Record New Condo Sales Causes Inventory to Plummet
Rapid Price Growth Leading to Shorter Holding Periods
A total of 9,932 new condo apartments were sold across the Greater Toronto Area in Q1-2017, surging 73% year-over-year to set a new quarterly high. Activity shot up during the first few months of the year on account of record levels of demand and a doubling of new launches compared to last year. A total of 6,293 new units were launched for pre-sale in Q1, compared to 3,061 units a year ago. With demand continuing to far outpace new supply, the inventory of unsold condos in development plunged by 61% annually to 6,481 units — the lowest level of the past 15-year condo boom. With only 2.5 months of inventory on the market, new launches would need to substantially outweigh sales going forward to bring the market into a balanced state of 10 months.
The average price of newly launched condos in Q1-17 was $733 psf in the City of Toronto and $608 psf in the 905 Region, with the GTA average of $694 psf rising 5% over new launch prices in Q4-2016 ($659 psf). At the end of the quarter, remaining inventory was priced at $719 psf, up 20% annually.
A record 94% of units in development were pre-sold in Q1-17, rising from an 86% share in Q1-2016 and 84% in Q1-2015. A total of 80 projects became completely sold out during the quarter, more than three times the number of projects that sold out during the same period a year ago (25). Among projects with inventory remaining, the average number of unsold units was 25, with a median level of 10 available units per project. Both figures were cut in half over the past two years.
New condo apartments far surpassed resales in Q1, which increased 24% year-over-year to 6,203 units. Resale condo activity was restrained by a 7% annual decline in total listings to 8,360 units. The ratio of sales-to-listings reached a Q1 high of 74%, rising from 56% last year, while the average days on market fell to an all-time low of 15 days, less than half the average (31) in Q1-2016. The average selling price rose 24% annually to $510,000, while the per square foot average value increased by 28% to $598.
Following the recent strength in condo price appreciation, Urbanation noted an increase in resale activity within newly completed buildings as well as more units transacting twice within shorter timeframes. Within new projects completed and registered over the past two years, there were 1,059 sales in Q1, representing 17% of total resales during the period and growing by 69% over the 625 units resold in Q1-2016 within projects registered in the preceding two year period. Furthermore, 249 resale units in Q1-2017 were sold for the second time within the past 12 months, a 53% increase over the equivalent statistic for Q1-2016. The share of total Q1-2017 resales that were bought and resold within the past three months was 0.8% (0.6% in Q1-16), within six months was 2.1% (1.6%), within 12 months was 4.0% (3.3%), and within 24 months was 9.4% (7.2%).