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Where to buy a townhouse in Greater Toronto in 2018

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Infographic best neighbourhoods to buy condo or townhouse in Greater Toronto 2018
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Lack of “missing middle” means continued demand for GTA townhomes

Do you want to downsize, but still want a bit of outdoor space to call your own? Are you planning a family but want to stay in an urban (not a suburban) setting? Then more than likely you’ve contemplated a move to a townhouse. But talk to anyone who is serious about buying a townhome and they’ll probably tell you: It’s like finding a needle in a haystack. Sure, you can see them in most of the better-developed urban and suburban neighbourhoods, but that doesn’t mean townhomes are easy to find or buy.

“There’s a real scarcity of townhomes, particularly in the most sought-after urban communities,” explains Michael Jakobczak, a Zolo real estate agent who specializes in properties in Toronto’s urban core.

There’s a systemic reason for this scarcity. According to research by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis, approximately 45% of the GTA’s housing stock is made up of single-family homes, while another 35% is apartment buildings (either rental or condo complexes). Only 20% of the housing stock in the GTA are townhomes or larger, multi-family strata units — units that suit the needs of downsizing retirees or growing urban families.

Known as the “missing middle,” these larger strata units, such as townhomes, are catching the eye and the attention of city planners and developers. “Homeownership remains a sound long-term investment. Unfortunately, many home buyers are still finding it difficult to find a home that meets their needs,” explained Tim Syrianos, president of the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), in the June 2018 Stats report.

This is great news for first-time buyers, move-on-up buyers and downsizers, alike. More choice and more options mean more movement in a market and — given Toronto’s ongoing struggle with a lack of listings — this will certainly help ease demand and upward pressure on prices for all property types.

But what if you don’t want to wait a year or two or five to see what city planners and builders decide? Mortgage rates are rising and virtually few, if any, of the GTA neighbourhoods, are expected to face significant price declines in 2018. Not to worry. We crunched the numbers and came up with a ranking of the best neighbourhoods in the Greater Toronto Area to buy a townhome.

Don’t be surprised that the top 10 spots were dominated by Metro Toronto neighbourhoods. Six out of 10 spots were taken by Toronto communities — a testament that townhomes are definitely a bridge to urban affordability. Keep in mind, the communities that rose to the top offer good value, solid economic fundamentals and a strong opportunity for future appreciation. Use this list to create your own short-list of possible neighbourhoods than do your own research. Talk to your real estate agent, chat-up local residents and spend time in the community. Use this list and take these steps and your next purchase won’t be based on a hunch or a recent high-priced sale but on strong market fundamentals and your own basic needs — and you can’t go wrong with that strategy.

10 Best Neighbourhoods to Buy a Townhouse in Greater Toronto in 2018

  1. Queen Street Corridor, Brampton, Peel – $335,683
  2. Malton, Mississauga, Peel – $361,855
  3. Crescent Town, E03, Toronto – $248,110
  4. West Hill, E10, Toronto – $285,047
  5. Ionview, E04, Toronto – $203,056
  6. City Centre, Mississauga, Peel – $398,412
  7. Waterfront Communities, C08, Toronto – $683,352
  8. Forest Hill North, C04, Toronto – $378,875
  9. Kennedy Park, E04, Toronto – $300,853
  10. Dorset Park, E04, Toronto – $390,247

10 Worst Neighbourhoods to Buy a Townhouse in Greater Toronto in 2018

  1. Stouffville, Whitchurch-Stouffville, York – $319,575
  2. Bronte Meadows, Milton, Halton – $439,593
  3. Stonehaven-Wyndham, Newmarket, York – $549,700
  4. Rose, Burlington, Halton – $704,233
  5. Bolton West, Caledon, Peel – $610,286
  6. Bayview, Burlington, Halton – $307,300
  7. Lisgar, Mississauga, Peel – $518,994
  8. Lorne Park, Mississauga, Peel – $572,083
  9. Shoreacres, Burlington, Halton – $223,950
  10. Tynanda, Burlington, Halton – $399,688

Additional reports

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Romana King

Romana King is an award-winning personal finance writer, real estate expert and the current Director of Content at Zolo. Romana has contributed to business and lifestyle publications including, Toronto Sun, Maclean’s, MoneySense, Globe & Mail Custom Content Team, and The Toronto Star. Among her achievements, Romana won silver for her annual Where to Buy Now real estate package in the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. In 2015, she won a SABEW Business Journalism award. When she was editor of CI Top Broker, Romana helped guide her team to obtain its first KRW Business Journalism nomination, and in 2011, she was part of a small team that helped MoneySense win Magazine of the Year at the 34th annual National Magazine Awards.