“Younger couples are in the range of $450,000 to $650,000, and now with Toronto’s average home price hitting about $1 million; it’s really tough for them to get into the freehold market in Toronto,” says John Whyte, an agent specializing in Toronto’s in-demand Yonge-Sheppard area. “I’m finding that first-time homebuyers are gearing toward condo townhouses, freehold townhouses and row houses because it allows them to get the price point that they’re looking to."
Agents who built their businesses on high-end detached homes – and the high commission cheques that come with them – will be hard-pressed to find new clients as those same properties in which they secialize are becoming increasinlgy out of reach.
In Toronto, the price of a newly built low-rise property – including detached, semi-detached and towns – rose 12 per cent in February, compared to the year-ago period. The price of a newly built condo, however, increased less than one per cent. Those figures led RealNet Canada to determine a $300,000 price gap between the two property types.
However, demand for those properties is still high, and those cients dead-set on getting into the detached market are going to extreme lengths to do just that.
“I think (prices) will stay around that gap,” Whyte says. “I don’t see it declining, just because there’s such a demand for detached houses.
"I do see (those buyers) extending their price range based on the competitive market. So buyers are eating up a bit of a mortgage to get into the detached market.”
A sea-change in the buying habits for Canada's largest market has agents questioning their current business models.