For many new home buyers, finding affordable housing in Toronto is often a struggle.
A report from Oxford economics released in May showed Toronto to be one of the least affordable cities for housing in North America, edging out New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and other major cities. The average selling price across the Toronto area in June, 2021, was $1,089,536. While that number has now dropped for three consecutive months, it still represents a 17-per-cent jump from last year’s average price.
Such a hot market presents a challenge for first time buyers or down-sizers looking to find comfortable housing at an affordable cost, so we asked five agents who recently sold homes near or under June’s average selling price if they still think it possible to find worthwhile deals in the city. Here were some of their offerings.
221 Coxwell Ave., Woodbine Corridor (East York)
The house: A newly renovated home on a deep ravine property with a long driveway, deck and back yard. Its basement contains a completely separate one-bedroom apartment for an income stream to help with the mortgage.
Features: 1+1 bedroom and 2 bathrooms on a 12.42- by 207.66-foot lot.
Selling price: $900,000
The agent: Susan Gucci, Royal LePage Signature Susan Gucci Realty
Located in the Woodbine Corridor on the southern edge of East York, this starter home makes up for its smaller size with a sleek renovation and an array of amenities uncommon in downtown properties, agent Susan Gucci said.
It is also located near streetcar lines.
Ms. Gucci said she is noticing a pause in Toronto’s real estate market, and that buying in East York now could prove a worthwhile investment.
“It’s completely gentrifying – and in the last few years, it’s been all young professionals,” she said. “But someone looking to buy can still do it in East York. In fact, it’s a great opportunity for buyers.”
34 Fishleigh Dr., Birchcliffe-Cliffside (Scarborough)
The house: An open-concept bungalow with a basement suite, hardwood flooring, granite countertops in the kitchen, a spacious back yard and an attached garage.
Features: 3+2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms on a 1,300-square-foot lot.
Selling price: $1,100,000
The agent: Patrick Devine, Union Realty Brokerage Inc.
Agent Patrick Devine says this cozy home, with its yard space and location near the Scarborough Bluffs is a terrific place for a young family looking to trade the bustle of downtown for a neighbourhood feel.
“It’s a nice, private home with two side yards in a good school district,” he said. “It’s a comfortable area.”
Mr. Devine added that there are still homes on the market for under $1-million in the area.
4 Laxford Ave., Wexford-Maryvale (Scarborough)
The house: A brick-clad ranch-style bungalow with open-concept layout and the potential for a basement suite.
Features: 3+2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms on an estimated 1,300-square-foot lot.
Selling price: $1,090,000
The agent: Rushdi Rauf, Century 21 Innovative Realty Inc.
The charming 60′s-style bungalow with a green yard bordered by a trim brick retaining wall is typical of Wexford-Maryvale, said agent Rushdi Rauf. He added that the selling price is also typical for these bungalows, which make up for their small depth with a 70-foot width.
Mr. Rauf said there are still deals in the area, which has become popular with downsizers. Similar offerings currently on the market are primed to attract yard lovers looking to join a close-knit neighbourhood.
“Everybody knows each other – the area is very family-oriented with lots of Italian culture. People take care of their lawns, and keep the streets pretty,” Mr. Rauf said.
“People like how it’s laid back, and how you can have space.”
273 Sixth St., New Toronto (Etobicoke)
The house: A “condo alternative” two-storey townhouse.
Features: 2+1 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms on an 1,100-square-foot lot.
Selling price: $880,000
The agent: Tamsin Pukonen, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada
The discounted prices on Sixth Street homes are a well-kept Toronto secret, agent Tamsin Pukonen said. They tend to sell for the same price as city condos because they are close to industrial areas. What buyers overlook, however, is how near the homes are to the Etobicoke lakeshore.
“This is one of the only streets in the city where you can buy a house for under $1-million,” she said. “If you look down the street, you see the lake. Plus, it’s close and accessible to downtown, transit hubs and the airport.”
With a detached garage and back yard, the home offers more than a condo. Its completely renovated interior, she said, is also a huge bonus.
“There are other houses for under $1-million, but they will rarely have a renovation like that,” Ms. Pukonen said.
291 Sixth St., New Toronto (Etobicoke)
The house: Semi-detached two-storey townhouse with two-car driveway
The features: 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms on a 17.5- by 118-foot lot
Selling price: $897,000
The agent: Nadia Prokopiw, Royal LePage Real Estate Services
Like Ms. Pukonen, agent Nadia Prokopiw said there are still many good housing deals in Etobicoke’s south end. But she herself was surprised the townhouse she listed for $914,900 sold for less than asking price.
“I think everybody was surprised,” Ms. Prokopiw said, before pointing to the recent, slight lull in Toronto’s real estate market. “Sometimes, it’s the timing of the market. People become tired and worn out.”
Ms. Prokopiw said the home was sold in move-in condition – and its finished basement, large kitchen, living and dining rooms made it a steal for the buyers. The bedrooms are small, but she viewed that as a small price to pay for such a deal.
“If you’re going to get a home under $1-million, you have to accept that there is going to be some flaw,” she said. “You have to put up with some compromise.”
Your house is your most valuable asset. We have a weekly Real Estate newsletter to help you stay on top of news on the housing market, mortgages, the latest closings and more. Sign up today.
Build your personal news feed
- Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
- Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.