The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) recently released its Greater Toronto Area (GTA) resale condo market report for the first quarter of 2017, announcing that sales and the average selling price saw double digit year-over-year growth, while new listings dropped.
In the first three months of 2017, there were 7,251 condo transactions reported through the MLS system. This is a 21.7% increase compared to the first quarter of 2016. We’re seeing the same thing happen in the new home market; condo sales are hitting record highs as more buyers are priced out of the new low-rise market. While sales were up, listings fell 18.8% to 9,036, compared to 11,123 the previous year.
“Condominium apartments have historically been the housing type of choice for many first-time buyers due to the relatively lower price point compared to ground-oriented housing options,” says TREB President Larry Cerqua. “Given that more than half of intending home buyers are expected to be first-time buyers in 2017, according to a recent Ipsos poll conducted for TREB, it makes sense that demand for this housing type has remained strong.”
When the Ipsos poll was conducted, it’s possible that many of the first-time buyers did not anticipate the recent surge in condo pricing. In the first quarter of 2017, the average selling price was $489,551, which is a 24.3% increase compared to $393,858 last year. The City of Toronto had the highest average selling price of $521,842, up from $423,513.
“Market conditions became much tighter in the condominium apartment segment over the past year, with sales accounting for a greater share of listings,” says Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis. “As competition between buyers increased further, the pace of price growth accelerated.”
With Toronto’s average selling price for condos on the rise, perhaps more first-time buyers will look to other parts of the GTA for more affordable options. In Peel Region, the average selling price was $370,036 in the first quarter of 2017. Durham Region also had a more affordable average of $353,086.
In the new condo market, the average for the entire GTA is in line with Toronto’s resale average, hitting $521,129. That’s the average for new condo prices in the GTA in the first quarter of 2017. In January, the average price was $507,511; February’s was $523,086; March’s average reached $532,792. The average of these three figures equals $521,129.
So, whether first-time buyers are looking at resale or new condos, they will have a hard time finding the right unit to call home. Perhaps Ontario’s proposed measures will make things easier for first-timers.