Toronto Housing Value Great for Buyers and Sellers
Value has little to do with price. Media reports that “Toronto’s house values have skyrocketed” could as easily be seen as a positive indication of the significance of the city as an indication that price has risen.
While the media consistently ranks Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton among Canada’s most pricey housing markets, it fails to add the corollary that those markets lead the way in price because they are the areas that have the most to offer in terms of home ownership, convenience and lifestyle.
While no reporter or commentator would suggest that a Lada could be compared favourably to a Lexus in any other category other than purchase price, the most popular criticisms of Toronto’s real estate market versus other locations across Canada involve little more than a comparison of that price difference.
Real value is derived from price measured against benefit. Commercial value, and, in particular, real estate value is based on market dynamics and competitive pricing, and has little relationship to personal value.
Often slammed sarcastically as “the centre of the universe” by other Canadian communities, Toronto, in fact, has earned the reputation as the centre of the Canadian universe. That reputation derives from the immense benefits that Toronto offers to its residents, and to newcomers.
One of the contributors to rising home prices is rising demand, fueled, in large part, by the influx of people from across Canada, and the in-migration (and immigration) of people from other nations. While Canada holds front-runner status among western democratic nations for ratios of immigrants, Toronto is a real Canadian leader in attracting people from all corners of the country and globe. Do those people yearn to live here because it is an average city, or because it draws people like a magnet with its diversity of opportunity – employment, economic, social, educational, athletic and cultural?
As a westerner, I am proud of my rural, pioneer-like roots, and of the opportunities within my own region of the country. Our housing prices are among the lowest in Canada. Yet, if I am asked for an honest opinion, as to the value of housing here versus Toronto (not price), I must confess that there is no fair comparison.
In recent years, Toronto and southern Ontario have experienced an economic challenge that has seen their relative strength of influence across Canada diminish. Economic strength in Alberta and British Columbia has impacted on the Ontario position in Canada. Yet, Toronto still offers the best long-term potential, with its location among a host of influential cities, communities and regions. So, relative to Canada`s western cities, Toronto`s real estate market has waned. But, when considering the advantages of home ownership in this city, the prospects of newcomers to the city and upward mobility of locals, and the variety of housing stock available, this market still has great value, in spite of increasing prices.
In fact, Torontonians should take pride in its rankings as a city with a “skyrocketing value of housing.” So long as value means worth, rather than solely being based on price, Toronto should encourage the national media to promote the city as a valuable place in which to live.