GTA Real Estate Watch: Should I Move to the Suburbs? How many Toronto Homeowners are “Cashing In” and Moving East


Often we hear:

“My Toronto house has doubled in value! Should I sell now and then buy a larger house with a much smaller mortgage?”

“Should I sell my Leslieville house and upsize to a larger house for less money in Pickering or Ajax or beyond?”

For many GTA real estate sellers, it’s starting to make a lot of sense to move to the suburbs.

The Weir Team is regularly meeting new clients who are convinced that now is the time to sell their downtown house and move a little further away towards Pickering… or even up to Stouffville where a much larger house could be purchased for much less money.

Once the second or third child comes along, many Leslieville houses or East York bungalows or Bloor Yorkville condos certainly will feed short on space. On top of that, many homeowners can’t help but wonder if now is the time to “cash-in” and “up-size” their house and property for much lower carrying costs.

The Weir Team is seeing a clear movement eastwards into Scarborough, Pickering, Ajax and beyond where you’ll find a wealth of beautiful houses on large and leafy plots of land that could purchased for much less by Toronto price standards. Especially if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves with a 30 year old home that needs to be updated.

Or if a renovation project isn’t your thing, there are plenty of detached bungalows, classic side-splits and back-splits that have been expertly renovated on large lots that may have exactly what you’re looking for not too far from downtown Toronto.

The increasingly valuable area of Cliffcrest is a excellent example. While many downtowners wouldn’t naturally lean towards Kingston Road & McCowan Road, the appeal of a move-in ready detached 2-storey house with three bedrooms on a 150 foot lot is very appealing with list prices of $499,000 and higher.

For many of our Toronto real estate clients, a move eastward is making very good sense. For example, if your cramped row house on Walpole Avenue has doubled in value but you’ve run out of room, doesn’t it just make sense to finally get that 4 bedroom house on an idyllic tree-lined street in Pickering? Not to mention the many gorgeous neighbourhoods very close to the lake and the beautiful walking and bike trails of Durham Region.

So if noisy streetcars rumbling by your house on Gerrard Street East or loud TTC buses on Greenwood Avenue is starting to take its toll, maybe that quieter life up “in the country” is something you’re ready to look at.

One thing to keep in mind, while houses west of Toronto are already out of reach for many buyers, the real estate prices in Scarborough, Pickering and Ajax still have a lot of room to grow. (Although property values and home selling prices in Pickering, Ajax and Whitby have been rising quite quickly and steadily over the last few years). And despite numerous and conflicting media reports and ominous predictions that never seem to come true, the simple supply and demand argument still holds true.

Purchasing your ideal home in Scarborough or Durham region may cost less than $500,000 now (even in a bidding war), but we won’t be surprised to see those values increase at a very impressive rate over the next while, and likely sooner than you might expect.

However all this talk about prices and profits still needs a dose of reality regarding costs of time and transportation if you need to be downtown each day.

According to a recent report, buying a cheaper house in the suburbs may not always pay off financially, especially if the bulk of your life needs to be in downtown Toronto.

But ultimately a change of pace, job, scenery and lifestyle are often the deciding factors with such a move… especially if selling the current house will return a very nice profit which is what many of our clients are seeing time and time again.

The Weir Team loves helping all of our real estate buyers and seller in Durham Region and all across the Toronto area. If you’re thinking about making the move east, please let us know. Since we live and work in Durham Region, we’ve got all sorts of great suggestions on wonderful neighbourhoods you might want to consider.

We look forward to being your expert realtors soon.

Written by Scott Hanton, real estate Broker with The Weir Team. Proud to work with the very best real estate agents in Toronto, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby and all across the GTA.


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