Mansion Global quoted Richard Silver in one of their recent articles about Toronto's luxury housing market. Here are a few of the most important points from the article. And you can find the full version here.
By Becky Strum. Originally posted on Mansion Global, February 15, 2017
Toronto's housing market has been experiencing a strong price growth over the last few years, thanks to tight inventory, population growth and low interest rate. According to TREB, Toronto saw the strongest sales increase of any other Canadian city in 2016. And while the average price was 20 per cent higher in December 2016 than the year before, the luxury market experienced a 32 per cent increase in prices.
“We have a lack of inventory, and like a lot of cities, like New York and Chicago, there’s only so much space for new developments,” Richard said. “There are a lot more people coming into the market than there are people leaving the market.”
What neighbourhoods are considered to be Toronto's luxury market?
Well, there C02, also known as Toronto's "posh" district, located north of Queen’s Park and the beautiful 19th-century building housing Toronto’s legislative assembly, and includes Yorkville. Then there is the Annex, Rosedale and Moore Park. And outside the city centre, you have
the C12 - the most expensive district in the Greater Toronto Area, with an average sales price of $2.5 million, according to TREB. It includes posh neighborhoods like Lawrence Park, Windfields and a collection of estate-lined blocks called the Bridle Path, residents of which have included late singer Prince and former newspaper mogul Conrad Black. The neighborhood was also used to film the home of “Mean Girls” queen bee Regina George.
“In that area there are massive houses selling for huge prices. That seems to be very popular for those who want an acre or two-acre estates,” said Richard.
This is the district with the fastest growing prices. The average sale price has increased by 31 per cent since 2014, and the median sales price has jumped by 40 per cent, according to TREB.
Local buyers are fueling the growth
Taimur Khan, a senior analyst at Knight Frank says that "local buyers have fueled most of the growth thus far, though foreign investors have played a role at the top of the market—particularly those taking advantage of the weaker Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar and dollar-backed currencies."
In 2016, 55 per cent of sales to non-resident foreign buyers in the GTA, including suburbs, were sales of a primary residence for a family member. A lot of parents from China or Saudi Arabia for example, invested in properties for their kids who attend universities in the GTA, or bought them as second homes for themselves.
However, the Mansion Global writes that "the significance of foreign buyers in Toronto is much more limited than in fellow cosmopolitan, luxury hubs like New York or London, experts said. Foreigners accounted for only 5% of the city’s home buyers in 2016, with the average home costing them just under $1 million, according to TREB."
When Vancouver's Foreigners' Tax was implemented at the end of 2016, some suggested it will bring more foreign investors to Toronto. TREB says there is no evidence to support these suggestions, but it's actually local buyers who have driven Toronto's strong price growth, thank's to city's strong economy, low levels of unemployment and low interest rates.