Photo: James Bombales
Even as the GTA housing market has begun to balance out, its condo prices have only continued to grow.
Yesterday, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) released its Q3 condo market figures, which revealed that the average selling price of a condo in the GTA now sits at $510,206 — up 22.7 per cent from $415,894 a year earlier.
“The conditions right now support very strong price growth when it comes to condos,” TREB’s director of market analysis Jason Mercer tells BuzzBuzzNews. “Buyer intentions for this year for condos are up and we could see supply issues moving forward.”
Though prices were up, both sales and listings of condos were down year-over-year. At the end of this month, 9,845 condos were actively listed on TREB’s MLS. At the same time last year, there were 10,967 listings.
Additionally, 5,684 condo sales were recorded at the end of September, down from 7,991 from the same period last year.
According to Mercer, the downturn in sales and listings can be attributed in part to a lack of supply which, coupled with a surge in demand, is pushing prices higher.
“Over the last year, you’ve seen an increasing number of households moving towards the condo market because of its price point, which is relatively low compared to other sectors,” says Mercer. “The downturn in listings and sales have created a tight market, which supports price growth moving into the new year.”
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions’ (OSFI) newly announced mortgage stress test — which will apply to all uninsured borrowers — could also have a role to play, with first-time buyers considering condos over low-rise homes.
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“These rules are going to affect the kinds of mortgages people can qualify for, and they may consider a purchase with a lower price point, like a condo,” he says.
According to Mercer, demand could also be fueled by prospective buyers who waited to see what the effects of the province’s Fair Housing Plan would be, and are only now re-entering the market.
“I think there are a lot of buyers on the sidelines right now, who will come back onto the market this year,” says Mercer. “Ultimately, the condo market supports price growth moving into the new year. It doesn’t mean that we’ll back to where we were earlier this spring, but I think we will see condo prices continue to grow in the coming months.”