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Toronto's Condo Market Hits Dizzying New Heights

The GTA reached a record-high 27,217 new-condo sales in 2016, a 34% spike over 2015, according to Urbanation. And expect ceaseless demand to continue fuelling a high-velocity market this year.

Rodeo Drive, the latest condo phase at CF Shops at Don Mills

Rodeo Drive Condos (rendered above), the latest phase of residential development at CF Shops at Don Mills, was a top-seller in 2016. Urbanation found overall GTA condo sales for the year beat the previous record set in 2011, but on far fewer pre-construction project launches: 18,466 units in 2016 versus 28,204 in 2011. Strong demand and a 6% decline in new launches pushed unsold inventory down to a 10-year low of 9,932 units, or just over four months of supply. (A balanced market for new condos is generally regarded as a 10-month supply, according to Urbanation.)

Urbanation Inc SVP Shaun Hildebrand

Urbanation senior vice president Shaun Hildebrand, pictured at Waterworks, another big 2016 launch, said he expects broad-based demand in the new-condo market to carry forward in 2017. Buyers priced out of the low-rise segment, a surge in rental apartment demand and increased investor attention will put “heavy downward pressure on condo inventories.” This will support strong price growth, he said. Prices for sold units in active developments across the GTA grew at an average rate of 3% in Q4 (to $598/SF). Toronto itself recorded beefier gains, with selling prices for new product launches up 14% in 2016 from a year ago, to $746/SF.

Park Club, the latest phase at Elad Canada's Emerald City.

New-condo sales grew most in the 905 burbs, shooting up 82% to 8,703 units in 2016 — this was 32% of total GTA condo sales activity last year. Sales also increased a “robust” 57% in outer-416 areas of Etobicoke, Scarborough and North York, which had 7,397 units sell on higher launch activity, including The Park Club at Elad Canada’s Emerald City (above; we spotlighted the plans here). Toronto proper saw less impressive gains, with 11,116 units sold, owing to a 40% drop in launches. Demand-supply imbalance is most acute in the old city, Urbanation said, where unsold inventory plunged 57% to 3,403 units, barely a three-month supply.