Happy holidays everyone. I hope that you all have a very safe and enjoyable Christmas season.
As many of you who follow the Toronto real estate market know, this year has been very much a sellers’ market. It has become very difficult to simply go out and buy a house in downtown Toronto. Our market is indeed an anomaly, where virtually everything that turns up for sale sells almost immediately, most often for more than the asking price.
The on-going question has become whether this will last forever. Is this the new reality for the City of Toronto? I have had many discussion about this with clients and friends. Next month I will dissect this issue and give you my thoughts on where I think the market will be going in 2015. I will also do my annual wrap-up of the income property market for this year.
Congratulations to our Raptors for a great start to this year’s season. Let’s hope our Leafs can continue to do us proud as well.
What Toronto neighbourhood is the cheapest but still safest to rent?
I stumbled across a chat forum the other day that asked this very question. Rather than being another read of just one author’s opinion, a lot of actual renters chimed in and gave their opinion on their rental experiences.
First off, except for maybe Jane/Finch or parts of Parkdale, Toronto by and large is a very safe city. There aren’t too many places in Toronto where one walks in fear of being mugged or encountering any type of real trouble. In fact, 2014 Toronto Police Services statistics show that violent crimes happen all over the city and are not localized to just one or two select neighbourhoods.
Many renters like High Park, the Junction and the Junction triangle for smaller one bedroom apartments. There is close access to the Bloor line subway and these suites are still affordable. It gets more expensive for two+ bedrooms or larger apartments.
Another affordable area is Corso Italia where renters can get an entire two bedroom house for under $2000 a month. One can rent the main floor of these houses for under $1000 a month. Basement apartments in the downtown core can cost more so anything under $1000 a month is relatively reasonable. The new St. Clair streetcar has made areas out by Caledonia and Keele more accessible, so this has become one of the more up and coming rental areas.
The Dovercourt to Dufferin corridor, both south of Bloor and up to Dupont has also become quite desirable and tends to cost a little less per month than the downtown areas to rent. Again, access to the Bloor subway with nice restaurants and shops nearby will always be attractive to renters, especially when most tend to not have vehicles.
A bunch of folks also talked about Sherbourne and Jarvis streets in Cabbagetown. There are lots of rental buildings there and it seems like over the last few years this area has cleaned itself up a little. One bedrooms can rent for under $1000 a month. I still think south of Gerrard may be a little sketchy but it is all changing. Consider the Regent Park revitalization. I’m sure that will lead to a lot of new rental possibilities as well in the future.
My part of town, the Danforth, was also cited as a great place to rent. I would have thought that this area would not be quite as affordable since it offers so much. If you are diligent though and do your homework there are some good places out there to rent. Remember, sometimes a landlord is more concerned with the calibre of tenant they are getting, rather than trying just trying to max out the rents. I love the Danforth, Riverdale and Leslieville neighbourhoods so I would certainly recommend them as great rental areas.
Other areas mentioned were Roncesvalles, the Queensway and even parts of Etobicoke, although in my opinion this is a bit far west. Overall, there remain quite a few options to consider. Sites like padmapper.com make it easy to see where the available apartments are. With the housing market being so difficult, many folks will have to rent so it is important to be diligent and try to find the best value out there.
Toronto Market Statistics
Home sales activity increased on a year-over-year basis in the third quarter of 2014. Home sales numbered 24,849 units in the third quarter, up six per cent from the same period in 2013. This was the second strongest third quarter on record. Sales activity was up across all housing types to the strongest third quarter since 2009.
Inventories decreased for all housing types in the third quarter of 2014 compared to a year earlier. As a result, median days on market fell across all housing categories. Median prices were up for all housing types to record or near-record prices.
The median sale price for single detached homes was up eight per cent on a year-over-year basis to $605,000 in the third quarter of 2014. The median sale price for semi-detached units was up nine per cent from year-ago levels to $484,000 in the third quarter of 2014.
The median sale price for condo townhouse units rose nine per cent from a year earlier to a record $359,050. The median sale price for condo apartment units increased three per cent on a year-over-year basis in the third quarter, rising to a near-record $320,000.