suburban-homes-gta-salesPhoto: Copyright Queen’s Printer for Ontario, photo source: Ontario Growth Secretariat, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Bargain hunting in the Greater Toronto Area’s blazing housing market? You might want to check out Oshawa.

With an aggregate home price of $435,975, it’s the most affordable local property market in the GTA, the latest quarterly Royal LePage House Price Survey for the area suggests.

It’s also where prices are rising fastest out of anywhere in the GTA — they were up 26 per cent on a year-over-year basis last quarter. And The Shwa’s the only GTA market with an aggregate price lower than the national aggregate of $545,414, which rose 12 per cent annually.

The local GTA Royal LePage survey covers 13 markets in the area and was released alongside reports on other markets from coast to coast, including one for Vancouver.

The survey includes third-quarter median prices for two-storey homes, bungalows and condos (the aggregate price is a weighted average of these three) as well as annual price changes.

The priciest GTA market by aggregate was Richmond Hill. In this suburb north of Toronto, the price was $1,074,829, having surged 25.7 per cent from a year ago.

In general, prices have been rising fastest outside of Toronto proper. Only Brampton, Milton and Mississauga saw year-over-year growth track below Toronto’s rate of 12.1 per cent, which was enough to push the provincial capital’s aggregate price to $714,002.

Toronto numbers exclude Scarborough, a one-time east-end suburb which Royal LePage counts as its own market. In Scarborough, which became part of Toronto in 1998 through an amalgamation, the aggregate price reached $583,760, an increase of 13.1 per cent.

There are a number of reasons the two markets are kept separate in the survey, says Sandra Webb, a Royal LePage spokesperson.

“The regions are quite unique from one another, with different local trends affecting appreciation, pricing and sales activity in both markets,” she says.

Of any housing-type segment in any GTA market, Richmond Hill bungalow prices saw the most rapid price appreciation. The median price of a Richmond Hill bungalow soared 31 per cent year-over-year to $1,001,369.

Heightened immigration to Richmond Hill is translating to increased demand, notes Shawn Zigelstein, a local sales rep with brokerage Royal LePage Your Community Realty.

“The price growth is also due to the types of homes that are being sold in the area with some new custom built homes leading the pack with extremely high price points,” he says in an email. “The new subdivisions in the area are also performing at a fantastic rate since many of them are 3,000-plus-square-foot homes with a very high price tag,” he adds.

Third-quarter prices were up in each corner of every GTA market with the exception of Oshawa’s condo segment. The median price for a condo in this city, just east of Toronto on Lake Ontario’s shoreline, was $193,274, down 2.7 per cent from a year ago.

Darren Martel, a broker/owner at Royal LePage connect Realty, tells BuzzBuzzNews the slump has something to do with the fact that condo stock in the area is aging. “Many condominiums within Oshawa were built some time ago, limiting both supply and demand for this property type,” he explains in an email.

“When looking to Oshawa, buyers tend to focus in on the single-family detached market because of the region’s station as the most affordable market in the Greater Toronto Area, and increases in infrastructure in the area, including the 407 [highway], has only amplified this trend,” he continues.

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