Where Are The Cheapest Condos In Toronto?

Believe it or not, that’s a question I have NEVER been asked!

But in conversations with a blog reader this week, who emailed me some MLS listings and asked, “Are these prices too good to be true?”  I think I might have found the cheapest condos in Toronto.

How about a 3-bedroom unit, over 1,000 square feet, for $124,900?

BargainGlass

How much would you expect to pay for 1,000 square feet?

Let’s say it’s downtown Toronto, just for argument’s sake.  Name your price.

Last week, my office manager came down to chat with a few of us who happened to be there, and he said, “I want to get a ballpark range of the cost for certain condo properties: a 1-bedroom to lease, a 2-bedroom to lease, a 1-bedroom to buy, a 2-bedroom to buy, etc.”

The group of us, not willing to do anything easily, immediately gave him a slew of qualifiers.

“Well does the 1-bedroom have parking?  If so, it’s averaging $1700-$1800.  With no parking, maybe $1550-$1600.”

“Are we talking new, or old?  Loft of apartment?”

He sighed, and said, “I don’t know why I thought this would be easy….”

My point is that most Realtors could ballpark a condo listing within a hair or two.  I asked my colleague today, “Hey Jen – what’s a 2-bed, 2-bath with parking at 313 Richmond gonna rent for?”  She said $2,200’ish, which was exactly the number I had in my head.

So my point to this exercise?

I want you to ballpark 1,000 square feet in downtown Toronto.

I know, I know – there are qualifiers.  But on average, what’s the range?

With 1,000 square feet, you’re likely into a 2-bed, 2-bath situation, which means you probably have parking.  So what’s the average?

$550,000?

I’d say that’s fair.  You could probably find a deal for an older, unrenovated unit in the mid-$400’s, and you could always shoot yourself in the head and/or pay $900K for a unit at Festival Tower, but for the most part, I’d say 1,000 square feet is going to average $550,000.

Of course, once you get outside the downtown core, things can change!

Sure, there are more expensive buildings; maybe up at Avenue Road & St. Clair, for example.

But then you have some must-see-to-believe condos that just defy all logic.

I guess I ruined the surprise with my lead-in to this blog post, but if you’re reading this, it’s because you wanted to know more!

A reader emailed me last week about a condominium at 5580 Sheppard Avenue, which is at Markham Road, just north of the 401, and asked “What’s the catch?”

Sheppard02

Why are there condos for prices that look like typos?

I actually LOL’d, and yes, I’m using that term, when I read his comment: “The outside of the building looks like a correctional facility.”

You be the judge:

5580Sheppard

Wow, all that’s missing is the barbed-wire fence, the “yard,” and guys in orange jumpsuits stabbing each other with sharpened toothbrushes…

So I began searching on MLS, and guess what I found?

1-bedroom condos starting at $99,000.

2-bedroom condos starting at $114,900.

3-bedroom condos starting at $124,900.

And how about a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom condo for $149,900?

It’s unthinkable, isn’t it?

Now, I know what you’re going to say: “This is Scarborough, this isn’t downtown Toronto!”

True.  But let’s worth within the GTA, shall we?

I mean, isn’t there a subway stop right outside?  Oh, wait…….city council, TTC, Metrolinx, Bobby Ford, Stevie Harper, Karen Whatsherface and the gang are still working that out, right?

In any event, this building is walking distance to Centennial College, and about 1.5 KM from Scarborough City Centre.

And you can have 1,000 square feet for $124,900.

Let’s do the math, for a moment…

Assuming you put down 20%, which in this case is a whopping $24,980, your monthly payment for a 5-year, fixed-rate mortgage on a 30-year amortization at 3.49% would be a paltry $446.73.

What are you paying each month now for your 2-bedroom in King West?  $2,800?

The folks over in the Scarborough Penitentiary, er, um, 5580 Sheppard – they’re laughing all the way to the bank!  Yes, then they probably get beat up in the shower, lose the fight for the top bunk, and get thrown in solitary confinement…….or maybe I’ve been watching too much Oz……..

Anyways…

I began to wonder how the numbers would work on this property as an investment, so I dug a little further.

2-bedroom units seem to pull in around $1,200 per month, which is good rent for two students attending Centennial, and great rent for a landlord looking for cash flow!

The 2-bedroom units in this building have sold as low as $80,000 for unrenovated…

Sheppard01

….and they’ve been listed as high as the unit at $124,900 that I quoted at the onset of this piece, but for argument’s sake, let’s say you picked one up for a cool $100,000 – not an unreasonable number, given the sales over the last 12 months.

 

Here’s a breakdown of your monthly costs, assuming a $20,000 (20%) down payment, and same mortgage terms as above:

Mortgage – $357.67
Maintenance – $581
Taxes – $90

All in, you’re paying out $1,028.67 per month, and bringing in $1,200.

That $171.33 per month might not sound like a lot, but it’s 10.3% of your down payment on the unit!

Now add in the $2,748 that you paid in principal over the first year, and suddenly you’re making a 24% return on investment.

Those aren’t bad numbers, are they?

So what’s the catch?

Well, I guess the catch is that you have to own a unit in Scarborough, or that’s what a cynic would say.

But if you’re somebody that works in Scarborough, then you could be living in 1,000 square feet for $1,000 per month.

And if you’re an investor looking for cash flow, and a property that’s bound to attract interest from students, then there’s a nice return on the table.

The true drawback here is that this property probably won’t appreciate at the same rate as that of a downtown Toronto condo, and in a soft market, they might be hard to resell.

But I swear, it’s been a long, long time since I’ve seen a condo, anywhere, sell for $80,000….

24 Comments

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  1. Alsalti says:

    I am looking for apartment 2 bed in Toronto, if you can send me any.

  2. Jose says:

    Hi plz send me properties 150$

  3. Kaylorn Telfer says:

    Send me the link to find these condos

  4. Susan Grainger says:

    I am looking for a realtor in the Toronto area to help me buy an inexpensive condo in the Toronto area.
    (no caps in e-mail)
    Thanks

  5. Amada fajardo says:

    Im looking for a condo unit 2 bedrooms cost 200k..thanks

  6. carlo says:

    im interested on investing to this condos. i wanna have it rented.. who can i contact

    1. Suchitra Pai says:

      i hv 2 condos rented near airport and 401. 3 bhk with 1.5 washroom is rented for 2600 pm and 2 bhk is rented for 1800 pm. i will sell both for 550k.

  7. Norva miller says:

    2892752804

  8. Norva miller says:

    I’m looking for 3br2wash rm

    1. Suchitra Pai says:

      i hv a 3 bhk with 1.5 washroom listed for 314k and reduced price for 299k in etobicoke close to airport and 401. it’s one if hottest rental bldg condos and am getting $2600 pm rent since i converted it into 4 bhk.

  9. May says:

    Came across this post and thought to check out the current prices of for condos in this building the lowest a two bedroom is priced at $169,000…that’s pretty decent increase from 2013!

  10. amit says:

    Am looking for a 2 bedroom condo not more than 200k

  11. Resident of the bldg talked about says:

    As a resident of a unit in this building… I have to say the prison comparison is highly offensive as the condo has gone through various improvements in order to present itself as a viable building that provides affordable (yes in GTA it can be achieved) housing. Owned and not rented.
    As a place to live it is great. There are a lot of amenities within walking distance. Crime is non-existent here as it has a large population of young families living here. However, the problems as a previous commenter gave is with the building itself. This place should not be selling at such a low cost. The units are large, close to amenities and most units have been updated (stainless steel appliances, hardwood (not laminate) floors, etc. at the owners cost. Maintenance fees are actually sensible here when taking the building’s age (36 yrs) into account. For a 1 bdrm unit it is about $400 up to $600 for 3 bdrms. Comparables in the area are selling at extremely low prices because their condo fees are in the 1000s. It drives down the value of this building which is unfair but alas. Also, when examining its reserves, it sends red flags to lenders everywhere. The bldg has been trying to redeem itself in this area but it’s kind of difficult to do when realtors and buyers alike try so hard to get the bargain that when it is their turn to sell, they struggle to recoup or turn a true large profit. My unit should be worth at worse 150k but instead because of these outside factors it can’t break 120k which is crazy. A comparable down the street sold for $118k. This is what I have to face daily.
    So ultimately know that 5580 Sheppard Ave East is one of the best deals out there in terms of owning an amazing condo but know that the cost of being undervalued may be too rich for your blood.

  12. mortgage markham says:

    There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to investment condos. A lot of it depends on what exactly you are looking to get out of it. Some people think of investment condos as rentals, while others are thinking of sales value down the road. If you are looking to buy a condo to rent out, then there are a few factors you need to consider.mortgage markham

    1. Mohan says:

      Comment

      1. Mohan says:

        Looking for living not for investment one bed room apartment’s below 100000

  13. James says:

    There are good reasons why these prices are so low. There is a better chance that these prices will drop rather than rise. Just wait for the special assessments and the loan bylaws to jump out at whoever buys there.

  14. TheOriginalOG says:

    MLS®: C2697454

    Here’s value for you. <$500/sq ft.
    This was one of the original SOHO type condos built back in the early '90's. Or even earlier. Late 80's?

    Come on Lotto Max ticket!!

  15. Jackie says:

    I am very familiar with this building, I remember when it was constructed in the 80’s, the units brand new were going for 89,000 which speaks to the longterm price appreciation. If you look directly across the intersection (Rosebank) brand new condos were recently built and 1 bedrooms are going for $190k. On the opposite side (south west, south of the plaza) 2bd 1bath condos are going for $190. Clearly the problem is with the building and not location. FYI the police station is literally walking distance so a potential buyer in this area shouldn’t be too worried about crime. FYI part 2, 3 bd 2 bth condos at Kipling and Finch are listed for under $100k.

  16. Floom says:

    These units are intriguing as an investment. Unfortunately, all else is not equal save for location…The building are old, the maintenance fees high (and growing) and then, of course, there’s the location. I wouldn’t bet on these units appreciating any more in the future than the lack-there-of experienced in the past. Special assessments, maintenance fees growing faster than inflation (while rental rate growth is limited to inflation as per rent control)….I think investors would have to discount that cash flow will likely erode over time. Bottom line issues with condos – land appreciates, buildings depreciate.

    1. Joe Q. says:

      ^ This is pretty much it. The maintenance fees (which cover heat, water and parking — no gym, no pool, etc.) are high, and aren’t going down anytime soon.

  17. moonbeam! says:

    There are many excellent residential areas of Scarborough that are a well-kept secret.
    Unfortunately there are some high-crime areas, usually with subsidized housing….such as
    Malvern. It’s obviously important to go inside and note how the common areas are maintained, observe the behaviour and demeanor of the people coming and going, frequency of police cars, fire trucks and fire alarms, or the presence of gangs or thugs hanging around, then of course beware. There are many luxury condos in Scarborough, such as Greystone condos, which happen to be near low-rent buildings, (Gordonridge). Despite the need for a subway, there is already effective transit in Scarborough.

  18. Potato says:

    “this property probably won’t appreciate at the same rate as that of a downtown Toronto condo”

    That’s probably the assumption that many are making, helping to keep the price down. Certainly it hadn’t appreciated at the same rate over the past few years, but will that be the case going forward? This property would actually cashflow, as you point out, whereas a downtown property usually doesn’t. There also isn’t likely to be anything happening downtown to surprise the market and help those condos, whereas this area could get, say, a subway extension and start gentrifying. Between potential multiple expansion and improvements to the area, this likely has more potential to appreciate than a downtown condo, after all no one is buying it with those expectations priced (though also a higher risk that the whole prison complex gets condemned/becomes totally illiquid/etc).

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