Photo via Strata.ca/ 68 Abell Street

Known for its collection of music venues, tree-lined streets and numerous eateries, Toronto’s Little Portugal community is one of the city’s most sought-after neighbourhoods.

However, condo brokerage Strata.ca found that two condo buildings in the West End community are responsible for hindering local condo prices and inaccurately portraying Little Portugal real estate values.

In May, condo buyers in Little Portugal paid an average of $582,000 for a unit, according to Strata.ca. Out of the 33 total sales that took place in Little Portugal last month, 13 of the transactions were under May’s price average. Sam Massoudi, a real estate agent at Strata.ca, attributed more than half of these sales to two particular buildings, which he says are lowering prices in the neighbourhood — 36 Lisgar Street and 68 Abell Street.

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“I personally believe these two buildings are driving down the neighbourhood average in Little Portugal,” Massoudi said in the report. “It’s really peculiar to see one-bedrooms selling in the low $400s, considering the Toronto average for units this size are actually $560,000.”

If both 36 Lisgar Street and 68 Abell Street did not exist, Strata.ca says that Little Portugal would have much higher average condo prices. Removing the two buildings from the MLS data search, Massoudi says, causes the average condo sale price for May to jump to $753,000, well above Toronto’s overall price average of $701,000.

These prices would also beat out other desirable neighbourhoods like High Park, Leaside and Cabbagetown, which currently have average prices of $700,000, $677,000 and $713,000, respectively.

Photo via Strata.ca/ 36 Lisgar Street

Strata.ca realtor Alex Hood explained in the report that 36 Lisgar Street and 68 Abell Street were added to Little Portugal to create an economical living situation, and tend to offer smaller layouts and lower-quality finishes. Many of the units, particularly in 68 Abell Street, are used as rented-out investment properties.

“Both buildings also have a revolving door of inventory with units that stay on the market longer, and sell at about $900 per square foot…well below the average of $970 for Toronto’s west end,” said Hood.

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