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Toronto’s richest properties are showing confidence in the real estate market. Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) stats show that luxury sales are booming. While sales are down in the general market, sales of the most expensive homes in the city are up.
Luxury Real Estate Defined
The definition of luxury real estate changes from person to person but, “reasonable luxuries,” like extra square footage, and build quality, that’s not what we mean by luxury. What we’re looking for is true luxury, homes not within the realm of affordability for normal households. To do this, we’ll define luxury as homes over $few million, a pre-defined category TREB tracks. It’s a simple definition, but a buyer spending at least 1.5 million more than normal home price in Toronto isn’t a paper millionaire. These are actual, factual rich people that are often more in tune with global economic trends.
Real Estate Sales Over few million Are Up
Sales of property over $2 million are up across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). TREB counted 616 sales in April, a 74% increase from the same time last year. Breaking that down, detached units were 579 of those sales, which is over 93% of total luxury sales. Condo apartments was the fastest growing segment, experiencing a 125% increase from the same time last year. That’s only 18 units though, so I wouldn’t read too much into that trend yet.
Luxury is an Increasing Part of Total Sales
An increase in sales above few million is an interesting divergence. The quality of high-ratio loans is on the slide, but luxury buyers are up. The general market is experiencing hesitance, but the city’s wealthiest families are showing confidence by increasing the number of buyers. Should this be interpreted as a sign of market confidence, or a group of people that are less hesitant at the possibility of losing money? Leave your thoughts below.
Speculates housing costs are playing a role, a sentiment echoed by housing and immigration experts.
“I’m sure money is part of it,” says Graham Haines, research and policy manager with the Ryerson City Building Institute. “Living in Toronto, living close to Toronto, is becoming more and more expensive.”
“As that cost increases, people are fleeing to the suburbs for cheaper rents and mortgages,” echoes Margaret Eaton, executive director of Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council.
Both say municipalities throughout Halton, York and Durham regions, all hot real estate markets as well, where house prices have spiked in spots like Oshawa and Oakville in recent years, need to prepare for the ongoing influx of immigrants.
Outskirts of Toronto communities need to “build in the services immigrants are looking for, the opportunities to set up new business,” Haines explains.
Eaton says those kinds of supports are crucial, particularly since immigrants tend to struggle to get jobs that match their education and experience, they also face a higher unemployment rate than the general population.
“I worry that as we push immigrants out to the farther reaches of the city, and they still have to either own a car to get to work or spend hours on transit, that we just create further inequality and reduce opportunities for people,” she says.
East end of Toronto is growing.
Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa are all growing quickly. If you are thinking about moving or relocating to an affordable city, time is now before they also become unaffordable.
Contact East Realtors: (416) 273-4114