TORONTO – January 31, 2020: Urbanation Inc., the leading source of information and analysis on the GTA condominium market since 1981, released its year-end 2019 condominium market results today.
New condo apartment sales in the GTA grew by 27% in 2019 to a total of 25,097 units, the third highest level on record. Activity surged in the final months of the year as the 8,044 units sold in Q4-2019 was 38% higher than the same period a year ago, nearly matching the record high reached in Q4-2017 (8,755). A 75% share of the 23,953 units brought to the pre-sale market by developers in 2019 were sold (up from a 63% share of new launches in 2018), averaging a selling price of $967 psf (a 4.7% increase from 2018). Unsold inventory at year-end declined by 4.8% to 13,373 units, which remained below the 10-year average of 15,907. Against current demand levels, new condo inventory fell to 6.4 months of supply — substantially below what is considered to be a balanced level at 10 months. As a result, pricing for available units climbed to a record high $1,073 psf — a 9% annual increase that followed a 50% two-year increase between 2016 and 2018, effectively leading to a doubling of new condo prices over the past decade.
A total of 18,232 units were sold in projects that launched in 2019 — up 17% compared to new launches sold in 2018. While this provides a good indicator of growth in demand from investors, who tend to be most prevalent within newly launched projects, sales within pre-existing projects in development that launched prior to 2019 grew even stronger with a 70% jump to 6,865 units, providing evidence of a rebound in demand from end-user buyers as well.
By region, the strongest source of growth was in the 905, which comprised their largest share of GTA sales on record in 2019 at 42%, recording a 72% rise in activity last year. New launches in the 905 averaged a selling price of $795 psf, which was 28% below the 416 average of $1,108 Meantime, former City of Toronto new condo sales fell by 15% to their lowest level since 2013 and recorded their lowest share of GTA sales on record at 31%, providing a clear illustration of how the diminishing number of high-rise development sites are impacting prices in the core and the distribution of activity across the GTA.
By submarket, activity was heavily concentrated in the city centres of Vaughan and Mississauga, which combined for 4,172 sales in newly launched projects (23% share) in 2019, averaging nearly identical selling prices of $834 and $857 psf, respectively. Within the 416, the top submarkets were North Midtown (i.e. Yonge & Eglinton), Downsview, and Downtown East, which together sold 2,757 units in new launches that averaged selling prices between $931 and $1,230 psf.
The level of condo completions in 2020 is expected to be an important factor for the GTA market this year. After years of low completions and strong construction starts, the number of units under construction at year-end 2019 soared to a record 78,112 units — rising by more than 20,000 units over the past two years. The approximately 29,500 scheduled for completion this year will double the level completed in 2018 and will far surpass the previous high set in 2014 (21,000).