It’s no surprise that the cost of a Toronto home has shot through the (increasingly unattainable) roof in the past decade. Both current homeowners – perhaps those who’ve watched the value of their property soar over the decades – and prospective homeowners know this very well. So do would-be homeowners who have found themselves priced out of the city’s extremely expensive market.

But what is admittedly a surprise is just how drastically prices have jumped. According to Market Watch data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), Toronto home prices for a detached home have jumped from $898,332 in March 2014, to $1,708,437 in March 2024. That’s an increase of about $958K.

Back in March 2014, TREBB announced strong year-over-year increases in Toronto MLS home sales and the average selling price. It was a different time back then, and affordability of home prices and low borrowing costs contributed to this growth. A total of 8,081 sales were reported in March 2014 – up by 7.2% in comparison to March 2013. Compared to March 2013, the average selling price for a detached home in Toronto was up 6.8%.

It's safe to say that prices have climbed steadily since – something that became an impossible-to-ignore reality during the thick of the pandemic, when real estate prices not only skyrocketed throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), but throughout the country as well. Toronto homes officially crossed the million-dollar average in 2021 during the real estate market’s red-hot run. Between 2014 and 2024, Toronto’s average detached home prices only slightly dropped in two years: 2018 (-4.2%) and 2023 (-5.4%).

Fast-forward to 2024. According to TRREB, GTA sales reported through MLS were down in March 2024 from March 2023, however, this can partially be attributed to Good Friday falling in March this year, versus April last year. According to TRREB, despite a better supplied market compared to last year, there was enough competition among buyers to see a moderate increase in the average March home prices compared to last year’s level. When it comes specifically to detached homes in Toronto, however, prices only increased by 0.4%.

toronto home Shutterstock

While we’ve seen a notable halt to the rapidly rising prices in the past two years across the country – something that has coincided with Canada’s perpetual rise in interest rates – the flattening of home prices haven’t exactly helped on the affordability front.

RBC economist Robert Hogue recently said that it’s more of a financial challenge than ever to purchase a home in Canada – let alone in the notoriously pricey city of Toronto. While housing affordability has worsened in every market RBC tracks, the country’s most expensive markets – Vancouver, Victoria, and Toronto – experienced the biggest deterioration. In Toronto, a whopping 84.8% of median household income is needed to cover home ownership costs, putting housing affordability in the city at its worse level ever.

Between sky-high interest rates, the mortgage stress test, inflation, and home prices, times are tough for borrowers and prospective buyers in Toronto, even those with what are widely regarded as "good jobs." The average young professional is lucky enough to purchase a relatively modest condo, let alone a detached house (unless, of course, the parents are pitching in).

A report from shows how affordability declined in 2023. While home values dropped, the current economy and market conditions rendered housing affordability “terrible” in Canada’s major cities. While home values dropped in Toronto, the ability to purchase a home – in terms of the average annual income required – grew by $11,100 to $218,100.

As interest rates finally soften – something that’s predicted to happen in the second half of the year – and competition intensifies with the city’s growing population, purchasing a property in Toronto is going to become even harder in the years ahead.

According to a Zoocasa report released earlier this week (aptly titled, Start Saving: $2M Homes Will Soon Be Toronto’s Normal), by 2034, Toronto homes will reach an average selling price of $2M. The Zoocasa team calculated the average rate of increase in Toronto homes over the past decade – a figure that amounts to 5.6%. Based on this rate, Zoocasa predicts that Toronto homes will hit the $2M mark in a decade’s time. Gulp.

In the meantime, for those looking to purchase a single-detached home this spring, Zoocasa outlines an intimidating reality: even homes Toronto’s most affordable neighbourhoods are closing in on the city’s average of $1.1M for a home. The report highlights the neighbourhood of Rockcliffe, Smythe, Keelesdale, and Eglinton West, where the average single-detached price reached its peak of $1.6M by February 2023. However, it’s still considered to be one of the most affordable neighbourhoods to buy a single-family detached house in the city.

The good news? It’s Friday.

Real Estate News