toronto-condo-market Photo: Tibor Kovacs/Flickr

Prices are growing at a faster pace as listings plummet and sales activity surges — and that’s not just the case for the low-rise segment of the Greater Toronto Area’s housing market.

The high-rise segment is displaying those same signs to an increasing degree, suggests the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB)’s latest quarterly Condo Market Report.

“Similar to the low-rise market segments, we have seen growth in condo sales outstrip growth in condo listings this year,” says Jason Mercer, TREB’s market analysis director.

While 8,965 condo units changed hands in the GTA from the start of April to June’s end, up a smoldering 17.4 per cent compared to that period last year, the number of newly listed condos on TREB’s multiple listing service (MLS) system in the second quarter dove 7.9 per cent.

“Seller’s market conditions exist for condominium apartments in many parts of the GTA, including Toronto’s downtown core. This is why we are seeing average price growth well-above the rate of inflation,” Mercer continues.

In the second quarter of the year, the average price of a GTA condo surged 7.1 per cent year-over-year to $415,326.

That falls considerably short of the most recent detached-home price gains — the average price of standalone GTA home was $979,445 in June, up 19.9 per cent from a year earlier — but shows condo prices have been increasing more rapidly of late.

In 2015’s second quarter, the average condo price was up a more modest 5.8 per cent year-over-year.

Larry Cerqua, TREB’s new president, notes how booming high-rise development hasn’t slowed down the market, one which Canada’s national agency warned was at risk of building too many condos as recently as the start of this year.

“While we have certainly seen a lot of condo construction over the last few years, project completions have not resulted in a glut of inventory,” Cerqua observes.

Builders completed 20,625 high-rise units last year and 24,426 in 2014, according to Altus Group, a real estate data tracker.

Last month, there were 58,065 condo units under construction throughout the Greater Toronto Area, according to BuzzBuzzHome data.

And by the end of the last day of June, there were 5,185 condos up for sale on TREB’s MLS, down a whopping 27.9 per cent from the number of units available one year earlier.

“Over the past year, we have actually experienced tighter market conditions and accelerating annual rates of price growth,” notes Cerqua.

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