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In the Greater Toronto Area, where a detached house now runs buyers over $1 million on average, high-rise condo units are still an affordable option in the pricey market, says the region’s real estate board.

“Condo apartments continue to be an affordable entry point into homeownership for first-time buyers,” says Jason Mercer, the market analysis director for the Toronto Real Estate Board.

Mercer’s comments are included in the board’s third quarter 2016 Condo Market Report, which includes data on condo sales from the beginning of July to the end of September.

The average sale price of a condo in the Greater Toronto Area over this three-month period was $415,643, representing an increase of 9.6 per cent compared to the same time last year.

“The annual rate of condominium apartment price growth has accelerated over the past year as the supply of units available for sale became more constrained while demand remained strong,” explains Mercer.

“With this said, however, annual rates of price growth remain well-below those for low-rise home types,” he adds.

As Mercer suggests, the number of new listings for condo rentals advertised on the board’s multiple listing service system in Q3 totalled 10,963, a 13.3-per-cent drop on a year-over-year basis.

The decline in listings could be a byproduct of a decline in the number of units builders finished working on so far this year, says TREB President Larry Cerqua.

“The completion of new units was down substantially during the first three quarters of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. This arguably played a role in the decline in new condominium apartment listings,” he explains.

Meantime, transactions recorded through the board’s multiple listing service system pushed higher in the third quarter.

Some 8,014 condos changed hands across the GTA during this time, up 22.1 per cent from a year ago.

“While the low-rise market has been top-of-mind in the supply discussion, it is very important to note that supply pressures have also been experienced in the condominium apartment market segment over the past year,” says Cerqua.

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