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Condo sales rise in the GTA as prices stabilize and renters eye homeownership

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The GTA’s condominium apartment sales increased in the year’s first quarter to 4,747, compared to the same period of 2023 and up 5.3 per cent year-over-year, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports. Plus, new condominium listings increased by 23 per cent during this time.

All in all, buyers had more choice as average prices crept down.


‘Many renter households will have no more patience for rent increases before they consider purchasing’


“TRREB’s consumer polling, conducted by Ipsos, suggests that many renter households will have no more patience for rent increases before they consider purchasing their first home. Once interest rates start trending lower, look for condominium sales to pick up as more first-time buyers enter the market,” says TRREB’s president, Jennifer Pearce.

That said, the board also reported a 19.7 per cent year-over-year increase in condominium apartment rental transactions in Q1 2024 (to 12,541). The average rent for a one-bedroom condominium apartment dipped by 1.2 per cent to $2,441 during the same period, while the average two-bedroom rent remained unchanged at $3,139.


Prices largely stayed flat


The quarter’s average condominium apartment selling price in the GTA was $693,754, one per cent less than it was in Q1 2023.

The City of Toronto accounted for nearly two-thirds of total condominium sales and saw an average selling price of $723,186, which was 0.5 per cent less than in Q1 2023.

Source: TRREB


“As first-time buying activity increases with lower borrowing costs later this year and into 2025, inventory will be absorbed and market conditions will tighten. Increased competition between condominium buyers will result in upward pressure on selling prices,” says TRREB’s chief market analyst, Jason Mercer.


Where are most of the region’s condominiums selling?


Wahi reports that four of the 10 best-selling condominium buildings in GTA neighbourhoods were located in the City of Toronto, and three were in Vaughan. Mississauga, Milton and Richmond Hill each had one building represented. 

“The best-selling Toronto condominiums show there’s still strong demand for condos depending on the location,” says Wahi CEO Benjy Katchen.


Top sales-to-units buildings


Notably, buildings with the highest sales-to-units ratios were often completed within the past decade.

Wahi reports that three buildings had sales-to-units ratios above nine per cent: Hawthorne South Village Condos, a 213-unit mid-rise building in Milton at 9.86 per cent, Bianca Condos, a nine-storey building in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood at 9.72 per cent and 9085 Jane Street within Park Avenue Place Towers at 9.47 per cent.


Why now’s a great time to buy a condominium


Pouyan Safapour, president of Toronto developer Devron, believes that now is the best time to buy in the condominium market. He says that although 2024 has seen a slowdown in pre-construction sales, influenced by record-high interest rates and an influx of completed units from the past three to four years, a market shift is imminent thanks to interest rates projected to decrease later in the year along with a historic population increase.

“This shift will likely result in increased sales and pricing across all projects, as lower interest rates and depleting inventory continue to drive up demand. I agree with economists like Benjamin Tal who are predicting a sharp increase in condo pricing in 2025. This presents a unique window of opportunity for buyers to make their move now, before the market undergoes this transformation.”


The call to developers


Safapour feels there’s an interesting and much needed shift in the market towards a “flight to quality and value,” with more discerning buyers who prioritize quality and value over speculative purchases. “Projects offering exceptional quality and location continue to hold value, while those lacking in these aspects face challenges,” he notes.

“As developers, it’s our responsibility to cater to the evolving needs of Torontonians by creating homes that are not only of superior quality but also meet the diverse requirements of end-users.” He says that as an industry, developers must collectively elevate standards to meet the maturing expectations of buyers.


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