenges and opportunities that await you. You can learn more about the Toronto real estate market by visiting this Wikipedia page.

Neighborhoods of Toronto, Ontario

Toronto is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own character, history and culture. Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home in Toronto, you need to know the market conditions and the features of each neighborhood.

Downtown Core

The downtown core is the heart of Toronto, where you can find the financial district, the entertainment district, the fashion district and many other attractions. The downtown core is also home to some of the most expensive and luxurious condos in the city, as well as some affordable options for renters and first-time buyers. The downtown core is ideal for those who want to live close to work, entertainment and shopping, and enjoy the urban lifestyle.

Old Toronto

Old Toronto refers to the area that was the city of Toronto before 1998, when it amalgamated with other municipalities. Old Toronto includes some of the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in the city, such as Cabbagetown, The Annex, Kensington Market and The Beaches. These neighborhoods have a lot of charm and character, with heritage buildings, eclectic shops and diverse communities. Old Toronto is perfect for those who appreciate history, culture and architecture.

East York

East York is a former municipality that became part of Toronto in 1998. It is located east of the Don River and north of Danforth Avenue. East York is known for its residential neighborhoods, with a mix of detached houses, semi-detached houses and low-rise apartments. East York is also home to some ethnic enclaves, such as Greektown and Little India. East York is suitable for those who want a quiet and family-friendly neighborhood with easy access to downtown.

Etobicoke

Etobicoke is a former municipality that became part of Toronto in 1998. It is located west of the Humber River and south of Steeles Avenue. Etobicoke is a suburban area with a variety of housing options, from high-rise condos to detached houses to townhouses. Etobicoke is also known for its natural features, such as parks, trails and waterfronts. Etobicoke is ideal for those who want a spacious and green neighborhood with good transportation links.

North York

North York is a former municipality that became part of Toronto in 1998. It is located north of Highway 401 and east of Highway 400. North York is a diverse area with a range of neighborhoods, from urban centers to rural villages. North York has some of the most affluent and prestigious neighborhoods in the city, such as York Mills, Willowdale and Bayview Village. North York also has some of the most affordable and multicultural neighborhoods in the city, such as Jane and Finch, Don Mills and Flemingdon Park. North York is great for those who want a balance between urban and suburban living.

Scarborough

Scarborough is a former municipality that became part of Toronto in 1998. It is located east of Victoria Park Avenue and south of Steeles Avenue. Scarborough is a suburban area with a variety of housing options, from detached houses to condos to townhouses. Scarborough is also known for its ethnic diversity, with many immigrants from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Scarborough has some of the most scenic and natural attractions in the city, such as Scarborough Bluffs, Rouge National Urban Park and Toronto Zoo. Scarborough is ideal for those who want a multicultural and nature-friendly neighborhood with affordable housing.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in any of these neighborhoods, you need to work with a professional real estate agent who knows the market well.