The condo apartment market in the Greater Toronto Area remains tight with prices facing upward pressure.
The Toronto Real Estate Board says that GTA Realtors reported 4,731 condo sales through the MLS in the first quarter of 2019, down 6.1% compared to the same period of 2018.
Listings saw a 2.4% rise year-over-year, adding 8,222 to inventory.
“While we experienced a slightly better-supplied condo market in the first quarter of 2019, the market segment remained tight enough to retain the highest year-over-year rate of price growth compared to other major home types,” said TREB president Garry Bhaura. “Condos continue to provide prospective buyers with a relatively affordable housing option in the GTA, especially given the impact of the OSFI-mandated mortgage stress test.”
The average price of a condominium apartment increased by 4.5% from $533,520 in Q1 2018 to $557,377 in Q1 2019.
Year-over-year price growth in the City of Toronto, which accounted for 69 per cent of transactions, was slightly higher at 5.4% resulting in an average price of $603,243.
Completions down in Q1
The slight increase in condo apartment listings could be reversed in Q2 with CMHC stats showing a rise in new condo completions at the end of 2018 but a fall in Q1 2019.
Sales could therefore be lower in Q2 and the tight rental apartments market will see further rent hikes.
“The condominium apartment rental market remained very tight through the first three months of 2019. Average one-bedroom and two-bedroom rents were up well-above the rate of inflation on a year-over-year basis in the first quarter. However, the condo rental market also benefitted from an increase in the number of units listed, resulting in more choice for prospective renters. With this said, we would need to see a number of quarters with listings growth outstripping rental transaction growth in order for the market to become more balanced,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Chief Market Analyst.