Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Detached Homes: The New Royals of Property Types

People love detached houses. And really, who can blame them? You don't have a flimsy party wall separating you from your neighbours with the colic baby, or the neighbours who like to make love loudly to AC/DC.  Alternatively, you may be the one with the baby, or the AC/DC music to get you in the mood, and you're tired of the neighbour's complaints. With a detached house, these concerns are much less of a worry. Sound has much more trouble traveling through two exterior walls and the outdoor space between you and your neighbour. It's a much valued, extra layer of privacy.

Plus, there's the light. Not always guaranteed to be brighter than their townhome and semi cousins, many detached homes still receive more sunshine from more windows of their four exterior walls.

While most buyers are open to semi-detached houses, row houses or condos, especially since they have smaller heating bills due to the fact that they share a wall or two or more,  I do have clients who have insisted on detached homes. And judging from the stats, their decision have been a wise one.

The truth is, detached homes are rare in Toronto, especially in more central downtown neighbourhoods. They are often located in areas that were once considered "suburban" even if it was the suburbs of the Annex or High Park of 125 years ago.

Of course, no one is building detached homes any longer. In a city like Toronto that is undergoing a great deal of intensification, detached homes are not the wave of the future. With land at such a premium, a lone home is rare in the city of Toronto. Most of the time, as I often mention, new land is used for the building of condos or townhome condos or something denser and more suitlable to the future of this city.

In terms of price, the detached house has already gone past the affordability of most Canadians where a 416/647 Toronto detached houses has an average price of $856,169, up 10.2% from last year according to the Toronto Real Estate Board. Semi-detached by comparison are up 1.9%.

Even if you have never really been concerned if you had a semi or a row house or a detached house, detached houses are proving to be very sound investments. In recent years, this property type has clearly pulled ahead to be the front runner in terms of appreciation.

I don't want to overplay this too much, since I have found that neighbourhood, and the condition of the property, and how a property is marketed, affects the selling price more than whether it is detached. Still, in the hierarchy of home types, there's no denying that detached is king!

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