Mark Twain's famous verbage "Buy land, they're not making it anymore" was never more true.
Today, a variation to the above statement may be: "Buy waterfront land, they're not making it anymore."
Across every GTA jurisdiction, waterfront property assessments are increasing more than any other. Properties on or near the shoreline, stretching from Burlington through Oakville, Mississauga and Toronto, are experiencing jumps in the phased-in property assessment of between 6% and 8.3% for 2009.
"In Toronto, convenience is really the driving factor behind the desirability of living by the waterfront, especially among young people who work downtown," said Fred Radziwolek, a real estate agent who's been selling Toronto waterfront condos for 25 years. "You're within walking distance to restaurants, theatres, shopping, great night/day life. There's good access to public transit and the Toronto Islands. With a lakefront views that come with downtown living, prices of condo prices with a view of the lake can be as high as $100,000 more than those without a lake view.
But convenience isn't the only factor driving up assessments along the lake. The affordability of up-and-coming Leslieville and Queen West is drawing young couples looking to enter the housing market. This, in turn, pushes up values.
"Price is always a factor," said Toronto real estate agent Richard Byford. "Suddenly, for $200,000 less than many areas in Toronto, people can afford a little house in Leslieville. You're going to see a big boom in these areas because five or six years ago they were quite crusty neighbourhoods."
Moving west, residents in Mississauga's now-trendy Port Credit neighbourhood, Oakville's exclusive lakefront communities and Burlington's city centre, with its revitalized waterfront, are all seeing big increases in value.
"If you can afford waterfront, it's an incredibly good investment. It hardly ever goes down in value," said Bruce Krushelnicki, director of planning for the City of Burlington. "People are simply willing to pay for the amenity of a view out over the water."
And just like in downtown Toronto, convenience drives desirability in waterfront suburbs: public transit, including all-day Lakeshore GO trains, the QEW and the city centres are close to the lake.
"Location is always the main driver for values, and because the demand obviously exceeds the supply in waterfront areas, you're going to see greater than average increases on waterfront properties," said Joe Regina, MPAC account manager. "That's true in general, across the board."
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The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license