Reasons to Love Toronto: No. 19, because the bubble won’t pop
At the start of this year, a 30-year-old advertising project manager named Melissa Hart founded the blog FML Listings. The title is a mash-up of the expression “fuck my life” and the MLS website, and it perfectly captures the begrudging tone of Hart’s rants about mouldering Leslieville row houses that sell for $750,000 and bidding wars over North York bungalows that will only be demolished and replaced with faux châteaux. The 18 bidders on one such unremarkable bungalow on Willowdale’s Dudley Avenue drove the selling price up to $1,180,800—$420,000 over asking. Hart’s reaction: “*facepalm*.”
FML Listings touched a nerve—Hart was swamped with sympathetic letters, complaints about venal agents and tips about inflated listings on hitherto gentrification-proof streets. But what if all the bitching is misplaced? A runaway market is also a confirmation—however unwelcome to the cash-strapped house hunter—of Toronto’s luck in the global sweepstakes. Everyone (even Raekwon, see Reason No. 3) is eager to buy here, and that demand is what’s driving prices up and up. Sure, the Garth Turners still warn of a bubble and moan about household debt. Yet all the evidence is of a city that’s stable and prosperous. The kind of place where a million-dollar bungalow sounds like a bargain.