Toronto housing prices 'through the roof' ... in 1988

We all know the Toronto housing market is hot right now, but did you know people were freaking out about it in 1988?

Buyer in 1988 news story 'disgusted' with average sale price of $229,000

Toronto house prices go through the roof in 1988

34 years ago
Duration 2:57
Neil Macdonald reports on the increasingly unattainable cost of real estate in Toronto.

We all know the Toronto housing market is hot right now, but did you know people were freaking out about it in 1988?

A CBC television story by reporter Neil Macdonald (he looks like this now) is very telling.

Just look at what the former vice president of a real estate firm said at the time:

Pretty harsh. But in 1988 the market was hot and people were worried about it. Neil's story starts like this:

Nice. We'll always have that.

But there's bad news, and it will sound very familiar to people who are trying to buy a home in Toronto in 2016.

So even in 1988 you had to be "wealthy" to buy downtown? Makes you wonder what you have to be now.

Anyway, real estate prices were high and people in '88 were not having it. Even if they landed a good job in Toronto.

That's Ben, from London, Ontario. He's a professional and a family man. His kids were not impressed with CBC News in their kitchen.

In 1988, Ben found a higher-paying job in Toronto. The company even offered him an interest-free second mortgage. He came to the city to check out some houses and ...

"Disgusted" Ben balked at the high prices, passed on the job and stayed in London.

Now here's the part of the story when we laugh/cry at the cost of living back then.

According to the story, in order to comfortably afford a 3-bedroom home in Toronto in 1988, a family of four needed to make $67,000/year.

Sixty. Seven. Thousand.

This is what people in other Canadian cities needed to live large.

Nice graphics, by the way. Apparently Yukon and the Northwest Territories (Nunavut didn't exist yet) were just a black abyss in 1988.

But here's the thing: the bubble was about to burst.

The following year, the average sale price of a home in Toronto hit a whopping $273,698, which was a 30-year high.

But then it dropped, all the way down to $198,150 in 1996.

We know what's happened since.

The average price of a detached home is now over $1.1 million.

How's the house hunt going, 80s kids?


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