Charting Toronto’s uneven housing bubble

Toronto’s real estate prices have been on a tear, but some neighbourhoods are more bubble-prone than others.

<p><a href="" target="_blank">Listing</a><br />
<strong>Price: </strong>$490,000<br />
<strong>Size:</strong> 2,298 sq. ft.<br />
<strong>Bedrooms:</strong> 4<br />
<strong>Bathrooms:</strong> 2<br />
<strong>Extras:</strong> Two fireplaces</p>
<p><strong>What $500,000 could have gotten you in:</strong><br />
<a href="" target="_blank">February, 2009</a><br />
<a href="" target="_blank">May, 2009</a></p>


It’s been said Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods. That’s particularly true when it comes to home prices. Toronto’s real estate prices have been on a tear in the past several years, sparking concerns the city is in the midst of a housing bubble. While that may be true, some neighbourhoods seem to be more bubble-prone than others.

This map uses the Toronto Real Estate Board’s data on median house prices in 35 neighbourhoods in Toronto for the years 1996 and 2014. In order to get a full 12 months’ worth of data for 2014, I’ve averaged the median monthly house prices between June 2013 and June 2014. All figures have been adjusted for inflation.

The darker the square, the more home prices have gone up in that neighbourhood. To see more detail, click on the neighourhoods on the map to get the name and Toronto Real Estate Board code for that neighbourhood, as well as the (inflation-adjusted) percentage increase in house prices in that neighbourhood since 1996:

While no neighbourhood has seen the value of its homes drop over the time period, central neighbourhoods have done better than those on the outskirts. Neighbourhoods such as Riverdale and the Junction have gone from seedy to trendy since the 1990s and have seen their home prices skyrocket as a result. Homes in Riverdale are up 170 per cent since 1996. In the Junction, they’re up 136 per cent.

The unimpressive performance of the areas around Leaside (up 27 per cent) and Mount Pleasant (up 47 per cent) is likely because both those neighbourhoods are home to a large number of older condo buildings that are helping to mask rising prices for houses. In future maps, I’ll chart the progress of different styles of housing—condos, single-detatched, semis—in neighbourhoods across the city.