Thursday, August 2, 2012


Reversal of strong markets from Q1-2012, when new was hot and resale not.

TORONTO – August 2, 2012:  Urbanation Inc., the leading source of information and analysis on the Toronto condominium market since 1981, today released its Q2-2012 market overview.

In the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) there were 5,050 condominium apartment resale transactions in Q2-2012, an increase of 30% over the first quarter, and 9% over Q2-2011. The average unit sold for $407 psf, an increase of 4% annually from $391 psf from the second quarter of last year.

“Following three quarters of flat pricing and declining sales-to-listings ratios, we expected that the additional supply registering had finally depressed the market,” says Ben Myers, Urbanation Executive Vice President and Editor. “We were very surprised by the resale results in the second quarter. A healthy appetite for condominiums from end-users still exists”.

The average resale unit traded in Q2-2012 in the Toronto CMA was 910 sf for $370,000, while the former City of Toronto averaged 832 sf for $448,000.

By comparison, the average unit in the Toronto CMA new condominium market was 751 sf in Q2-2012, at an average price of $395,000. The spread between the average new and resale condominium in the second quarter was 159 sf; by comparison, the gap was less than 70 sf four years ago.

“Developers have been shrinking unit sizes in recent years to keep end-selling prices affordable for end-users and produce easily rentable suites for investors,” adds Myers, “however, there finally appears to be some resistance to these smaller suites, which is being reflected in softening new sale activity and a lower sales price (as a percent of list) in the resale market for smaller product”.

The 4,769 new condominium sales in Q2-2012 were down 21% from the first quarter record high of 6,070 in Q1-2012. However, the 10,839 sales in the first six months of 2012 were the second highest year on total for the CMA.

CMA sold index pricing is up 7.2% year-over-year to $525 psf in Q2-2012, the lowest annual growth rate since Q1-2010. A further sign that price inflation is finally cooling, is that the average unsold unit was being offered at $566 psf at the end of the second quarter, unchanged from Q1-2012. Unsold pricing actually decreased quarterly in the former City of Toronto to $656 psf, but increased slightly in the Downtown Core to $758 psf.

The Toronto CMA condominium market continues to set records with 343 active projects, and 87,386 units, of which a market-high 52,695 units are under construction (196 projects). “Despite talk of tightening credit to condominium developers, 7,343 units started construction in Q2-2012, the highest level in over a year” Myers notes.

Although 88% of the units under construction are sold and 79% of the active market overall, unsold supply set a new market high at 18,123 in the second quarter. “We expect fewer launches in the second half of 2012 than the latter half of last year,” adds Myers, “as developers would like to see some of the unsold supply absorbed before bringing their projects to market”.

New projects will also face competition from newly completed projects, as 13,000 condominium units are scheduled to complete in the second half of 2012, and up to 28,000 units in 2013.

Despite the shifting market results, Urbanation has not adjusted their forecast of 20,000 new condominium sales and 17,500 resales for year-end 2012.

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Urbanation is Canada’s leading condominium market research company. Since 1981, Urbanation has analyzed the Toronto condominium market, publishing the “industry bible” – Urbanation’s Condominium Market Survey. This quarterly report tracks new, resale and future condominium projects. The newest report from Urbanation is UrbanRental, which tracks activity in the condominium rental market. Urbanation also provides the development community with essential consulting services, which include site and topic specific market studies and surveys.


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