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Monthly Archives: April, 2017

SOLD!! 18 Gwynne Ave – huge detached home in Parkdale

April 18th, 2017 Posted by Blog, SOLD!! No Comment yet

Parkdale has seen some hard times over the years, and the owners of this huge, detached home have witnessed a fair few of them. When they bought back in the early 1980s, the neighbourhood was known for being a bit run down. But, the gorgeous housing stock from the late 1800s-early 1900s, when the area was a wealthy suburb, was there waiting to be brought back to life. A neighbourhood this close to downtown could only go up!

Parkdale is now better known for beautifully restored homes and the rapid growth of Queen West. Most of the condo and townhouse development in the area is east of Dufferin St (e.g. Liberty Village and the old Massey lands); to the west, it’s still mostly Victorian semi-detached and detached, with some Georgian row houses, so it has a classy, old-Toronto feel to it.

Built in around 1880, 18 Gwynne Ave was expanded a couple of times over the years. At some point, it was duplexed, which is still apparent as you walk through the house. The main floor now features a large living/dining room, a huge eat-in kitchen, and a separate family room. The ‘back porch’ isn’t insulated, but at about 14’x14′ it serves many purposes. The custom deck out the back door is the perfect place to sit and enjoy the weather.

The second floor has five bedrooms, although one of them was gutted and roughed-in for a laundry room some time ago. The back bedroom provides access to stairs to the third floor, and a fantastic custom office.

The basement is mostly unfinished, but with painted joists and recessed lighting, it’s a very usable space. Beyond the huge laundry area is a small finished room that was set up as a sewing room. It could be an office, a kids play area or general crafts room.

The front and back yards have been lovingly cultivated over the years. Flowers bloom almost constantly from spring ’til fall! At the back of the lot is a solid, two car, cinderblock garage, accessed via the lane. There’s room to park one more car behind the garage, too.

Queen West amenities are great, and getting better. Pretty much everything you need is within walking distance. Walkscore.com gives it a rating of 92 – “walker’s paradise”. (And hey – it’s walking distance to the Gladstone Hotel!) The location also offers quick access downtown via the King or Queen streetcars; if you are going uptown, hop on the bus to Dufferin subway station. Walkscore.com gives it a transit rating of 100 – “rider’s paradise”! Sad to say, driving downtown is sometimes the fastest way to go, but cycling is a reasonable alternative (53 rating – “flat as a pancake”). If you need to get out of town, the Gardiner Expressway is 3 minutes away, which is awesome.

This grande ol’ dame is listed for $1,299,000. It’s a fantastic home with unlimited potential, but it needs work. While the mechanicals are sound and the structure is solid, most buyers will want to do substantial renovations. For the right buyer, a full restoration would be the way to go.

More pictures here….

 

 

March 2017 Market Review

April 10th, 2017 Posted by Market Review No Comment yet

The Toronto real estate market blasted through March, 2017. We saw a decent increase in new listings (17,051, up 15.2%), which we expect this time of year, but sales once again gobbled ’em up. There were 12,077 transactions, an increase of 17.7% over March 2016. By the end of the month, only 7,865 listings were left, 35.2% fewer than the same time last year.

This ongoing supply-demand crunch once again drove prices up. The average sale price (all types) hit $916,567 ($688,011 in March, 2016), up 33.2% year-over-year.

Condos in the 416 continued to surge too, with sales up 29% and the average price up 32%, to $550,299. The average price for a townhouse – which can be a bridge between condo apartments and houses – was up 22%, to $761,128. Clearly, there are options for buyers who can’t (yet) afford a semi or fully detached house in Toronto, and the increasing sales numbers in these segments indicate that more and more buyers are going that route.

The biggest numbers are in the fully detached segment, where the average sale price hit $1,561,780! TREB’s HPI, which takes into account differences among housing types, and tries to smooth out the averages, was up 28.6%, slightly lower than the overall average. Still, these are all hefty increases.

The next few months are going to be interesting. We’ll have to wait and see how many new listings come out for the spring market, and whether or not there will be enough to satisfy demand and take the pressure off prices. Sky-high pricing usually brings sellers to market. Again, the lack of options for sellers – i.e. where will they go after they sell? – remains a problem, but anybody motivated to ‘cash out’ will find a way. This market needs that, so I’m not saying that we’ll see a flood of listings and a subsequent correction. At this point, I’m just hoping for something to help ease that pressure.

I’m a big fan of Toronto real estate as an investment – that’s not going to change – but 33% annual increases are not sustainable. Maybe buyers will back off, and do their part to take control of the market (but don’t ask me where they will live while waiting for the market to cool). Of course, even lower price increases won’t likely go below double digits, and real estate should always be a medium-to-long-term investment, so it’s probably still better to buy sooner than later….