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Leaside: how the former town is faring under The Fair Housing Plan

Leaside Housing Prices Before And After Pricing PlanLeaside is one of the most attractive neighbourhoods for families who want to raise kids in a safe and tight-knit community. The moment you get off Bayview, Eglinton or Laird you feel a sense of tranquility called home.Leaside is one of the most attractive neighbourhoods for families who want to raise kids in a safe and tight-knit community. The moment you get off Bayview, Eglinton or Laird you feel a sense of tranquility called home.
My family has been in Leaside for over 13 years. We were first attracted by the garden city urban design (speaking to my past life as a foreign-trained architect), great family living with kids playing on the streets, good schools, proximity to parks, and easy access to downtown. Over these years, I have seen how little by little the former town is changing in character with prices in the multi-millions.

Statistics are a good indicator of how the market is performing in different segments, so here is an evaluation of the home prices in Leaside with special emphasis on how the neighbourhood is performing this year following the introduction of the Fair Housing Plan Act on April 20, 2017 that included a 15% tax for foreign buyers and expanding rent control to all properties rented in the province.

Leaside Houses Before and After Pricing Plan

The real estate market in the city has traditionally shown two cycles with an increase in the number of listings, sales and price appreciation during the peak months of April-May and September-October. This year has been extraordinary as there was a huge spike in the prices fueled by a low inventory of new listings and external capital pouring into the real estate market. Though there have not been concrete figures for the percentage of foreign or out-of-province buyers, it is not mere coincidence that Toronto and the GTA saw a huge surge in prices after Vancouver imposed a foreign buyers’ tax at the end of 2016. 

My focus here is on the freehold detached and semi-detached houses in the neighbourhood, as they comprise the highest number of dwellings in Leaside. Condos are a norm in the city, and Leaside is no exception, so we will have to get used to intensification.
Comparing the September figures from 2016 to 2017, the total number of houses sold is down by 19%. The decrease has been after the measures were implemented, which may indicate that both sellers and buyers were on the sidelines waiting to see the effect of the government changes on their particular market.

Prices tell a different story:
• Detached new and renovated houses have responded strongly to the imposed measures and have not shown any sign of price adjustment. New house prices have shown an increase of 4.81% and renovated houses a 3.85% increase.
• Detached original or partially renovated houses have come down in price by approximately 13.45%.
• Semi-detached renovated homes have fallen in price by 7.36%, and original or partially renovated are down by 8.91%.
• Bungalows have been the most affected by the government measures with prices decreasing by 25.42%. 

The days on the market (DOM) are just about the same, rising from 11 to 14 days average. The sales to listing ratio (S/L) is really shocking, as before the government measures it went from 99% all the way to 127%, and has since gone down to 95% to 101%. This is a clear indicator of the extra-heated market we all experienced in the first months of the year that was the catalyst for the government to take action and try to cool down the market.
Leaside has a bright future ahead with some key factors that will put extra pressure on prices, including the new Crosstown stations, lack of inventory, low interest rates, unavailability of low-rise development land, massive immigration numbers, low unemployment and a safe and stable city.
Alex Pino is Broker Arch FRI, Sr. VP Sales, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. You can reach him at apino@sothebysrealty.ca.