CONDO MARKET REPORT
Residential sales for October confirmed that this will be the largest sales year ever. Sales on the Toronto Real Estate Board were up 15% from October a year ago - the 6th consecutive month that sales have outperformed the previous year. On a year-to-date basis, sales are ahead 13% over last year. On the other hand, condo apartment sales at 1100 units were up just 1% over October a year ago, while Downtown condo sales declined by 2%. These numbers mask and even more startling trend. Condo sales between $150,000 and $200,000 were up 26% from October a year ago and represented 32% of all condo sales. Conversely there were only 8 condo sales between $400,000 and $500,000 in October , representing less than 1% of sales! What this signifies is falling interest rates are having a significant impact on first-time buyers but are having little influence over existing owners who are planning a move.
In previous Commentaries, we talked about the huge impact that balconies and terraces were having in the market place. Units with outdoor spaces were selling faster and for more money. In some buildings, having a balcony added $50,000 to the purchase price. For those people who do not have outdoor spaces, the best time to sell their condo is over the winter!! The attraction to being outside is greatly diminished. No one wants to stand outside in freezing temperatures. Hence the price premium will be at its smallest.
This month we feature Mystic Point - 250 Manitoba Street in Etobicoke. This is a three year old loft building that caters to young people. We followed the pricing of a small one bedroom loft - less than 700 sq.ft. Originally offered by the developer on a pre-sale basis in the $140,000 range, it sold as a resale unit at the end of 1999 for $155,000. The same unit sold again in June of this year - 18 months later for $173,500. The unit has parking and a locker. At a price of almost $300 per foot it seems pricey but at today's interest rates 4.5% and 95 % financing, the mortgage is just over $900 per month!
Rental activity picked up in October. Rental markets are usually strongest in two phases of the business cycle - at the peak when businesses are frantically hiring, and in recessions when businesses are bringing in specialists under contract to downsize. Guess where we are? While activity is strong, rental rates have softened by $100 per month for smaller units and by $200+ at the higher end. Part of the reason is that lower interest rates make owning as cheap as renting in many instances. The premium for furnished units over unfurnished ones has narrowed considerably. But don't expect any basement bargains - good one bedrooms condos are still renting from $1500. For example we have a prime waterfront unit with stunning lake view at Harbour Terrace - 1350 sq.ft. for only $2150 - usually this would be rented in days.
RE/MAX Condos Plus is the major real estate broker in the Downtown market because we have been able to attract many of the best representatives. Joining us this month are two recognized leaders within the Condominium Network - Vera Kozel and Carolyn McEwan. Also coming on board is Lee Dias who specializes in condos, townhouses and other specialty properties in central Toronto and Nancy Gerrard who handles condos in Etobicoke and Midtown Toronto. Contact any of our excellent representatives to experience the RE/MAX Condos Plus difference - and get the 'Plus from Us'.
..... from all the Salespeople and Staff at RE/MAX Condos Plus. Have a wonderful time over the Holidays. We thank our many clients for choosing us to represent their real estate needs.
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