There’s no denying that home buyers from all around the world and across Canada are drawn to Toronto. There is a strong market for luxury properties in the city, from wealthy customers searching for the ideal high-end house to affluent investors seeking a good return on their investment. However, what qualifies as luxury property in the Toronto real estate market isn’t as clear-cut as it once was.
In the past, there were only a few elite houses in Toronto, with the rest falling into the “normal” category even though costs varied considerably. But, with the prices of homes for sale in Toronto and its adjacent areas reaching sky-high levels, it seems like every third house for sale in the GTA is being labelled as luxurious lately. Even though the line is blurring, there is still a difference between genuinely luxury homes and those that are simply high-priced.
In this post, we’ll go through 4 ways you can easily recognize what luxury real estate is in Toronto, as well as the places in the GTA that should be at the top of your list if you are up to embracing the lifestyle of the rich and famous.
A Higher Price Range
Looking at the price tag is one of the most effective ways to separate a luxury house from a regular one; however, it all depends on where exactly you are and the average price in that area. For example, any property valued over $1M might be defined as plush in some cities. In contrast, it’s challenging to locate a well-situated detached house in Toronto under $1M.
In Toronto, luxury real estate is the top 1% of the properties. The price range is usually between $3M to $4M, although you can find many ultra-luxe residences in the multi-million price range across the city.
Luxury properties are often extremely improved, with many upgrades that you won’t find in a typical house. Here are some of them:
- Fully-equipped kitchen: Luxurious kitchens usually have plenty of storage space, granite countertops, commercial-grade appliances, wine fridges, custom wine cellars, walk-in pantries, and warming drawers.
- Gaming & movie rooms: In-home theatres or gaming rooms are frequently part of wealthy homes. Some are taken to the next level with indoor pools, indoor sports courts & bowling alleys, and bars.
- Spa bathrooms: Bathrooms are spacious and have spa shower systems, heated floors, jacuzzis, towel warmers, and saunas.
- Gyms or exercise rooms: Affluent homeowners have their own fitness space at home featuring all the necessary equipment for more privacy.
- Controlled-temperature pools: Lavish homes frequently have large infinity pools, waterfalls, hot tubs, and changing cabanas.
- Sizeable and secluded spaces: Luxury properties are more private and considerably bigger than a typical home for sale.
- Walk-In closets: Closets are nowhere to be found in high-end homes. Here, everything is about separate dressing rooms for garment display.
- Top-notch technology: Builders take tech trends pretty seriously these days. Luxury dwellings include smart technology upgrades like security systems, smart lighting, smart kitchen appliances, heat systems, and more.
Though grandeur living is expected to include awesome upgrades, it’s important for home buyers to fully understand what things are worth. This is necessary because, in high-end real estate, sellers commonly list properties at a higher price, and there is more negotiation involved in the transaction. The more information you have about the market value of things, the more convenient the agreement will be for you.
The Selling / Buying Process Is Different
When closing a real estate transaction, many things are different if the property trading hands fall under the luxury category. These are some of the things you need to pay attention to if you are an affluent homebuyer:
Listing Agent At The Showing
Buyers are accustomed to doing home viewings with their agent (the buyer’s agent) and openly and privately discuss the property’s pros and cons. In the luxury real estate market this dynamic changes because the listing agent is usually present at the showing. As a home buyer, you should play along with the whole situation and use it to your advantage. Let the listing agent lead you around the home (and its many upgrades) and ask them all the questions you have. That way, you will be able to make an informed decision.
You Need To Know What You Want
Luxury home buyers need to know exactly what they are looking for when purchasing in Toronto’s high-end real estate market. The fundamentals usually are location, home & size (square footage), upgrades, and amenities when we talk about properties. Anything beyond that, like which celebrity lives next door, has no significant effect on the home value or your lifestyle.
Don’t Play The “Wealthy Buyer” Part
In this niche it is common that affluent purchasers feel the pressure to act like they don’t care about the price, so they may be hesitant to ask difficult questions about financing or price. Don’t be that buyer, you have the right to ask anything! Just because a property is luxurious and stunning doesn’t imply you’ll just hand them what they’re asking for.
Choosing Can Be Tough
Many realtors call this “the paradox of choice.” It happens when homebuyers see several upscale residences with so many amazing attributes that it is virtually impossible to choose one (unless you are highly experienced). One tip for beating the paradox is to set aside the pretty and shiny things and choose those things that will actually make your life better. Prioritize what’s important to YOU.
Luxury Real Estate Is All About Emotion
While the regular home buyer purchases a home out of necessity, many of the things a luxury home buyer is looking for in a home don’t fall under the essential category. Who needs a 12,000 square foot mansion with 8 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms? That’s why luxury homes are frequently marketed based on prestige, desires, and comfort.
Luxury Is About Prime Locations
Whether you are a normal or a wealthy homebuyer, the most critical thing to consider when buying a home is location. Everyone wants their little slice of heaven.
A private, secluded place with lots of green spaces is a must for luxury purchasers. They also value a good and diverse supply of properties to choose from, safety, proximity to high-end amenities and premium schooling options (if they have a family).
When it comes to luxury real estate, Toronto is a prime destination. The city has some of the best neighbourhoods in the world for upscale living, and there are all sorts of properties available to purchase. Let’s take a look at some of the best communities for affluent homebuyers in the city.
The Bridle Path
The Bridle Path has been recognized as one of Toronto’s most prestigious zip codes for years now. Peaceful, secluded, hugged by lush parklands and filled with top-notch amenities and excellent private schools, Bridle Path counts many business professionals and celebrities among its residents.
This exclusive enclave offers affluent home purchasers expansive lots and some of the biggest mansions in all of Toronto. The housing stock dates back to the ’30s, ’50s, and ’60s with an eclectic mix of styles including Georgian, Colonial, Neo-Gothic, California bungalows, modern, and Tudor Revival. Some of the most luxurious condos for sale in Toronto are located in this community, most of them featuring upgrades such as marble finishes, tennis courts, saunas, and personal gyms. If you want to search the homes for sale in Bridle Path, you’ll be treated to 3 of the 5 most luxurious real estate communities in Toronto, because the real estate community groups them together in one search.
Average Listing Price: $6M
With a more accessible street layout, York Mills offers wealthy home buyers easier access to daily services and additional school alternatives to the northwest of Bridle Path. This is a typical Toronto neighbourhood but in an idyllic location. York Mills is the elite housing choice in Toronto for upper-end families, with lovely parks, golf courses, quick access to Highway 401, and a plethora of excellent schools to select from, including high-ranked Dunlace Public School.
York Mills’ older residences were constructed in the late 1920s and 1960s. The majority of the ranch-style Cottage homes in this community have been replaced by contemporary big houses or high-end condo units. There are also wonderful Tudor homes, English Cottages, and modern construction houses.
Average Home Price: $3M
Forest Hill South
Forest Hill South has been a traditional location for Toronto’s elite, which explains why the local real estate market is flooded with multi-million dollar homes, townhouses, and ultra-luxury condos. Houses for sale in this zip code have a long-dated reputation for being among the most wealthy in Ontario’s capital. The majority of the dwellings are detached or semi-detached single-family homes.
Despite being homes that date back to the ’20s and ’30s, Forest Hills South homes for sale are very well-kept. The area has many Georgian and Tudor-style houses, but homebuyers can also find French Colonial or English Country Manor styles. Forest Hill South houses commonly stand on generous lots and have gated entrances.
Average Home Price: $4M
Located in North York and bordering Bridle Path and York Mills, this sprawling neighbourhood is one of Toronto’s most affluent suburban areas. Serene and family-centred, this community is known for its expansive parks, abundant ravines, outstanding healthcare facilities and retirement homes.
Sunnybrook makes a great place to call home for retirees and multi-generational families looking to thrive in a tight-knit place filled with close-by amenities, hiking trails, excellent schools, and lots of privacy. Sunnybrook boasts a large concentration of single-family detached homes, with an abundance of styles to choose from, including classic mansions and brick bungalows.
Average Home Price: $3M
Homebuyers looking for high-end modern homes and lavish high-rise condo apartments should look no further than St. Andrew-Windfields. This expansive residential neighbourhood is located north of York Mills. It appeals to all kinds of households, but young families feel especially at home for its lush green spaces, convenient amenities, abundant schooling alternatives, and a strong sense of community.
The area is home to some of the most interesting housing styles in Toronto, with many asymmetrically-designed homes with unique architectural features like flat roofs and picture windows. Most of St. Andrew-Windfields homes for sale were constructed in the 1970s and 1980s.
Average Home Price: $3M