Toronto Real Estate Investment Guide
With so many properties on the market, it’s hard to find the right Toronto real estate investment for you if you don’t know the differences. Learn about your options in our Toronto Investment Property Guide so you can make better decisions!
A Beginner's Toolkit To Real Estate Investing In Toronto
We broke down the key differences between the three major types of investment properties in Toronto: condos, houses, and commercial properties.
We compare them based on price, capital requirements, mortgage requirements, active management, cash flows, market appreciation, and value-add appreciation.
Let’s get started!
Starting Purchase Price
Even though Toronto condos have the highest price per square foot, they have the least square footage, which makes the starting price the most affordable. Note that the price of properties can range significantly depending on their condition and features. Lower-priced houses usually requires an extra budget for renovations, whereas turnkey houses may cost 15 to 20 percent more than these starter prices.
Minimum Capital Required
The downpayment is calculated as a percentage of the property’s price, so Toronto condos generally require the least amount of capital. Besides downpayment, other upfront capital costs include initial renovations and closing costs like land transfer taxes and legal fees.
Because lower-priced houses typically require bigger renovations, the total amount of capital upfront is typically similar to what might be required for a turnkey property. However, you exchange your own efforts for additional value-add appreciation, and you’re likely able to refinance and grow your portfolio at a quicker pace.
Principal residences priced at $1 million or less can qualify for a lower downpayment percentage of between 5 and 10 percent with an insured CMHC mortgage.You may also qualify if you live in one unit of your home and rent another portion out.
For those who need even more time to save up for their downpayment, pre-constructed condos (precons) may be a good alternative in Toronto. The downpayment for Toronto precons is spread over a longer period of time until closing, which can be one to three years away. Commercial properties, on the other hand, typically require a larger downpayment of 35 percent and larger renovations, raising the capital requirements on these investments.
Loan-To-Value (LTV) Ratios
As noted above, commercial properties require a lower LTV of 65 percent and have higher interest rates compared to residential mortgages. Residential properties have a maximum LTV of 80 percent, and qualified principal residences may achieve lower interest rates and higher LTV compared to investments.
Historically, Toronto commercial properties and houses have better long-term appreciation compared to condos. Land is limited, which constrains the supply a lot more compared to condos. Moreover, when you’re purchasing in an area that hasn’t been redeveloped yet, there is a higher chance of a one-time bump in market appreciation from gentrification.
Because of a lower barrier to entry, there are more speculators in the Toronto condo market, which creates more price fluctuations. This added volatility in condos can mean higher returns if you enter and exit at the right times, but it also means added investment risk.
Value-added appreciation occurs when you renovate a property to increase its price. By doing the work yourself, you unlock value and increase investment returns. The more work a property needs, the more value-added appreciation you can unlock.
Even though you can get higher value-added appreciation with more work, not everyone can do it successfully. Because of this, we recommend starting with easier projects to understand how it works before taking on bigger projects for a higher chance of success.
Are You Ready To Start Investing In Toronto Real Estate?
No matter if you’re looking for a house, condo or commercial property, we’re here to help you invest in Toronto real estate successfully.