Thinking of moving to Toronto? You’re not alone. With a population set to reach 9 million in 2041, Toronto is the fastest growing region in Ontario. Rich culture, remarkable diversity, safety and acceptance, and some of the top schools in the country are just a few of the things earning Toronto top marks as one of the world’s most liveable cities. This hot real estate market shows no signs of slowing down.

Getting ready to make the move across the provincial border? Here’s everything you need to know about the Toronto real estate market in 2017:

The Market is Seeing a Record Upswing

388 Yonge St #7810, Toronto, ON

The average sale price of homes sold in Toronto was $740,685 for the calendar year of 2016, while as recent as February of this year the average price of City of Toronto homes was $859,186, with single family homes averaging $1.57 million.

This upward trajectory indicates strong confidence in the market as local, national, and international buyers are all vying for a spot in Canada’s most multicultural city. With such demand, it’s important to be able to make quick decisions and to prepare yourself for the inevitability of a bidding war.

Provincial & Municipal Land Transfer Taxes Apply

186 Dunwoody Drive, Oakville, ON

Many buyers neglect to consider land transfer tax (LTT) when calculating the total price of a home. Like most provinces, Ontario levies a transfer fee for new home purchases. Use the Land Transfer Tax calculator to get an idea of how much you can expect to pay, and include other overlooked additional costs when purchasing a home in your calculations.

Homebuyers in Toronto also incur an additional municipal tax if purchasing a home within the following boundaries: Steeles Avenue as the north border, Etibocoke as the west border, Scarborough as the east border and Lake Ontario as the south border.

In February 2017, City of Toronto council approved a number of changes to the Toronto Land Transfer Tax. This means additional Toronto Land Transfer Tax costs for some buyers with a closing date on or after March 1, 2017, when it will be harmonized with the provincial LTT.

The changes include:

  • Added an additional LTT of 0.5% of the value of a residential or non-residential property from $250,000 to $400,000 (an additional $750)
  • Added an additional LTT of 0.5% of the value of a residential property above $2 million
  • Added an additional LTT of 0.5% of the value above $400,000 of a non-residential property
  • Amended the first-time home buyer rebate program eligibility rules to restrict rebate eligibility to Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you won’t see any changes—the maximum allowed First-Time Home Buyer Rebate has been increased to $4,475 from $3,725. However, rebates do apply for qualifying homebuyers. See if you’re eligible for a rebate.

You Can Find Excellent Value in the Suburbs

116 Birett Drive, Burlington, ON

Toronto isn’t the only city in the GTA surging in demand. Nearby communities such as Mississauga, Markham, and Burlington offer opportunities to purchase larger homes at more affordable price points. Safety, outdoor activities, and cost savings are just some of the many things the suburbs have going for them.

Ready to Make the Move?

View from 388 Yonge St #7810, Toronto, ON

The largest city in Canada and fifth largest in North America, Toronto is made up of 140 unique, colourful neighbourhoods. Whether you fancy quaint and cozy Leaside or the village vibes of Roncesvalles, each present unique market opportunities. With so many options, it can be beneficial for out-of-province buyers to seek the advice and expertise of a REALTOR® who is an expert on the neighbourhood.

The more you’re able to get a lay of the land, the less stressful the moving process will be. Planning a weekend getaway to scope out some homes? Check out our essential guide to Toronto for the best places to shop, eat, and play.

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Feature photo: Diego Grandi / Shutterstock, Inc.

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