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The Toronto Real Estate Board recently reported that condo apartments made up just over 30 per cent of total sales this February, with 1,536 units sold, out of 5,025 total transactions. Of those transactions, the vast majority of condo sales took place in Toronto, at 1,064 units sold. (Compare that to the neighbouring city of Guelph, where only 322 units sold off of Guelph MLS in all of 2018.) “Price growth was driven by the condominium apartment segment and higher density low-rise home types,” reports TREB.
Condo prices, in line with their popularity, rose 6 per cent year over year across the GTA to $562,100. In some cities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe they skyrocketed even further. The Waterloo real estate board reported, for example, that the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $303,379 in February, an increase of 22 per cent year over year. Condos spend an average of 23 days on market, two days less than the average property across TREB.
But detached houses remain the most in-demand property type for buyers across the Greater Toronto Area, making up 43 per cent of transactions, with 2,171 homes selling. Nevertheless, detached homes softented 2 per cent year over year to $981,00. Semi-detached houses and townhouses each only represent 9 per cent of February transactions, with condo townhouses at just 7 per cent.
Condos have increased in popularity over the last five years for several reasons. First, this type of housing is simply more available than it used to be, as developers have poured money into the sector and high-density living has been pushed by provincial policy. Secondly, high-density living has become an attractive lifestyle, with many prospective buyers wanting to live close to their job, with amenities at hand. Thirdly, condo apartments are the least expensive market segment, and are often the only option that buyers can afford.
With the mortgage stress test implemented in January 2018, buyers are finding their borrowing ability further reduced. Still wanting to get a foothold on home ownership, prospective buyers are deciding to purchase condos. TREB is optimistic about market conditions become tighter throughout 2019 and expects condo prices to continue to rise.
To see data for the entire housing market, check out the infographic below:
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