On a few occasions, I’ve helped clients sell their home in Toronto and buy outside of the city. These clients aren’t retiring or changing jobs or leaving because they are sick of hearing two hour marathon chants of “Go Jays Go!” – well, most of them aren’t.
These clients decide to buy outside of the city because it makes sense to them, because it fits with what they want in a home, in a neighbourhood, in a lifestyle.
With a few exceptions, there are three reasons people choose to move out of Toronto.
I know, this is an obvious one. As of September, 2015, if you want to buy a detached home in Toronto, the average price is $1,053,871. The average sale price to list price in Toronto is 101%, which means that the asking price is below market value and you are most likely buying in multiple offers, which many buyers understandably hate.
Contrast this to buying a detached home in Brampton. In September, 2015, that will cost you, on average, $584,740. That’s almost half the price. Buy two and use one for when the in-laws visit! The average sale price to list price in Brampton is 99%, which means most listings are priced at market value, some negotiating takes place and a price is agreed upon. No multiples or bidding against yourself.
Land Transfer Tax
This one isn’t always as readily apparent to buyers as the cost shows up late in the purchase process. In every part of Ontario, the purchaser of a home has to pay a land transfer tax to the province of Ontario. If you buy in Toronto, you also have to pay a land transfer tax of approximately the same amount to the City of Toronto. If we use an apples to apples comparison, a $500K property in Toronto will cost $12,200 in land transfer taxes. A $500K property in Brampton will cost $6,475. That is over $5,000 less than Toronto.
The formula for land transfer tax is tiered so that lower priced properties pay less tax, so if you do the same math at a more typical purchase price of $750K, the Toronto cost is $22,000 and outside of Toronto the cost is $11,475, which is over $8,500 less than Toronto. The higher the purchase price, the bigger the difference. At the million dollar price point, it is into the tens of thousands of dollars.
The third reason clients choose to move out of Toronto is family. Whether it is access to high ranked schools, kids’ community programs or proximity to aging parents, sometimes moving out of Toronto just makes life easier. The influx of residents to Toronto means that schools, intramural sports, daycare and other community resources and activities are oversubscribed and hard to get into easily or at an affordable cost. The lower land prices outside of Toronto can translate into more affordability for municipalities to build extra schools and daycares and the lower density means less pressure on those resources that are in place.
If I have convinced you that living outside of Toronto can make a great deal of sense, then I have done my job. This is of course, only one side of the story. Next week I will talk about the reasons why clients come to Toronto!
If you like the idea of living in the GTA rather than Toronto, I am pleased to highlight my new listing in Brampton at 22 Pluto Drive.
It is a detached home close to Hwy 410, with 3 bedrooms, 1 ½ bathrooms, a built-in garage, fully fenced yard and over 1800 sf – plus a basement! It is listed at $419,900 and you can see a 3D virtual tour with photos and floorplans at www.22pluto.com.
Please pass the listing on to anyone who is looking for an affordable detached home in the GTA and let me know if you have any questions. As always, I’d love to be responsible for what comes next.