A year ago today, few of us anticipated the breadth of change COVID-19 would bring, and that the byproduct of a global pandemic would see Toronto real estate values skyrocket in the quest for more space.
How much has the 'New Space Race' changed property values in the course of just one year?
You may have seen the headlines spouting: "2020 Set A New Sales Record For Toronto Homes Priced At $3Mil And Up!"
It's true that you can't make sweeping generalizations about the Toronto real estate market with just a handful of sales, but I still think that sometimes a little sleuthing can help paint a picture.
Which is exactly what I did.
Two Sales Of $3Million Toronto Houses A Year Ago Today
Here are two houses in the original City of Toronto that sold a year ago today (March 10th, 2020) for $3,000,000:
#1) A Bespoke High Park Family Home - List $2,199,000 // Sold $3,000,000 - 36% Over List
A grand merchant class detached 4bed 3bath 2.5storey residence built in 1928 situated on a 35x193 foot parklike lot with gazebo, pond, and private drive located one block from High Park and in the coveted Howard Junior PS catchment area (with early french immersion program and daycare).
**Fun Fact: This house is in good company. Since lockdown, 14 other homes have sold in this neighbourhood for sums ranging from $2,400,000 to $3,100,000**
#2) An Elegant Executive Residence In Seaton Village - List $2,598,000 // Sold $3,000,000 - 15% Over List
Overlooking Vermont Square, a heart-grabbing detached 5bed 4bath home Edwardian built in 1910 with family room extension totaling over 3200 square feet above grade situated on a 29.5 x 140 foot lush landscaped lot with detached 2car laneway garage located in the Palmerston Avenue Junior PS catchment area with early french immersion
**Fun Fact: This is rare to market. Situated on a street home to just 17 residences, only 5 have been listed on MLS since 2000**
Two Sales Of $3Mil Toronto Houses In The Past 3 Weeks
And here are two recent sales:
#1) An Edwardian Semi In Prime Riverdale - List $2,450,000 Sold $3,000,000 - 22% Over List
Perched on beloved Withrow Park, a classic contemporary semi-detached 4bed 3bath home 1910 Edwardian situated on a 25 x 110 foot city lot with detached 2car laneway garage located in the Frankland PS catchment area with early french immersion.
**Fun Fact: A new precedent. The highest priced semi to sell previously in the Riverdale neighbourhood was for $2.485,000 in July 2020**
#2) A Lakeside Retreat In The Beaches - List $2,389,000 Sold $3,000,000 – 26% Over List
Two doors from Lake Ontario and across the street from Balmy Beach Park, a sunfilled contemporary detached 2+1bed 2bath 1928 'cottage' situated on a 30 x 97 foot city lot with a private drive and detached 2car garage located in the Balmy Beach CS with daycare.
**Fun Fact: Value proposition. A similarly-sized 2storey house backing onto Kew Gardens only 8 houses from Lake Ontario sold for only $2,322,000 just 6 weeks ago**
So - what can we infer from these examples? Let's discuss.
In What Ways Are The 2 Sales A Year Ago Similar To The 2 Which Just Sold?
• top drawer quality renovations of Edwardian houses
• family-friendly space plans
• onsite parking for 2 or more cars
• proximity to premium parks
• excellent school districts (early french immersion is highly coveted in downtown Toronto)
And How Do The Sales - Then & Now - Really Differ?
• the properties that recently sold have up to 50% less living space
• those same recent sales have lot sizes that are on average 50% smaller (west 6755sf & 4130sf versus east 2750sf & 2910sf)
• one was semi-detached while the other was just 2beds
• the east side has historically been cheaper (though all four neighbourhoods have long been desirable bastions for the affluent)
The secret to success in real estate remains constant - no matter the season. Approach with caution, make data-driven decisions, and exercise patience rather than panic.
Address your goals realistically.
Know your financial capacity specifically.
Pursue with intention.
Your strategy must be fluid enough to respond to market dynamics, but not so elastic that emotions and the proverbial heat of the moment pushes you towards a decision that may not ultimately yield the results you desire. Get your ducks in a row and be ready to act, but be ready to walk if what you believed the potential opportunity actually doesn't meet your essential needs. Buying Toronto real estate is as much about patience and faith as it is about executing your plans.
Some additional reading you might enjoy....
If you're curious to learn more about shelter in these changing times, here are some of my blogs exploring the influence of the pandemic on the housing industry, and the intersections between COVID-19 and Toronto Real Estate:
Thanks for reading!
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Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
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