In Q4-2009, moderately priced new projects, and limited resale supply drove record shattering demand for new and resale condominiums across the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA)
TORONTO, January 29, 2010…Urbanation, Inc., the leading source of information and analysis on the Toronto condominium apartment market, today released its Q4-2009 market overview.
New Q4-2009 condominium sales in the CMA numbered 6,295, a 36 per cent increase over Q3-2009’s 4,617 new unit sales, completing the rebound from the meager 917 new units sold across the CMA in Q1-2009.
The 14,792 new condominium sales in 2009, improved on 2008’s total of 14,469 by 2 per cent. The Q4 sales total pushed sales over 144,000 for the decade, a 278 per cent increase over the 38,000 new condominium sales in the 1990s.
“The Q4-2009 sales were a record for the fourth quarter in the CMA, and the third highest quarterly total on record. These results were truly unexpected, quite a turnaround from the poor first half of 2009, and quite a cap to a booming decade of condominium activity,” said Urbanation Editor and Executive Vice-President, Ben Myers.
“Much of the credit goes to the savvy developers that launched new projects with relatively moderate pricing, keeping suites affordable for first-time buyers. These purchasers see condominium living not only as a lifestyle choice but as an investment, Toronto CMA pricing has risen 88 per cent over the past decade, from $232 per square foot in Q1-2000 to $435 per square foot in Q4-2009,” he added.
Of some concern for the future is the considerable increase in added statutory costs introduced or planned by the City of Toronto, in the form of land transfer taxes, green roof legislation, minimum three bedroom unit requirements, and mandated ‘free’ TTC passes. This is in addition to the provincial/federal implementation of the HST, tighter construction lending practices, possible increases in required down payments, and shortened loan amortization periods, all of which could combine to reduce real and perceived affordability.
Said Myers, “Too many of these ‘hidden’ costs, if taken together, could derail the new condominium market, which is finally back on track following the global financial crisis. Politicians and regulators need to keep in mind that the upsurge in the condominium market has been a key driver for economic growth in the Toronto CMA.”
The top developer in 2009 was Tridel with over 1,300 sales, followed closely by Plazacorp. The top selling site was Lanterra Developments/Cadillac Fairview’s Ice Condominiums – Phase 2 with over 400 units sold in 2009.
Most impressive, the CMA condominium resale market in Q4-2009 posted 4,215 resale units traded across the 1090 resale buildings tracked by Urbanation, the highest fourth quarter resale total on record. This compares to 2,225 resale units in Q1-2009 and 2,081 resale units in Q4-2008. A total of 16,147 condominium units were sold in 2009, 3 per cent more than the previous record high of 15,652 in 2007, and 27 per cent higher than the 12,718 resales in 2008.
Just over 116,000 condominiums were resold over the past decade, compared to 42,000 in the 1990’s. Pricing is the resale market rose 103 per cent during the past ten years, from $173 per square foot to $352 per square foot in Q4-2009. The average price of a resale condominium in the Toronto CMA in Q4-2009 was $324,000.
Based on Urbanation’s analysis of condominium projects under construction, “we look for as many as 19,000 units to occupy in 2010, which should kick-start resale activity in the new decade, and ease some of the supply constraints which have led to record high prices in the resale market,” Myers said.

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