You know that Toronto real estate bubble that everyone keeps talking about? The one that’s been growing for years and years? So many times, it seemed as though surely the bubble was destined to burst, and yet it just kept growing and growing like a radioactive mutant monster, devouring more and more houses at higher and higher prices – it’s become completely surreal.
Today, the bubble is so outlandish that it is hard to justify purchasing property in Toronto even if one is so lucky as to be able to afford it. The average price of a detached property in the GTA is currently hovering around $1.2 million. This runaway pricing is the result of the confluence of rapid gentrification, opportunism and over lending by the banks. As the condominium playground of the lakeshore stretches ever higher, living in a tiny shoebox that excludes, almost by its very nature, the concept of community, is quickly becoming the only viable option for many people.
A strategy that has become popular with the Millennial generation is to maintain a cheap rental within the city, from which they can easily commute to work, while purchasing a property in a charming suburb such as Collingwood or Prince Edward County to use for vacations and rent out through sites such as Airbnb for income most of the year. Even a dual income couple who are financially savvy might not be able to lock down a 1.2m property, but with this slow burn strategy, perhaps over time it could become feasible.
A different strategy that has become popular is to pack up and leave the city altogether. Many couples have planted a flag in places previously thought to be uninhabitable by sophisticated city folk. Hamilton, for instance, is quickly becoming a mecca of cool, fuelled by the exodus of young Torontonians who are sick of the skyrocketing cost of living downtown.
Even further afield, places like Brampton, Paris (Ontario, I should specify), and Niagara are becoming popular places to snap up cheap property, places where its easier to foster a sense of community than the impersonal condo kingdoms of the GTA. In places such as these – comprised by the Greater Golden Horseshoe – couples who function in the freelance economy can work easily and explore a more spacious environment. Even if some of these pioneers are interested in opening brick and mortar businesses such as coffee shops or record stores, they may find a surprising market as like minded individuals come to the same conclusion.
This phenomenon has opened up a new real estate market in places that formerly would have been viewed by most real estate agents as fish too small to fry. Agents who are wise to this new market would do well to jump on this bandwagon; in order to represent as many properties as possible in the rapidly growing market, it may even be advisable to click over to Accesseasyfunds.com and look into a real estate commission advance.
In the coming years, as the freelance economy becomes more widespread, the exodus from Toronto may increase. Perhaps the seemingly invincible bubble with even burst and the market will settle, but until then, it is worth exploring this new frontier of real estate.