Where to buy real estate in 2019: Metro Toronto
The spring market came a little late to Toronto this year, but for many sellers it arrived in the nick of time. Sales surged 17% in April 2019, compared with the year before. For many, this increased activity is a signal that Canada’s largest real estate market is finally stabilizing after a year of decline. While the decline was intended—Toronto’s housing market cooled considerably last year as industry and government officials tightened mortgage regulations, imposed taxes on foreign buyers and took other measures designed to curb runaway prices—it did raise concerns that this market interference had gone too far.
The thing about Toronto, though, is that market fundamentals are still strong. The city offers great employment opportunities, there’s been an uptick in immigration and businesses seem to be investing in the future. All of this lends itself to a strong economic base for this city—the sort of base that attracts workers, their families and the need for housing.
These strong economic fundamentals also mean that Toronto’s housing market remains expensive. That’s one reason why this year’s list is dominated by neighbourhoods once considered completely undesirable.
But don’t get be fooled. A community can’t rise in this list just because it’s cheap; there are other factors that need to be in place. In this case, our top three neighbourhoods all benefitted from major investment in transit.
The Rockcliffe-Smythe neighbourhood is now more accessible by the Eglinton LRT line to Keele, while the Humber Summit neighbourhood is great for car commuters relying on Finch Avenue, Steeles Avenue, Weston Road, Highway 400 and Highway 401. Perhaps the most surprising inclusion on this year’s list is our No. 3 neighbourhood: Glenfield-Jane Heights, which includes the notorious Jane & Finch ’hood. The big draw for this neighbourhood is that housing prices are so much cheaper, and this is gradually attracting families and investors looking for value. Plus, with an already large immigrant base—mostly Spanish-, Italian- and Vietnamese-speaking residents—this neighbourhood is a natural draw for recently-landed immigrants who want to put down roots in Toronto by purchasing property.