Average price is meaningless when house hunting.

I usually try to avoid reading the comments section of online articles but found myself in the deep dark hole of the Globe and Mail comments section of a article written about a property currently on the market for $899K. The commenter was furious at the “outrageous” asking price of the home. (view the property here on our search tool)

Will someone please tell me what is going on? The average price for a semi in the 416 area of Toronto as of December 2013 was $640,000 with a median price of $530,000. so how in January 2014 are the prices $899,000 for this one (or $850,000 as the Junction Triangle “semi” (it was actually the end unit of a group of rowhouses) which sold for about a week ago? Or $800,00o for a Ronscevilles semi that sold the week before that?

Well allow me to explain. Not all neighbourhoods are created equal and certainly not all houses. Sure, if you take all of the house sales in the 416 (which is a HUGE area by the way), add them up, and divide by the total you’ll get some random number. A number that is essentially useless.

There are neighbourhoods where you can buy a liveable house for well under the average and others that blow that average out of the water. The reason I wrote Hyper Local is the Future was to highlight the importance of working with a Broker who knows every little detail of a neighbourhood to make sure you’re looking in the right place to accommodate your budget. Some houses listed within your budget could be bid up beyond your affordability. I’ll rant about that strategy in another post (in fact I may have already done that in the past).

This particular home is located on the fringe of Leslieville just off Gerrard St which is gaining lots of popularity and attracting many new, amazing businesses. Savvy investors have been bullish on Gerrard St commercial properties and have managed to start a trend. This has resulted in a spike in property values on many of the streets just North of Gerrard. Expect the same to happen when the Don Jail park project in completed at Broadview and Gerrard.

Moral of the story? Stop paying attention to average prices and general statements made by others. Instead, be laser focussed on the neighbourhoods you want to live in and hire a local expert (like us) to help ensure your expectations are in line with reality. Oh, and avoid reading the comments section of blogs and articles…it will drive you insane!