If there was ever a perfect encapsulation of the state of Toronto’s cutthroat housing market, it’s this — a garage up for sale near The Danforth that’s listed at $599,000.
The listing for the 20 foot by 100 foot lot calls it a “rare opportunity for someone looking to build in desirable Danforth Village” that’s close to the subway line, schools, shops and restaurants.
Real estate broker Nima Khadem told CBC News it’s a “really interesting” property.
“This one is a unique situation, and given the current fact that properties have gotten so expensive, it puts property like this in high demand — because people can buy this, put up a structure on it, and it can be a great condo alternative,” he said.
The one-car garage, which was listed four days ago, was originally part of a larger lot but was severed off many years ago, Khadem said.
The house to which it was originally linked sold several years back, but the garage was kept in the original owner’s name. Now that the owner has died, their estate is selling the land, Khadem said.
After knocking down the garage and building on the site, he said, there would be room for a two-storey house with a finished basement that’s anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 square feet.
Khadem also said that $599,000 is “100 per cent” a reasonable price for the property.
“The reason being, you can’t find land right now in Toronto,” he said.
Steven Foster, who lives nearby, disagreed — at least about the price point.
“I think it’s crazy but I’m not that surprised, because my expectations for housing prices are just through the roof,” he said. “The thing that shocks me the most is how normal that seems to me now.”
Marjolyn Vanderhart, who has lived in the neighbourhood for 20 years, also wasn’t shocked.
“I’m not surprised. I’m sad, because it shouldn’t be like that — makes it inaccessible for a lot of young people,” she said. “This used to be a neighbourhood where first-time home buyers could buy in, and it’s not that anymore.”
According to the latest figures from the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average selling price for a home in Toronto was $792,611 last month, which is up by 3.6 per cent year-over-year.
The average price of a detached home in the City of Toronto was listed at $1,246,392, compared to $712,934 for townhouses and $619,307 for condos.
Setting price aside, the amount of space available here does work for some people. Balkar Jagpal lives just two houses down from the garage that’s for sale on a lot that’s the exact same size: 20 feet by 100 feet.
His property used to be a small bungalow, which was perfect for him and his wife, he said. Once they had kids, they started adding to the home by finishing the basement and building a second floor.
Now, his family has 2,100 square feet of space, Jagpal said.
“It’s more than enough for our purposes,” he said.