Where can I find cheap condos in Toronto?
For anyone hunting for a condo on a super-tight budget, that’s the million dollar question (or rather, the $200k or $300k question, depending on what you consider cheap).
Rather than begin the property search based on a list of neighbourhoods, budget-focused buyers looking for Toronto’s most affordable condos often start with price, only to later work their way back to location and nice-to-haves.
So what’s considered super affordable in Toronto?
For this run-through, we factored in condo apartments that sold from under $150k to $350k. Based on recent figures from the Multiple Listings Service (MLS), that represents only 1 in 6 Toronto condos. While that may seem discouraging, rest assured, there are affordable options out there for buyers who know where to look and where to compromise.
Condos for under $150k
Condo apartments in this price range are in the huge minority and represent only about 0.7 per cent of Toronto’s condo market (that’s not a typo, that’s below 1 per cent).
As expected, these condos with must-see-to-believe prices are older and offer little in terms of upgrades, amenities or finishes. Most are also dotted in the city’s outskirts, so that means riding the subway is rarely an option and you’d have to resort to commuting by car via highways or bus.
Given these units are primarily situated in decade-old buildings, condos below $150k tend to feature quite sizeable floor plans with the majority hovering over 900 square feet, complete with two bedrooms and a parking spot.
While a considerable number of apartments in this range do feature central air conditioning or wall-mounted units, about half of recently sold units didn’t feature any built-in AC systems.
- Least expensive condo buildings in Toronto:
- 234-238 Albion Road
- 320-380 Dixon Road
- 4645-4689 Jane Street
- 2737 Keele Street
- 4062-4064 Lawrence Avenue East
- 40 Panorama Crescent
- 3390 Weston Road
- Neighbourhoods where condos below $150k are most prevalent:
- Important Facts:
Condos under $150k are highly affordable and therefore ideal for prospective buyers looking to swap out rental bills for an exact mortgage equivalent and save big on monthly payments. That being said, it’s worth highlighting:
- From an appreciation standpoint, these older ultra-affordable condo buildings don’t tend to experience the same price growth as newer units in the downtown core. Also, condo fees can be considerable at over $0.80 per square foot in some cases
- Remember, you’re not only buying into a building but a neighbourhood and community as well. Ensure you conduct intensive research on the area regarding safety, noise and other factors that can impact your quality of life
- In certain cases, securing financing in these older, low-cost condos can be tough and you may have to contribute a higher down payment amount (over 20 per cent). Overall, it’s critical to have your lawyer conduct research on the building’s reserve fund and ensure the residence isn’t wrapped up in legal issues
- For under $150k, you’ll have to make compromises on the building’s exterior and interior appearance. It’s critical to visit the properties in person and interview residents on the biggest pros and cons of living in these low-priced units
Condos between $150k to $250k
While options in this price range are considerably higher when compared to those under $150k, as a segment of the overall Toronto market, they still represent just 2.5 per cent of total apartment sales.
The majority of $150k to $250k condos are situated in Toronto’s east end (Scarborough) and west end (Etobicoke/Rexdale). In the downtown core, options are little to none.
Most of these affordable apartments are older. Therefore, buyers can benefit from larger two-bedroom floor plans and units that feature a parking spot, but have the tradeoffs of a less transit-friendly location, older finishes and architecture as well as a stark lack of amenities.
Compared to units that sell for under $150k, older condos priced between $150k to $250k either feature better-maintained exteriors or a larger number of beds and baths. Plus, a larger bulk of these condos do include some form of central air conditioning or window/wall cooling units, so in many cases, you won’t have to resort to fans or having to install your own AC system.
In this price bracket, there are rare opportunities where newer glass-and-steel condos become available. Encore at Equinox at 50 Town Centre Drive near Scarborough City Centre is one example. However, when they do pop up, these newer units are usually extremely small studios that fall below 500 square feet.
- East-End Neighbourhoods where $150k to $250k condos are most prevalent:
- West-End Neighbourhoods where $150k to $250k condos are most prevalent:
Condos between $250k to $350k
- Downtown Toronto
When breaking through the mid-$200’s, buying in downtown Toronto becomes a far more likely (but still rare) possibility.
When it comes to downtown condos between $250k to $350k, most of your options will be studios or compact-sized one-bedroom apartments in newer buildings that hover around 500 square feet. In the majority of cases however, a parking spot won’t be included and you may have to push your budget to the higher end of the scale ($300k to $350k).
Central Toronto neighbourhoods where newer studios or one-bedroom units are available in this price range include Fort York, Regent Park and the Church-Yonge Corridor. Further north, Banbury Don-Mills and Willowdale East (Yonge and Finch area) are good options too, although, your choices will be limited.
If you want to opt for older, more sizeable two-bedroom condos outside of the downtown core, Flemingdon Park features an assortment of high rises which fit that description.
- East End
In Toronto’s east end (Scarborough), you’ll have several dozen options in this price range. And that will include a mix of well-kept decade-old buildings with two bedrooms as well as a considerable number of newer one-bedroom condos in hot spots like Bendale near Scarborough Town Centre.
- West End
In the west end, Humber-Clairville West is a neighbourhood that features several newer, but smaller, condos that fall in the $250k to $350k range. On the other end of the spectrum, York University Heights features a handful of older more spacious alternatives.
Based on sales from Jan 1 to July 29, 2017
Listings presented are only examples
Buildings highlighted experienced a mnimum number of 4 sales