Following the Treasure Trail

Published on 18th April 2019

Oftentimes when investing, especially the first property, we over-complicate things and so in this week’s Insight Post, I wanted to take the time to simplify it for you. Even for myself, I know how things can easily get out of hand when you’re evaluating investments. I have spreadsheets upon spreadsheets of calculators with different metrics to evaluate properties ranging from the 1% rule, cash-on-cash return, cash flow calculators, etc. However, investing can sometimes be as simple as looking at the treasure map that the government has provided us with. Cue: Our transit map.

The Millenials – With the rising price of properties, the largest cohort of buyers right now, the millennials, are looking for convenience and lifestyle. I bet if you poll 100 millennials, 95 of them would say that they are looking to buy or rent for lifestyle and convenience, which typically means a condo with some sort of transit nearby.

SUBWAYS! Having access to a subway station is great, but not everyone can afford that in their investment strategy as prices for these condos have shot up significantly in the last 3 years and continue to do so. There are only a few pockets along the TTC Yellow subway line (Union Station access) that is less than $1,000 per square foot. These stations include the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre extension and Downsview. Some projects still have inventory right now so give us a call if you want to see the price list (416-436-9436).

The NEW Transit Strategy for Your Portfolio – Sometimes even $1,000 per square foot is out of the budget. As much as you would want to invest in a condo near a subway station, if you want to still stay within the budget for your investment, you should instead consider looking at the GO train map.

Betting on Subways – As fancy as Ford’s new transit development seems to look, I wouldn’t buy anything with the anticipation of those proposed subway stations being built. If you’re a bonafide Torontonian and have been here long enough, you’ll know the back and forth that goes on with all government proposed transit plans. It’s an on and off dilemma that gets debated forever before any kind of actual execution or even breaking ground.

Think about how long the Vaughan extension took – it was officially funded in 2006! That’s 13 years ago for 6 subway stations. For some reference, that was before the first iPhone was released and before the first season of when Game of Thrones aired and the Raptors still had Vince Carter on our team! The matter of the fact is that it takes a really long time to build subways in Toronto. Who knows when we’ll get the other extensions.

GO Time – As a result, if you want transit access projects, then you need to consider the following GO train map (see image below). If you follow the map, there are condo projects that are located 5 minute walk away from a GO Train station that are just as worthwhile investing in as the projects with subway access.

Recently, Aspen Ridge just launched a project right beside Mount Joy Go Station in Markham (located on Markham Rd, Markham’s quaint Main Street area) for $700 per square foot, INCLUDING PARKING. The commute via GO Train is 1 hour, which is very reasonable if you’re able to get a 1 bedroom unit in the high 300’s or 2 bedrooms in the low 500’s. If you want further information on this project, do reach out to us at PPTO and we will set you up with this project.

Another GO Station to keep an eye on is the Oakville stop by Trafalgar. There are many projects being planned there right now and could become a very dense area as Oakville’s GO Station is only 40 minutes from Union Station. Plus, you’re in the prestigious Oakville suburb near the waterfront.

The Wrap – So these are the options for entry-level housing as the growth in the GTA continues at a rapid pace. Our population is to double by 2040, so you could just imagine what is going to happen to our real estate prices if we cannot build enough transit and housing for this massive wave of immigration. I’ll let you decide, whether to stay on the sidelines or to take action before the storm. If you want to make a move, reach out to Zhen at 416-436-9436 and we can schedule a quick chat about your options.

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