Toronto real estate is crazy—but there are still spots that offer value
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Toronto at a glance…
|Average Neighbourhood Price||$861,859||$871,192|
|Average 1-year return||22.7%||30.3%|
|Average 3-year return||49.1%||67.3%|
|Average 5-year return||67.9%||90.3%|
|Realtor grade (out of 5)||★★★★||★★★★|
Toronto’s top five neighbourhoods
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1. Pleasant View (Toronto C15)
The value that you’re getting in this neighbourhood, relative to what you’ll get in the rest of the city, is really strong, says Chris MacDonald with Re/Max Premier Inc. Expect to find well-maintained homes in need of updating. This area could be the next to benefit from the expansion of the Bayview-Bridle Path area, with smaller homes on big leafy lots getting replaced by big luxury homes. That trend has been pushing northwest to Yonge for years, but more recently has been driving prices higher as you move east along Sheppard.
2. East End-Danforth (Toronto E02)
This neighbourhood gives you easy access to ravine parks and Woodbine Beach, but without the premium that comes with living so close to the water. It hasn’t always been seen this way, but now anything south of Danforth is casually referred to as the Beaches, says MacDonald. There are a number of older homes which is attracting builders. It’s not uncommon for builders to do quick $150,000 renos to drive the price of the home by half a million or more, say Mac Donald. This area also has plenty of independent stores and restaurants. The nightlife is good in this area as well, says MacDonald.
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3. Victoria Village (Toronto C13)
This neighbourhood is ring-fenced by power lines and an industrial area to the north and west, as well as by two of the main arteries in the city. But while it’s a busy area, you just need to turn off one of the busy streets to discover a quiet family neighbourhood. “It’s a hidden gem,” says MacDonald. It has its quirks, but it’s homey, with lots of parks. The large lot sizes and the fact this area is predominately detached homes is also attracting buyers, says Laura Golbeck with Re/Max Hullmark. And while traffic is an issue, you don’t have to deal with it since there is plenty of shopping and a movie theatre within walking distance. Both Golbeck and MacDonald agree this area will be booming, particularly when the new light rail line along Eglinton opens up in 2021. “If you’re looking for an investment opportunity this would be a smart choice,” says MacDonald.
4. Regent Park (Toronto C08)
This neighbourhood is going through a dramatic change right now. There’s a lot of gentrification happening in Regent Park says Golbeck. The new aquatic centre attracts people to this neighbourhood from all over the city, she says. But she warns that there is still a lot of change to come. It’s a bit of a mixed area with subsided low-income properties and new development, which could keep prices down for sometime. It’s not unlike the change that transformed nearby Corktown and Riverside, she says. “All of these other areas that were rough around the edges are now booming,” Golbeck says. While she concedes some of the homes need a little love, Golbeck feels it’s a good pocket to invest in.
5. Parkwoods-Donalda (Toronto C13)
With Toronto getting so expensive, homebuyers are looking outside the core for value. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to head too far to find a good buy. This neighbourhood is close to highway 401 and the DVP, which makes it easy to get around. It also encompasses a golf course and a great park system. The south end of this neighbourhood tends to be a little more affluent with more infills, says James McCloskey of Re/Max Realty Enterprises Inc. In contrast, the north end has more original homes. He adds the area is very multicultural and seems to be attracting a number of immigrant buyers. But if you want to move here, act fast. “We’re seeing 5% and 10% price increases in just months,” says McCloskey.
Realtor pick: The Beaches (Toronto E02)
No area earned a higher overall grade from realtors than the Beaches (or the Beach, depending on whom you ask). And there is no shortage of reasons why. You have all of the shops and restaurants on Queen St., you’re close to downtown, the boardwalks and parks, says Golbeck. It has a very strong sense of community, she says, adding that with the beach come so many activities in the summer. It is a very family-oriented neighbourhood with access to great schools. The people here tend to be very laid back professionals, she says. There is nothing like this neighbourhood in Toronto. The west end has a great beach too, but it’s hard to access on foot. “You’re close, but it’s not like a pretty walk [at the Beaches],” she says.
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