Toronto’s astronomically expensive housing market has forced many city-dwellers to consider life in the ‘burbs. The only problem is, things aren’t much better out there – if not altogether worse.
According to Royal LePage’s Q1 House Price Survey, every market in the Greater Toronto Area has seen double-digit growth in the prices of homes compared to the first quarter of last year. The slowest growth, in fact, still stands at 17 per cent, in Pickering and Toronto.
That’s right, Toronto proper, where the average price of a place to live is $759,241, is actually appreciating at a comparatively affordable rate.
Here’s how prices look across the region:
Here’s how each region’s situation can be summarized in a few words:
Toronto: “A severe shortage in inventory, leading many to divert their attention to the condominium market for its relative affordability.”
Scarborough: “One of the most affordable areas outside of the downtown core.”
Richmond Hill: “The largest gains in appreciation in the country.”
Markham: “International interest continued to drive prices higher.”
Brampton: “Significant appreciation.”
Mississauga: “A remarkably low supply of listings contributed to rising home prices in the region.”
Milton: “The region’s small town atmosphere continued to attract buyers spilling over from other higher-priced markets in the GTA.”
Oakville: “Historically low inventory levels.”
Oshawa: “One of the strongest rates of appreciation in the GTA.”
Whitby, Pickering, Ajax: “Strong gains … noteworthy increases in aggregate house prices.”
So, what can you do about it? Unfortunately, not much.
You can look further beyond the GTA’s competitive market, but that presents its own problems.
“As affordability across the GTA continues to erode, many homebuyers have increasingly begun to search for property elsewhere in southern Ontario where market factors are more favourable,” said Dianne Usher, senior vice president, Johnston and Daniel, a division of Royal LePage.
“However, the fact remains that many of these regions are not built to support large volumes of demand, causing market conditions in these areas to quickly intensify.”
The only solution, it seems – if Sudbury isn’t for you – is to look out-of-province. Interestingly, Vancouver is having a bit of an affordable moment.
“For the first time in several years, real estate markets in Vancouver and Toronto are headed in opposite directions,” said Phil Soper, President and CEO, Royal LePage.
“The Vancouver market stalled, as confused consumers took to the sidelines after a series of uncoordinated moves by all three levels of government. With its housing shortage becoming more acute, Toronto easily stepped forward to assume the title of Canada’s most overheated real estate market.”
Other affordable markets can be found in Alberta, Quebec and Atlantic Canada, where prices are rising at mid-single-digit rates.