The Toronto Real Estate Board today released its condo market report for the second quarter of the year and the sales numbers have improved markedly when compared to the first quarter. Sales of condos in the GTA were down by about 6 per cent, compared to the same period last year. In actual numbers of units sold in the city of Toronto, the difference between this quarter and Q2 2012 was 206 units. By comparison, the difference between first-quarter sales this year and last was 17 per cent: 589 fewer condominiums had sold in Toronto as of the end of April this year than at the same time last year.
In other words, the market has actually improved. Yes, the sales numbers for the last three months are down compared to Q2 2012, but they are down far less—almost 200 per cent less—than in the earlier quarter. As TREB president Dianne Usher says, the condo market “has fared quite well.” Prices, after all, have “found support at current levels.” Prices have actually risen “moderately” in the quarter.
The average selling price for condominium apartments in the second quarter was $347,896, up by 1.7 per cent compared to the average of $342,148 in the second quarter of 2012.
The question of listings is also noteworthy. Active listings were up slightly, just under 2.5 per cent year-over-year, but new listings were down by more than 4 per cent. If that drop in new listings continues, TREB analyst Jason Mercer says, there could be new price growth as condo market conditions “tighten.”
Future buyers’ intentions add another dimension to the picture of the Toronto condo market. A poll taken for the latest BMO Condo Buying Report found that the number of Canadians who planned to buy a condo in the next five years has risen. Would-be home buyers in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary were the most likely to buy a condo. In Toronto, fully one third of prospective buyers—an increase of 11 per cent since the last survey in the fall—plan to make their next home purchase a condo, no doubt influenced by the two key factors of affordability and availability. Overall, intentions to buy a home have risen quite significantly, from 46 per cent in the fall to 62 per cent in the spring.