Condo, townhouse, semi-detached, standalone house – no matter which type of home you are looking to purchase, the decision to buy into the real estate market is a significant one. As of the 2016 census, 67.8% of Canadians owned a home, with the Toronto ownership rate a hair below the national average at 66.5%.
The census also revealed that Toronto surpassed chronic chart-topper Vancouver – which currently boasts the most expensive residential real estate prices in North America – when it came to housing costs as a proportion of annual income: 33.4% of Torontonians reported allocating at least 30% of their salary to shelter costs, compared to 32% of Vancouverites.
All this to say, purchasing a home in Toronto is a massive financial commitment that should be backed by research, facts, and a healthy foundation of knowledge regarding the housing market at large. So, what will it be – a condo or a home?
Housing market trends are constantly ebbing and flowing, but as of July 2018, the tides turned in favour of detached homes (as long as you have the necessary funds). This past summer, the difference in price between the average home and the average condo in Toronto was at its lowest since April 2017: you could scoop up a house for approximately $580,000 more than a condo, compared to $760,000 more the previous spring.
Of course, those price tag discrepancies are nothing to shake a stick at, and could easily price many buyers out of the detached home market. But if there ever was a time to buy a house in Toronto in terms of affordability, now might be the time: data from the Toronto Real Estate board shows that condo prices are steadily on the rise, while 2018 marked the first downturn in detached home prices in at least six years.
Based on that same data, it appears as though the value of a condo has nowhere to go but up in the short- to medium-term, its progress line unflinchingly rocketing towards the sky.
However, the housing market is subject to eternal speculation, so if you dig a little deeper, you’re bound to find an equal and opposite reaction: some bearish condo market analysts say that we should brace for plummeting prices. The good news? Many builders are reportedly offering purchase perks in the face of a cooling market and fierce competition from other condo companies: think cash incentives, discounted parking, and more.
If the more pessimistic speculators are correct, and the sky-high housing prices of yore are soon to be no more, the reality is that whether you’re purchasing a home or a condo, the residential real estate market is slowly but surely becoming more accessible as prices slip – so get in on it before another surge crops up!