Ever wondered what Toronto’s real estate market is like? As most realtors will tell you, volatility is the necessary evil investors have to endure.
Soaring property prices, a sudden drop in sales, and housing crash predictions are all eventualities, some of which happen, like in early 2017 when prices shot up by over 30%. Others just never seem to come about, like the long-predicted housing crash.
Nonetheless, buyer confidence has remained solid, fueled by factors like high rates of employment, rising incomes, GDP growth, and an increasing population, all of which contribute to the demand for property in Toronto.
Because it’s probably the biggest investment or financial decision you will make, our goal is to furnish you with more than just your gut feeling and what you already know so that you can get the best bang for your buck.
As expected, there are a number of things you will want to look out for as an investor just to be sure that you are making the right decision as far as selecting the best places to invest in real estate in Toronto goes.
Top on the list is the availability of great schools and institutions of higher learning, both public and private. Transportation is also another important factor. That includes closeness to subway stations, availability of streetcars and buses, and so on. Not to forget shopping amenities and the types of investments you would love to make.
Fortunately, all those are part of the elements we incorporated into our selection formula. We even went further and examined their value by taking into consideration average house prices shared by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). We compared the prices to nearby areas then looking at their history to see whether they have been appreciating, depreciating, or stable.
In the end, we were able to identify many pocket neighbourhoods and communities that checkmark all the important aspects an investor would love to see.
Almost all of them are areas we love to invest in. Our list below covers Toronto only and, as we found out, rental units are in high demand in these areas and the greater Toronto area (GTA):
Yonge and Sheppard
Yonge and Sheppard may seem like a suburbia, but don’t let that notion trick you into ignoring this neighbourhood. At the moment, it’s one of the hottest North York addresses for rentals (both condos and houses) and among the places that are experiencing rapid condo development, with no sign of the trend slowing down.
Because it sits far north, prices are still competitive, but with an increasing population and rising demand for property, chances are it will be a hot spot soon. The average price for an entry-level house is $1 million while condos go for about $400,000.
Last year, North York condo prices went up, a sign that the area is slowly becoming an attraction for both investors and home buyers.
What’s more, the area is accessible to the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), with the Sheppard Subway within easy reach of the residents. The ride to downtown at the Dundas station takes about 25 minutes via the subway.
Liberty Village is an artsy neighbourhood located south of King Street West. Among the things that make it a great place to invest is its location, as it is a few minutes’ walk from the entertainment and fashion gallery of King St. West.
Accessing the financial core also takes a few minutes, thanks to the street cars. In the past few years, the area has been popular with renters looking for affordable living options, mainly because it’s an area with a vibrant community and access to a variety of public amenities. Currently, the average entry price for a condo investment is $400,000.
Above all that, Liberty Village offers a place to work live and play by having over 20 restaurants and being home to various successful art and design studios.
Hip and trendy is the perfect way to describe King West, a neighbourhood that was just years ago a district lined with abandoned warehouses.
Located in downtown Toronto, the area is popular with young professionals in search of the urban lifestyle, which it offers in abundance, thanks to having one of the most active nightclubs and bar scenes in Toronto.
King West offers a large variety of residential options to invest in, with condos fast becoming the most attractive property type.
Being one of the city’s largest and busiest transit routes, the area has benefited from commuters who wish to be closer to Toronto.
The new streetcars that got introduced not too long ago have made transportation way easier for those who rely on that.
Its location, new buildings, and relatively affordable investment price make it a good choice for real estate development. Note that the average price for an entry-level condo is $500,000.
Yonge and Eglinton
Condo investing has for long been a reserve of downtown Toronto, but now we have pocket neighbourhoods outside downtown yet within the city that boasts of the same features and reasons downtown has. Yonge and Eglinton is one of them
Things like great transit, high real estate prices, great infrastructure, and the potential for a future rise in prices are just as strong in Yonge and Eglinton as they are in downtown.
One of the things making Yonge and Eglinton receive more attention is the ongoing construction of the light rail rapid transit (LRRT), due in 2020. Most of it will be underground and it will improve accessibility to Toronto city.
That aside, the place is popular with young families, a situation enabled by the presence of the best schools in Toronto, best restaurants in the city, and the upcoming offices that signal potential for more jobs.
Expect mixed investments mainly in houses, but lately includes many condos too. In the past few years, resale prices for some condo buildings around Yonge and Eglinton have been strong. The investment level is mid to high, while the average price for an entry-level house is $1.3 million and $500,000 for condos.
Yorkville is located north of Bloor Street and to the west of Yonge Street. It has one of Canada’s most exclusive shopping districts within it, in addition to upscale restaurants and top-class hotels.
The area is not only famous for its upscale boutiques like Burberry and Bulgari and luxury hotels like the InterContinental, but it also has offices for international companies like IBM and Twentieth Century Fox.
It’s, therefore, not surprising that the average price for an entry-level condo is $740,000. Nonetheless, Yorkville is a prestigious address where investment will definitely yield high returns.
Located west of Bathurst Street, CityPlace is home to the canoe landing park. Its location (Downtown Toronto) is considered one of its finest assets, given that it’s just a few minutes’ walk away from Toronto’s financial district.
Over the years, this district has been growing and maturing, marked by an increasing population and an influx of merchants and services. Now the area is experiencing a boom in development, a situation likely to set it up as a prime residential area in Toronto when completed.
Being nestled between the Gardiner Expressway and Union Station makes it a very accessible area. It is also very close to King Street West and Liberty Village, making it popular with renters who need to commute daily to Toronto’s financial district.
Price wise, the average entry cost for a condo investment is $400,000. Given the fact that the neighbourhood is experiencing rapid growth and moving away from its old reputation, there’s plenty of reasons to invest there now.
Bay St. Line
Bay St. Line is a popular neighbourhood located in the financial district. Its location makes it a hot rental area popular with those who work in the financial district and on the discovery of the district’s nearby hospitals and schools.
Ryerson University and the University of Toronto are located close by, making the place a living area of choice for a large number of faculty and students. Also, its close proximity with Bay Street, which is considered the center of Canada’s financial sector, makes it a prime neighbourhood to invest in.
Considering its location and accessibility, the average price for an entry-level condo is what would you find in most places with same qualities; i.e., $500,000.
Leslieville and the Beaches
These communities sit along Queen Street’s eastern stretch. Initially, Leslieville mainly comprised a working-class population, but it has since grown to include people of mixed incomes. Restaurants, gourmet coffee houses, and art galleries are more common than ever.
The Beaches, on the other hand, remain an attraction partly because of the unencumbered access it offers to Lake Ontario.
Both areas are served by great schools and universities and are rife with restaurants and shops, especially in Queen Street East, which is basically the most loved shopping district in the area.
The majority of properties are cottages, row houses, Victorian houses, bungalows, detached and semi-detached houses, and lately some condos as well. The prices are still low to medium while the investment is mid to high. The average price for an entry-level house is $1.2 million while condos go for $550,000.
Because these neighbourhoods have undergone plenty of gentrification and revitalization in recent years, there’s new interest in Leslieville East, which sits between the two communities. It’s an up and coming neighbourhood and prices are still low, making it a suitable option for anyone who doesn’t mind putting up with developing places with huge potential.
Yonge St. Line
Yonge Street is famous for many things, one of them being that it’s among the longest streets in the world. If you are looking for office and residential areas to invest in, the area is rife with them.
Its biggest selling points is its great public transit system, served by the eastern half of Line 1 Yonge-University subway.
There’s also a supplementary bus route running along the street and an additional blue line route that works after the subway closes.
One reason the area is popular with renters is because of its ease to the subway and its efficient public transit system. Expect to find the average price for an entry-level condo at around $500,000.
Queens Quay, a notable street in the Harborfront neighbourhood of Toronto, has been experiencing a revitalization for the past decade. The street was largely commercial due to its piers, but huge parts of it have been rebuilt into premium waterfront property.
Today, the neighbourhood has a variety of parks, entertainment facilities, and office spaces for rent.
It is served by two streetcar lines and various bus routes, making it easier for the residents to commute. The investment price is premium considering the fact that it has amazing waterfront property. At the moment, the average entry price for a condo is $460,000.
Considering its beautiful parks, water views and serene atmosphere, the price sounds well justified.
Downtown Toronto is home to The Annex as well. Bordering the University of Toronto, the place is mainly a residential area.
Here, you will encounter plenty of Torontonian style of houses that were popular among the elite in the nineteenth century. The area is well served by the public transit, including bus service and four TTC subway stations.
Because it’s a residential area, the buildings are mostly mansions with a few condos. The average price for an entry-level house is $1.2 million.
Generally, the area is rich in historical value and it is well located with an efficient transport system, making it a great neighbourhood to invest in.
Danforth lies further north and, even though it’s outside the core, it still provides easy accessibility to the city. In addition to having a strong history, the area set itself apart due to its strong landscape and abundance of amenities.
Other attractions include plenty of health and wellness establishments, walkability, and lots of parking space. Even though the area is off the main subway line, it still provides easy access to the TTC using streetcars.
As with most of the best markets in the GTA, mid-rise condo developments have been popping up not just along Danforth but also around the Village area. Moreover, plenty of homes have undergone renovation, especially in Danforth Village, and they are being sold at a good price. The average price for an entry-level house begins at $900,000.
It’s important to mention that we left out a couple of areas that are just as good as those we’ve looked at in detail. Examples include St. Lawrence market area & Distillery District, Little Italy, Roncesvalles, Cabbagetown, Corktown, just to name but a few. Generally, Toronto has way too many awesome neighbourhoods to invest in.
As an investor, you have plenty of areas to choose from, each with its own unique attributes. If you are struck at making a selection or just not sure where to buy a house in Toronto, you can always enlist the help of an investment consultant, preferably one based in the city.
With their advice and other forms of assistance, you stand a better chance of not only finding the best places to invest in real estate in Toronto, but also navigating all the procedures involved in making your dream investment come true.