London, Ontario? Oh, probably just a fraction!
But alas, I speak not of the wee town by day, hockey hotbed by ‘knight.’
I speak rather of a world-famous, world-class, historic, beautiful, and expensive city that is home to our Monarch.
Just humour me, and look at this…
And if you look at a house like this, and think of Toronto, where in Toronto would you expect to find it?
I know, I know – you’re going to tell me there’s nothing like it.
And maybe that’s fair.
We say things like “English-style” or “English cottage” when referring to Toronto homes.
We use “Georgian” but don’t really insinuate it’s South Carolina inspired. But there’s something special about an English style home in Toronto.
Maybe we all subconsciously want to give back our independence, and start paying taxes to the King & Queen?
We see the value of “English-style” homes here in Toronto all the time.
It didn’t take me very long to pull this from the MLS:
That white-and-brown pattern is the unmistakable look of an English-Tudor inspired home, and if you look behind the peak, you can see the clay roof tiles, which is another classic English trait.
But I want to go back to that first house, for a moment, and make a comparison to Toronto.
Some readers love when I do features on real estate around the world, and some readers think it’s silly to compare Toronto to New York, let alone London.
But a colleague of mine was at a real estate conference in New York last weekend, and he told me, “The market in Toronto is nuts, and we’re all trying to make sense of it, but when I saw things selling for $2,500 to $3,000 per square foot, in U.S. dollars, Toronto suddenly didn’t seem so bad.”
And yet I feel like so many people in Toronto don’t want to hear it.
So let me take things a step further, and at the risk of depressing you, let me give you my very-long-term prediction for Toronto:
I think that in 50 years, only the city’s elite will own houses.
Fifty years is a long time, and many of you reading this really don’t care.
But I think even in, say, fifteen years, people will look back and laugh about what 5-bed, 5-bath houses on 50-foot lots in North Toronto used to sell for.
That house I showed above – that’s on Wadham Gardens, Primrose Hill, in London.
Here’s the map:
So as you can see, we’re not talking about being right in the middle of London.
We’re not having tea with the Queen.
We’re not living next to St. Paul’s Cathedral.
And we’re not on Bishops Avenue, which is where you find the “obscene” real estate in London, similar in price to, say, The Bridle Path, although whereas the Bridle Path is in the middle of nowhere in Toronto, Bishops Avenue is in the middle of the action.
But this house is on a lot similar to what you might find in North Toronto, and you might even call the style comparable:
I can’t say that the interior of that house is any nicer than what you might find on Glengowan or St. Leonard’s in Lawrence Park.
In fact, I might say that aside from that lovely backyard, this house is actually inferior in terms of finishings.
So what does a 5-bed, 5-bath on a 50-foot lot cost up in Lawrence Park?
Older? Maybe as low as $3,000,000.
Newer? Maybe upwards of $5,000,000.
But having just combed through the MLS archives, I think you can get something spectacular for $3,700,000.
Does that sound like a lot to you?
It does, if you’re renting for $1,500. Or even if you’re bidding on a $1,200,000 house in High Park tonight.
But in the grand scheme of things, and compared to other world-class cities, $3,700,000 for a 5-bed, 5-bath, in an area like Lawrence Park is nothing.
Just look at that house in Wadham Gardens.
Any guesses as to what it’s listed for?
Wanna try before I reveal the price below?
How about $9,950,000.
Oh wait, but that’s British Pounds, so it’s actually $16,401,731.
Yeah, that exchange rate is tough.
So $16,000,000 for that house in Wadham Gardens, versus $3,700,000 for something similar in Lawrence Park.
Does that tell enough of the story for you?
Because there’s more!
That $9,950,000 BP listing is for part of the house:
It’s an apartment.
A big one, at that.
But it’s the ground floor, and the “first floor,” which I guess is what they call the second floor, and the top floor is yet another apartment.
So $16.4 Million CDN, and you get part of a house in the equivalent of Lawrence Park.
Rich enough for you?
I know that doesn’t make Toronto’s real estate market any easier to swallow, but surely it has to give you some perspective…