Toronto’s most expensive real estate

Expensive houses that sell for less than others in a neighbourhood usually result from the lead time for a sale, says Olga Rekova, the president of Cornerstone Real Estate Corp., a Toronto-based real estate company.

“A buyer who is considering buying that house will know they can take longer to move into that house,” she says. “They will have to take more time to find a school for their kids and plan their furniture for that first year of home ownership. If they have to wait, then they may look at a different house.”

Houses in that price range sell the most in the spring, Rekova adds. “In general, buying a new house is an anxious situation,” she says. “You go through all of this planning to buy a house and it all goes back to that final big moment – getting that mortgage and moving in.”

On top of this, some houses in the area have undergone extensive renovations, which can end up reducing the house’s value because the renovation will mean the house won’t fit into the neighbourhood.

Location, location, location

Toronto’s high-end real estate can seem unreal. If you’re considering buying a house in the neighbourhood you’re hoping to live in, here’s what Rekova has to say about the best and worst places to buy.

– Largest condo: Harlem, on the edge of Kensington Market, has multiple towers that are ultra tall. The Kensington Market area has also seen an influx of luxury condos in recent years. These buildings are small, and the neighborhood is densely populated.

– Most popular site: Eglinton Heights has a theatre complex on the roof and offers a view of trees from every floor. Construction has finished on the homes, and the thousands of square feet have a modern downtown feel. It’s somewhat of a sprawl, though, and there are few single-family homes.

– Need a specific use? There’s two-storey homes in Scarborough’s Fallowfield Park neighbourhood, with homes ranging from 3,300 to 4,000 square feet. They’re very large.

– The gap continues: Young professionals can move into established family homes in the Kensington Market area, including houses built after 2000. While these houses don’t have as much space as new condos, they’re smaller and more affordable. It’s mostly for families, Rekova says.

– First-time buyers: Sunnybrook Gardens has many young families in it, which helps it fill with homeowners. There’s low crime and a nearby school.

– Older homeowners: This neighborhood is a mix of lots of one- and two-storey houses. The last 250 feet of the drive are single-family homes, but the subdivision stretches to properties where two- and three-storey homes are built. Prices range from the high $1 millions to $3 millions.

– Family properties: Buyers tend to flock to Ottawa Street and Bayview, too. It’s an older neighbourhood, and older families value its more normal construction. While traffic in these areas can get especially bad in the summer, most houses have one-car garages.

These same neighbourhoods also have some of the lowest home prices in the city.

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