First time buyers driving Toronto condo price gains

by Steve Randall18 Jul 2018

Condo apartments saw an average selling price gain of 5.4% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2018.

The rise took the average selling price to $561,338 while in the City of Toronto there was a 6.5% rise to $603,480 the Toronto Real Estate Board reported Tuesday.

"Condominium apartments have outperformed other housing types over the past year, in terms of price growth. It has been a seller's market in many neighbourhoods for this home type, which is why we have continued to report average price growth more than twice the rate of inflation," said TREB president Garry Bhaura.

Sales were 16.5% lower in Q2 2018 than a year earlier with 6,837 units sold through the board’s MLS system but there was also a 15.9% drop in new condo apartment listings.

TREB says this balance between the decline in sales and listings shows that the market conditions have remained similar over the year, supporting price growth.

"First time buyers continue to be a key driver of condominium apartment demand. The relative affordability of condos versus low-rise home types, especially with the onset of stricter mortgage qualification guidelines and generally higher borrowing costs, has also been a key factor underpinning tight condo market conditions and continued average price growth," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis.

Missing middle still not supplied
The figures support TREB’s calls for government to aid the supply of homes for the ‘missing middle’ gap between low-rise low-density and high-rise high-density housing.

"For many people, condominiums are the only realistic housing option, even if they may prefer a different lifestyle. There is simply not enough supply of housing to meet the need for home types between detached homes and condominium apartments. This could help provide affordable options for home buyers and TREB looks forward to raising this issue during the upcoming municipal election campaign in our determination to find ways to get more of this type of housing into the market," added Mr. Bhaura

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