Monday, February 4, 2019

■Condo & Rental Market Report | Q4 2018

Condo Market Report

January 28, 2019 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,191 condominium apartment sales through TREB’s MLS® System in the fourth quarter of 2018. This result was down by 9.9 per cent compared to the last three months of 2017. New condominium apartment listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System were down by more than sales on a year-over-year basis – dropping 11.2 per cent from 8,186 in Q4 2017 to 7,272 in Q4 2018. This points to tighter market conditions at the end of 2018 compared to year-end 2017. “The condominium apartment segment was the best-performing segment in terms of annual average rates of price growth in 2018. Condos represent a relatively affordable housing option. With a substantial decrease in listings in 2018, competition between intending buyers remained strong. This supported average price growth well-above the rate of inflation and annual rates of price growth reported for other ground-oriented home types,” said Mr. Bhaura. The average price of a condominium apartment increased by 8.3 per cent from $516,086 in Q4 2017 to $558,728 in Q4 2018. Year-over-year price growth in the City of Toronto, which accounted for 72 per cent of transactions, was slightly higher at 8.9 per cent resulting in an average price of $598,664. “The condominium apartment segment continued to be a key entry point into the GTA home ownership market in 2018. Higher mortgage qualification standards meant that many first-time buyers were looking for more affordable housing options. Moving forward, the concern is that a continued lack of listings supply, despite relatively strong new condo completions as of late, will hamper the ability of potential home buyers to meet their housing needs,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Rental Market Report

January 28, 2019 - Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced that, based on rental listings and transactions reported by Greater Toronto REALTORS® through TREB’s MLS® System, rental market conditions remained very tight in the fourth quarter of 2018. Average rents for one-bedroom and two-bedroom condominium apartments were up substantially on a year-over-year basis. The average rent for one-bedroom condominium apartments in the TREB market area was up by 8.8 per cent annually to $2,143 in Q4 2018. The average two-bedroom condominium apartment rent was up by 5.5 percent over the same period to $2,774. “The Greater Toronto Area has seen significant growth in its economy throughout 2018. It has become a primary destination for companies in various industries who are attracting younger talent who have a desire to live in the region. This desirability has contributed to the continuation of historically-low vacancy rates, strong competition between renters for available units and, as a result, very strong growth in average rents,” said Mr. Bhaura. The number of condominium apartments listed at some point during the fourth quarter was up 16.6 per cent compared to Q4 2017, outstripping the seven per cent annual growth in rental transactions. While encouraging, a number of quarters within which listings growth outstrips rental transaction growth will be required to see more balance in the rental market. “It will be important to continue monitoring the supply of rental condominium apartments. While TREB certainly supports the recent rent control exemptions announced by the provincial government, this change does not benefit all investor-owners of condominium apartments, who have provided much of the new rental stock over the past decade. It is conceivable that rent controls could prompt some investors to consider selling their units and investing the proceeds in another asset class. This scenario could obviously compound an already problematic rental supply issue in the GTA,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

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