MARKHAM – The final months of 2013 were strong ones for sales in the GTA’s high-rise real estate sector, as condo apartment sales in the year’s fourth quarter (Q4) increased by an incredible 21 per cent over the same period in 2012.
The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) reported in January that across their jurisdiction, Q4 2013 saw 4,586 condominium apartment sales at an average sale price of $353,665.
Interestingly enough, that average price for the quarter also represents a year-over-year increase – up 6.5 per cent from Q4 2012 (when it was sitting at $332,129).
“This time last year many were predicting that the condo apartment market would experience a downturn, both in terms of sales and selling prices,” TREB President Diane Usher said of the promising results. “While there was a temporary lull in sales and price growth in the first half of 2013, we saw an about face in the second half of the year, as buyers realized home ownership remained affordable.”
York Region Outpaces City of Toronto in Year-over-Year Condo Sales Growth
The last quarter of 2013’s condo market performance was remarkably strong in York Region, where a whopping 446 condominium sales in Q4 reflected a 25.6 per cent increase over the same period in 2012. That probably won’t come as a surprise to readers of GTA Real Estate News, who are already aware of York Region’s many recent condo projects such as Centro Square and the Varley Condominium Residences.
Back in the early summer of last year, York Region Newspaper Group’s Sean Pearce wrote an informative piece discussing some of the driving factors behind increased high-rise development in Richmond Hill. One of the biggest ones is a focus on developing major transit corridors and “live, work, play” neighbourhoods in major suburban centres like Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan.
“Increasingly, development in York is geared toward the establishment of complete communities that not only allow people to access the amenities they need, but also incorporate a variety of income levels,” writes Pearce.
“A key component of that new direction is the region’s centres and corridors strategy that endeavours to locate future urban intensification projects in specifically targeted areas.”
Supply Fuels Booming Rental Market
Rental-income investors were also in good shape last quarter, as an increase in supply helped parts of the GTA’s condo market to catch up with red-hot demand for rental units. While vacancies remained low, some parts of Greater Toronto – particularly the City of Toronto itself – saw a year-over-year increase in the number of condo apartments listed for rent.
“The fall vacancy rate for condominium apartments in the City of Toronto remained below two per cent despite an uptick in completions,” TREB explained in the report. “This suggests that demand for rental properties remains strong.”
While our ongoing Market Update series strives to provide an overview of changing GTA real estate trends, it’s important to remember that each listing is unique – and the best insights generally come from the comparative analysis performed by a licensed real estate sales representative or broker. We encourage you to contact a member of the Living Realty team if you’d like more specific information on the condo market, or shopping for a high-rise home.