Welcome to my blog on housing, culture, and design in Toronto! This is where I share my insights and experiences on most every aspect of the Toronto Real Estate Market – and life here in the 6ix!
Lately I’ve been writing a lot about how neighbourhoods in the original City of Toronto are undergoing a massive rejuvenation – not through the renovation of the existing housing stock (which is a significant factor in gentrification) – but in the acquisition of homes that are torn down and then substantially rebuilt or undergo entirely new construction into luxury single family residences.
In Exploring Toronto Real Estate – which I posted nearly 2 years ago – I explain the three approaches to establishing value, which are a ‘Market Value Comparison Approach’, an ‘Income Approach’, and a ‘Land Value + Development = Cost Approach’. All three are legitimate ways one might determine the value of a property. In that blog, I also cite several houses which had been recently sold, and which were effectively ‘tear downs’ (valued for their lots).
Since that blog – even despite the April 2017 Provincial Government’s ‘Fair Housing Plan’ intervention – I’ve found that our robust market continues to appeal to Toronto builders, who are paying top dollar to acquire a site and then investing substantial sums to transform the property into its highest and best use. In most cases, this means a luxury single family residence geared to the professional class, though sometimes it’s a multi-unit property, like infill single family townhouses. This is increasingly commonplace in the City of Toronto and, consequently, there’s a rapidly diminishing supply of habitable housing under $1mil in the downtown core that first and second time buyers would otherwise consider. Because the 100-year vintage housing stock is moving toward obsolescence, more and more builders are pursuing these listings for the exclusive purpose of transformation or “raise and rebuild”. The more often these newly rebuilt and renovated swish houses come to market (in the $1.5m+ price range), the more it reassures other Builders to follow suit, empowering them to outbid other buyers hoping to occupy the dwellings as-is and upgrade over time as their finances allow.
More recently, in How Toronto Real Estate Near Queen Street – East & West – Is Climbing In Value, I shared some recent sales of substantially transformed residences flanking either side of the Financial District, to demonstrate that once marginal locations are now setting new price precedents in the downtown core. These sales signal that, while once upon a time you could get a pretty significant discount for a depreciated property that was in proximity to urban blight (like industrial sites and sewage treatment plants), this is no longer the case. The shift in land use and valuation has had enormous repercussions for those seeking freehold housing at lower price points, as those options are quickly evaporating; more and more flippers are snapping up dwellings in once marginal areas and transforming them to garner a reasonable return. This has consequences for the natural filtering of housing stock, as we need buyers and sellers moving up and down all prices points and housing types to keep a market healthy. Without question, it’s getting tougher to secure a “reasonably-priced” property, regardless of your budget.
Below are some examples – in neighbourhoods across the original City Of Toronto – of recent significant renovations/new builds that demonstrate how our urban fabric is changing. I find it interesting to see that there are two aesthetics dominating our urban neighbourhoods: the growing modern contemporary cube or the more traditional classic contemporary pastiche. They definitely signal what’s on trend right now.
I should note that some of these houses are entirely new construction while some likely retained some – albeit minor – parts of the original dwelling. This is in part because getting a permit to renovate an existing dwelling (even if you keep one foundation wall of the original house) is faster and less costly than securing a permit for a new home (which is often significantly more expensive, too). This bureaucracy may explain some of the time differences from acquisition to resale, though many other factors likely also played a part in the duration of each project.
Incidentally, if you’re new to Toronto, here’s some of my own posts on the challenges I’ve been navigating putting an extension and addition on my own Riverdale residence which I’m documenting in my Tales From Tennis Crescent category.
Dear Urbaneer: I Need Help With Architects, Builders And Toronto’s Committee Of Adjustment
Dear Urbaneer: What Are The Steps To Add Onto A House In Toronto?
On My Obstacles Securing A City Of Toronto Building Permit
The Pitfalls Of Permit Fees And Toronto Real Estate
1. – House One (S-Dundas E, W-Carlaw in Leslieville aka South Riverdale – MLS District E01)
Bought: May 2014 / $821,230
Sold: February 2018 / $1,900,000
2. – House Two (N-Danforth, E-Broadview in Playter Estates – MLS District E03)
Bought: March 2016 / $900,000
Sold: June 2018 / $2,100,000
3. – House Three (S-Bloor W, E-South Kingsway in Swansea – MLS District W01)
Bought: April 2014 / $804,000
Sold: May 2018 / $2,400,000
4. – House Four (S-Dundas W, E-Ossington in Little Portugal aka Beaconsfield Village – MLS District C01)
Bought: September 2016 / $900,000
Sold: September 2018 / $2,825,000
5. – House Five (N- Queen East, W-Victoria Park in The Beaches – MLS District E02)
Bought: October 2014 / $950,000
Sold: April 2018 / $3,600,000
6. – House Six (N-Davisville E-Yonge In Mount Pleasant West aks Davisville Village in MLS District C10)
Bought: November 2015 / $1,549,000
Sold: March 2018 / $3,700,000
7. – House Seven (W-Avenue, N-Lawrence in Bedford Park – MLS District C04)
Bought: Feb 2016 / $1,550,000
Sold: June 2018 / $3,800,000
8. – House Eight (S-Moore W-Bayview in Bennington Heights – MLS District C09)
Bought: October 2016 / $1,800,000
Sold: January 2018 / $4,995,000
9. – House Nine (N-Bloor W, E-Avenue Road in Yorkville – MLS District C02)
Bought: October 2012 / $1,700,000
Sold: Decmber 2017 / $7,100,000
10. – House Ten (S-Eglinton, E-Spadina in Forest Hill – MLS District C03)
Bought: June 2014 / $3,237,500
Sold: June 2018 / $10,500,000
Did any of these homes speak to you?
These diverse Toronto properties provide a snapshot of the kind of homes Urbaneer sells. Serving first and second time buyers, relocations, renovators and those building their long term property portfolios, our mandate is to help our clients choose property which will realize the highest future return on their investment while ensuring the property best serves their practical needs and their dream of “Home” during their ownership. At Urbaneer, we identify a property’s best qualities, features and insouciant charm in the context of your wishes and wants, plus your future target market. Although searching for the right property can be an intense and sometimes lengthy process it is, without fail, rewarding both to our clients and the Urbaneer team. We are so grateful to be the realtor of choice for both established Torontonians, and the newly arrived.
Are you house hunting? Consider letting Urbaneer guide you through your purchase process. Given the length and intensity of many property searches today, it is only to your benefit to have someone with the experience, knowledge and empathy to help you on your journey. We’re here to help!
Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage – (416) 322-8000
– we’re here to earn your trust, then your business –
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House And Home