Toronto real estate prices are nothing if not shocking, but this little Bay Street studio condo may have one of the more surprising asking prices out there.
Located inside 955 Bay Street at the intersection of Bay and Wellesley, the for-sale bachelor unit on the 16th floor comes in at just 382 sq ft. And for that intimate living space, the seller is asking a whopping $669,900.
The unit went up for sale on April 2, and now, more than four weeks later, it’s still available. After a slight dip near the beginning of the pandemic, the condo market has come bouncing back, making this unit’s lengthy stay on the market out of the ordinary.
“It is unusual to see a condo listing being on the market for more than two weeks, but this particular unit has been on MLS for over a month now,” Zoocasa agent Ivan Kalinin told Daily Hive.
The most obvious reason for this is the unit’s price. Not only is it high for a studio, but it’s high for this particular building as well.
“There are currently two other listings in the building under 500 sq ft that are being offered for sale,” Kalinin said. “One of them is bigger — 412 sq ft — and the other one is the same size — 382 sq ft. Both are priced at mid 500’s.”
The Toronto studio appears to have builder-grade fixtures and doesn’t have any upgrades. But it does come with parking, which the other comparable units do not, and could be the reason for its inflated price.
“However, perhaps [parking is] not as in high demand, considering that the building is located a couple of minutes walk from the subway station, and we are obviously seeing a massive increase in remote work from home,” Kalinin said.
Late last year, similar units in the building were selling under $500,000, “which might also suggest that the price tag is a bit high for this listing,” Kalinin said.
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Another factor that may have caused some hesitancy for potential buyers is that this unit currently has a tenant in it who has to be assumed until December of this year. It also means that a buyer would have to submit an offer before viewing the unit.
“Since the rental prices have declined significantly during the pandemic, there is potential that the tenant is not paying a rent that would justify assuming them, versus just looking for a vacant unit,” Kalinin said.
And unfortunately, the square footage of the apartment may end up pricing out buyers who can’t afford to put a 20% downpayment on the place, which would allow them to avoid purchasing CMHC mortgage insurance.
“CMHC does not consider units under 400 sq ft as ‘habitable’ and may deny mortgage insurance for anyone looking to put less than 20% down payment,” Kalinin said.
If the seller does get their asking price, this will certainly be a notable sale not just for a Toronto studio, but for the Toronto condo market as a whole. The price would come out to $1,753 per sq ft — significantly higher than the Toronto condo average of $883.
But only time will tell whether the seller ends up dropping the price to find a buyer.