The Toronto Real Estate Board released its resale condo market statistics for the first quarter of 2019, reporting a slight drop in sales and a little jump in average price.
In the first three months of 2019, there were 4,731 condo sales in the Greater Toronto Area reported through the MLS system. This is 6.8% lower than the same period last year. New listings increased by 2.4% compared to the first quarter of 2018 with 8,222 units listed in January, February, and March.
"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,” says 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."
According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, condo completions were high in the last quarter of 2018, which explains the higher listings in the first quarter of this year. The strong condo completions also led to more rental listings. That said, condo completions in the first quarter were lower on a year-over-year basis.
"The condominium apartment rental market remained very tight through the first three months of 2019,” says Jason Mercer, TREB's Chief Market Analyst. “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 benefited 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.”
The average price of a resale condo unit in the GTA increased 4.5% year-over-year to $557,377. In Toronto, where 69% of the condo transactions occurred, the average price went up a bit more, increasing 5.4% to $603,243.
There were 3,247 condo sales in Toronto. The next closest region was Peel with 679 sales, and an average price of $439,141. The most affordable region was Durham, where there were 118 sales and an average price of $358,287. Important to note that Durham’s average condo price is actually lower than its 2018 average of $382,653. The average condo price also fell in Halton from $468,485 in 2018 to $459,420 in 2019.
With condo completions slowing at the beginning of this year, it seems like TREB is implying that new listings will not continue to outstrip sales in the coming months. This will likely keep price growth steady.