As one of Canada’s most active real estate markets, Toronto housing has seen enormous price growth in the post few years, breaching the $1.2 million mark in February. However, while the metropolitan luxury sector remains the primary attraction for foreign investors, the suburbs have recently established themselves as the most desired location for buyers.
Statistics from the Toronto Real Estate Board revealed that home resales in the “905” suburban area increased by 23 per cent over the past year, almost twice the growth rate in the in-city sector. In Milton alone, average prices for detached homes spiked up by an unprecedented 42 per cent.
“It used to be rare that in the 905 we would see multiple offers and product going for over asking price, firm deals with no conditions. Now, offers with eight, 10, 12 other agents are almost normal,” Richmond Hill real estate broker Shawn Zigelstein told The Globe and Mail
Zigelstein said that ever since last fall’s market shift that placed the spotlight on the suburban area, many local agents have been pleasantly surprised. Better market conditions such as reduced unemployment and low interest rates have played a major part in this change—especially since the suburbs contributed to around half of GTA’s job growth and three-fourths of immigration.
Other experts pointed at the development of more off-city higher-tier real estate as a driver for greater interest in the suburbs, in turn spurring the continuous growth in average GTA housing prices.
“Most families or couples in the old days weren’t really buying $1-million properties. But it’s almost like that is the price point for a lot of people now,” real estate agent Caroline Baile explained.
And even though most of their wealth is still parked in luxury suites in the city, overseas buyers are increasingly noticing the potential of the suburban sector, with some sellers even requesting advertising space in foreign-language newspapers.
“They see our market as a safe market to put funds in and they’re coming in and they’re putting their money into homes,” Zigelstein said.