If you’re a first-time buyer searching for a home in the GTA, chances are you’re looking at a condo.
Sales and prices for both new and resale condos have stayed strong in the GTA throughout 2018, even as other property types struggled under stricter mortgage qualification rules and higher interest rates.
Heading into the new year, many economists are predicting that the higher rates will keep the GTA housing market relatively cool, especially when it comes to low-rise homes. The condo market could be set to benefit from would-be buyers smaller budgets.
For a closer look at why condos reign supreme in the GTA, Livabl has rounded up 5 charts that explain their dominance.
1. Prices are maintaining their upward trend
What’s going on here: Online brokerage Realosophy tracked the average price of a GTA condo unit over the past four years.
The takeaway: While we aren’t seeing the spike in prices that occurred in the spring of 2017, condo prices have maintained a steady rise over the past year, even as other housing types struggled.
2. Other property types aren’t doing nearly as well
What’s going on here: Scotiabank Economics used data from the Canadian Real Estate Associate (CREA) to track the trajectory of low-rise home prices over the past two years.
The takeaway: In Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal low-rise homes saw a steep drop off in prices, as buyers flocked to the relatively more affordable condo market.
3. New mortgage rules may have something to do with it
What’s going on here: Realosophy charted GTA condo prices over the past six years, noting when stricter mortgage qualification rules came into in October 2016.
The takeaway: Condo prices spiked after the stress test was announced, as buyers suddenly had to reconsider what they could and couldn’t afford. “[Since October 2016] the average price for a condo climbed to $559,343 in April 2018, a 30 percent increase in just a year and a half since the stress test was introduced,” writes Realosophy president John Pasalis, in a report.
4. New condo sales have remained steady
What’s going on here: Real estate data firm Urbanation tracked the quarterly sales and the average sold price per-square-foot for GTA new condos from 2010 to 2018.
The takeaway: Prices have maintained their steady rise as sales have levelled out. While sales are down significantly from their peak in the spring of 2017, they remain well above the sale of other property types, including low-rise homes.
5. Condo rents are up across the city
What’s going on here: The Toronto Real Estate Board tracked the average rent of a one-bedroom condo across the City of Toronto in 2017 and 2018.
The takeaway: Rents were up across the city from 2017 to 2018, as condo units make up more and more of the city’s rental stock, and rental demand rises.