Toronto

No bargains to be had as 239 people bid on homes auctioned off by city

The heat of Toronto’s housing market couldn’t be contained Thursday, as a trio of properties being auctioned off by the city at bargain basement starting bids ended up selling right around their assessed values.

Most homes go for around assessed values in first such auction since 2017

The city auctioned off three homes in the GTA Thursday with rock-bottom starting bids. In the end, they went for around their assessed values. (CBC)

Bidders hoping to snag a house on the cheap in Toronto's hot housing market were disappointed Thursday, as a trio of properties being auctioned off by the city at bargain basement starting bids ended up selling right around their assessed values.

The people who bought them did so largely sight unseen, as anyone bidding on the homes could not go inside before placing a bid. These are real fixer-uppers too — in many cases dilapidated and in disrepair.

All three had been taken over by the city for non-payment of property taxes.

Starting bids are equivalent to the amount owed in back taxes plus any associated costs racked up by the city while it has tried to collect the arrears.

There were 75 bids on a two-storey semi in the trendy Bloor-Ossington neighbourhood at 46 Carling Ave. that was assessed as being worth $775,000.

The minimum bid received by the city was just over $97,000 — and the winning bid was $729,000.

There were 77 bids on the home at 58 Laws St. in upscale High Park North, which was assessed at $932,000. In the end, the minimum bid was just over $119,000, while the highest bid was $901,000.

Finally, there were 80 bids on a split-level fixer-upper in suburban Etobicoke at 56 Netherly Dr. It was assessed at $457,000, with the highest bid coming in at $550,000, compared to a minimum bid of just over $92,000.

Garbage has been strewn across the front lawn of this abandoned house on Carling Avenue in the Bloor Street West and Ossington Avenue area. (Mike Smee/CBC)

Chris Chopik, sales representative at Sage Real Estate, told CBC News that in 2019, it's tough to find a home for under $1 million that's anywhere near the centre of the city.

"In real estate, it's hard to find undiscovered value," he said, adding that it's likely speculators and experienced renovators who would be placing bids on these homes.

"Even something that requires a great deal of work, the land value might be [worth] that," he said.

Arun Jamasi, who has been working as a realtor for 20 years, told CBC News Thursday afternoon that he planned to put in a bid on one of the homes in the mid $500,000 range.

"I think it would be a nice project to work on," he said.

"It seemed like a good opportunity."

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