This neighbourhood might just be one of the last remaining affordable areas to buy a home in Toronto
Sandwiched between Toronto's Roncesvalles and Little Italy is an area where homes under $1M still exist
Sandwiched between Toronto's Roncesvalles and Little Italy is a neighbourhood that might be one of the last remaining areas in the city where homes are still affordable — even if the term "affordable" is a stretch.
October was another hot month for the Toronto area's residential real estate market, with the number of sales hitting a record high and prices soaring by double-digits. The Toronto Real Estate Board says its benchmark price index was up by 19.7 per cent from a year ago with the average selling price for all types of homes rising by 21.1 per cent to $762,975.
But real estate agent Richard Silver says homes under $700,000 indeed still exist, and Dufferin Grove Park is one area where they do.
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Silver says that's a steal considering the neighbourhood's perks, even if it isn't top of mind as one of Toronto's hottest-priced areas.
Home in 1 prime neighbourhood sold for $25K under asking
"It's not yet, but it's working towards that. What you want to do is you get into an area when you can add value," Silver told CBC News.
What makes Dufferin Grove Park a hidden real estate gem?
Silver says two things make the neighbourhood stand out: it's close to the subway system and it's in between what he calls two "stable" areas, namely the University of Toronto and High Park.
To be sure, it's not the only such gem in the city.
Fluctuating prices had one home listed for around $1.3 million in the prime High Park neighbourhood recently sell for $25,000 under the asking price.
While the real estate board found that sales remained strong throughout October, real estate agent Brendan Powell isn't so sure.
"I found that in certain pockets, things sort of dropped off a cliff a little bit as far as activity ... A lot of buyers were sitting on the sidelines," Powell said.
'I don't know when or if we're ever going to be able to buy a house'
That, he says, is partly because of new and tighter mortgage rules announced last month, including a new "stress test" for insured mortgages to make sure borrowers are still able to make their payments if mortgage rates were to climb as high as the big banks' five-year posted rates.
And the anxiety may have a role to play in leaving some homes up for grabs at a perhaps more affordable price, he says.
But as many looking to buy know, the under-$1-million examples remain exceptions to the rule.
"I think anyone who's been looking knows that the prices are going up and up and up," said Dana Snell, who says she has to rent in order to live in a neighbourhood family-friendly and convenient enough to raise her four-month-old.
"I don't know when or if we're ever going to be able to buy a house."