Why This Toronto Triplex Sold For Less Than $1 Million

#GTAHomeHunt is a weekly series from The Star that goes into real estate listing detail in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. Do you have any advice? Email us at [email protected]

Price: Was listed at $899,000, then $950,000. Sold for $901,888 last Sunday.

Neighbourhood: Wallace Emerson

X-factor: This property in west Toronto — listed as a triplex — features three bedrooms, three kitchens, three bathrooms, all with separate entrances for multiple occupants.

Currently, the property has one vacant bedroom, while two others are occupied by tenants. Because of this, the semi-detached house has enormous income potential for a buyer, whether he decides to live there or not.

The house at 1228 Dufferin Street is also at the crossroads of transportation routes for maneuvering through the city.

If you’re a first-time buyer in Toronto, you might be wondering if this is an anomaly. We called on our expert, estate agent Othneil Litchmore, to better understand the listing.

Living space in the basement.

Why is the price like this?

While the average price of a semi-detached home in the GTA skyrocketed to over $1.3 million in February, that home was both listed and sold below market value.

On the market for over 50 days, the owner first listed the property at $899,000 and then at $950,000. The final sale price landed at $901,888 – but why did it take so long to sell?

“It was lower before, but it was lower as some kind of marketing strategy. And I think when that strategy didn’t work, they put it at $950,000,” Litchmore said. Then they hoped that someone would come at that time to negotiate.”

Basement bedroom

Litchmore also notes that homeowners aren’t obligated to sell the home during the listing period, allowing them to leave the home on the market for an extended period of time while hunting for the right deal.

“The seller may not be in a rush to sell and may be waiting for the right person to come at a price they find satisfactory,” he added.

Another factor for the low selling price? The state of the house, because 1228 Dufferin Street is a lived-in space, says Litchmore.

“It’s fair to assume that the physical condition he’s in is what makes him cheap,” Litchmore said. If the house was in good condition, Litchmore says he could see it selling for “at least $1.2 million,” like another home sold in the neighborhood in April.


Regardless of the condition, the listing is always attractive to a group of buyers, Litchmore says. These would be investors, specifically owner-occupied investors, as the listing mentions that the house already has two tenants as well as a vacant unit, making the place a lucrative proposition for a buyer.

“You can have two or three tenants there and charge them $1,500 to $2,000 a month, that can be a lot of money,” he said.

The location of the house is also ideal for getting around the city.

“You can walk to the Dufferin station, the location is perfect, like ideal,” he said.


The main hurdle is the amount of money a buyer has to pour into the property to complete the purchase. “Anyone who buys it has to invest a certain amount of money in it to make it hospitable to tenants and then to get good tenants,” Litchmore said.

Tips for finding places like this:

According to Litchmore, a semi-detached home at this price will likely put you outside of Toronto.

“You could get a semi-final like this in Pickering, Ajax, Whitby and St. Catharines,” he said. “Anywhere else in the GTA you could get something in much better condition for $900,000. It’s more than possible.


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