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Home prices surge across city: Royal Lepage

Millennials must plan for the future as cost of GTA property continues to rise

James Parrott is almost 22 years-old, and he already owns a house.

The London, Ontario property is 2,000 square feet. He lives with four other young professionals, to help him cover the mortgage.

But most finance jobs available to Parrott after he graduates from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario, will be based in Toronto — a move he is concerned about given the latest housing prices.

According to numbers released by Royal LePage last week, Toronto’s housing prices continued to surge in the last quarter of 2016.

The average for a home in the City of Toronto during the final quarter of 2016 was $720,029 — a 12.4 per cent increase from the final quarter of 2015.

“I’m not the type of person that could live in an apartment in downtown Toronto… I would likely be looking at detached homes, possibly in a surrounding commuter city,” Parrott said.

To those hoping to settle into a Greater-Toronto-Area suburb, this may be difficult. Numbers suggest the city of Toronto lagged with pace of growth in comparison to the rest of the GTA.

“The region’s strong economy has attracted interest from many Canadians and Americans in search of stability and employment, imposing further demand on stretched inventory levels in suburban areas… and intensifying an already incredibly high-priced, competitive environment,” said Dianne Usher, the senior vice president of Johnston and Daniel; a division of Royal LePage.

Richmond Hill held the highest numbers, with a 30.1-percent increase to $1,138,826.

“If the cost of living in Toronto diminishes the value of an opportunity for me, it might be worthwhile to look into other prospects,” Parrott said, “since I’ve already been exposed to the relatively affordable, and profitable, housing market in London.”

The Durham Region has, on average, the most affordable homes in the GTA. It also bared some frantic price acceleration. Noteworthy increases were also reported by Oshawa (up 26.9 per cent to $471,975) and Whitby (up 21.3 per cent to $610,658).

“While many believe that we may be reaching a breaking point in the region, factors driving the market will likely remain unchanged in the New Year,” Usher said.

“Demand will continue to feast upon supply with interest rates … continuing to spur competition within the marketplace, ratcheting up prices and intensifying inventory shortages across the region.”