House Hunting in Toronto, New York Times

November 26, 2013 - Updated: November 26, 2013

 

House Hunting in Toronto: A red-brick semidetached home in the Rosedale neighborhood of Toronto is on the market for $3.7 million.

 

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$3.895 MILLION CANADIAN DOLLARS ($3.7 MILLION)

 This five-bedroom semidetached house in the affluent Toronto neighborhood of Rosedale was built in the late 19th century in the Romanesque-Revival style.  It has the arched windows and meticulous brickwork of a type of neo-Romanesque architecture called “Richardsonian,” but was completely renovated in 2010 with contemporary interiors over 4,475 square feet of space.

The foyer, entered via a covered porch, opens to a large living space with a wood-burning fireplace, a dining area and a kitchen; a balcony is adjacent. A stainless-steel and mahogany staircase leads to three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a den. The master suite, along with a large sitting room, is on the third floor. The finished basement has a family room, a bedroom and a bath.

 Floors throughout are made of walnut; cabinetry is custom-built of wenge, an exotic African wood, and doors are mahogany with etched-glass inserts. The kitchen has a Sub-Zero refrigerator; the six-burner range, oven and drawer microwave are by Wolf. The master bedroom has arched and vaulted ceilings and a skylight, along with two custom-designed closets. The master bath has a vaulted ceiling, a glass-encased shower, a skylight over the glass-encased shower, an oversize tub with fixtures by Grohe, and ebony slate floors with radiant heating. Heating, cooling and lighting can be controlled remotely via a wireless system with built-in speakers.

 Part of the original estate that gave Rosedale its name, the 5,550-square-foot lot is landscaped with pear trees, hostas, hydrangeas and dogwoods. The neighborhood, surrounded by ravines and parkland, is about 10 minutes by car or bus from central Toronto. It is distinctive for its 18th- and 19th-century Victorian, Georgian, Tudor and Edwardian-style mansions, and offers abundant public services and recreational opportunities like the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club. Rosedale is about 30 minutes from Toronto Pearson International Airport.

MARKET OVERVIEW

Toronto, which has a population of about 2.6 million and a greater metropolitan area of more than five million, has seen fairly steady and strong gains in home prices since 1996, according to reports from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the national housing agency.

 On average, prices have appreciated about 7 percent a year — at a rate faster than income growth — largely because of low mortgage rates, said Ed Heese, a senior market analyst for Toronto with the national housing agency. Though the global real estate crisis of 2008 hurt sales and prices in some areas, a large drop in mortgage rates brought many first-time buyers into the market, which recovered fully by early 2010, he said.

“We’re now moving into a period where the basis trend for mortgage rates is going to be up,” Mr. Heese said. “It’s a fundamental shift.”

The average price is projected to grow by only 3 percent in 2013 and 1.5 percent in 2014, he said. “But over all, we’re in a market which is remaining in balance,” Mr. Heese said. “We’re not seeing any price declines.”

Rosedale’s market is expected to remain strong, said Nick Thompson, a sales representative with Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd., which has the listing for this home.  One of Toronto ’s most popular neighborhoods, it is also one of the priciest. The average price of a detached home in Toronto in 2013 is forecast to be about 733,000 Canadian dollars, or about $698,600, according to Canada ’s national housing agency.  The average price of a single-family home in Rosedale, based on 52 sales so far this year, is 2,305,173, or almost $2.2 million, Mr. Thompson said.

 Sale prices in Rosedale have ranged from 868,000 to 6 million Canadian dollars this year; five of the Rosedale houses currently on the market are listed above 8 million Canadian dollars, he said.

WHO BUYS IN TORONTO

Two-thirds of Toronto ’s population growth results from migration, both from other countries and other parts of Canada, which is a significant generator of demand for homes, Mr. Heese said. Foreign immigrants tend to come from Asia, Russia and Europe, Mr. Thompson said, though they are typically not looking for the period homes that Rosedale offers, but for new homes in the suburbs.

BUYING BASICS

There are no restrictions on foreign buyers in Toronto, though depending on country of origin, there may be taxes that must be paid when the time comes to sell the home, Mr. Thompson said.

Buyers typically pay about 1,500 Canadian dollars for a real estate lawyer, as well as land transfer taxes that equate to about 3.5 percent of the purchase price for homes over 1 million Canadian dollars, he said.

 Mortgages are available, though the Canadian government no longer provides insurance for properties priced over 1 million Canadian dollars, which means a down payment of 20 percent is required, Mr. Thompson said. For insured homes priced under that amount, down payments can be as low as 5 percent.

WEBSITES

Toronto government site:  Toronto.ca

Toronto tourism site: Seetorontonow.com

Rosedale site: Rosedaletoronto.com   

LANGUAGES AND CURRENCY

English, French; Canadian dollar (1 Canadian dollar = $0.95)

TAXES AND FEES

The 2013 property taxes on this home are 18,634 Canadian dollars, or about $17,783.

 

 


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