Canada's Condominium Magazine
Sales and rental numbers for the final quarter of 2015 show once again how important the condominium is to Toronto’s housing market. The Toronto Real Estate Board’s statistics for the fourth quarter show large increases in both sales and rentals in the final three months of 2015. Conditions were tight for purchasers and renters alike, as demand increased faster than supply.
The number of renters signing agreements with condo owners rose by 20.7 per cent, to 6,073, in the quarter. The number of units listed, however, grew by just 5.5 per cent compared to one year ago. This resulted in more competition among renters and tighter market conditions, TREB president Mark McLean said, and strong increases in average rents. Average rent increases correlated to the size of the unit rented, from bachelors renting for $1,350 (a 1.7 per cent increase) to three-bedroom units at $2,833 (a 9.9 per cent increase).
Investor-held condos have become an increasingly important source of rental supply in Toronto, said McLean. Renters who want mid- to high-end units, often in downtown locations—a demographic often described as “lifestyle renters,”—tend to look in the condo rentals. Condo apartments typically rent for $300–$400 more than purpose-built apartments.
Sales of existing condos were also up significantly in the fourth quarter of 2015. TREB reports 5,595 condo sales, an increase of 12.6 per cent over the same period last year. Again, the number of new condo listings in the TREB MLS system was lower, at 3.3 per cent, than the number of sales. According to McLean, “a number” of units listed for sale are owned by investors, and these units have been absorbed “quite rapidly.” Demand is strong enough to drive continued price growth, he said.
The average GTA selling price rose 4.1 per cent year over year to $382,070. In Toronto the average selling price was $407,991. Of the 5,595 sales recorded in the GTA, 3,966 were in Toronto.
Approximately half of all buyers in the GTA are first-time buyers, TREB analyst Jason Mercer said. In the City of Toronto the percentage is even higher. Condominiums are an important way for many households to get a foot on the property ladder. “This is a key reason why we experienced continued growth in sales for this home type over the past year,” he said.
The image at the top of this page is a rendering of the exterior at Tridel’s Alter condominiums, now under construction near Church and Carlton Streets in downtown Toronto.