Talk about high-rise returns.
Despite what has been a truly tumultuous year for real estate in the Greater Toronto Area, condos have officially had a moment. As market sales and prices plunged, following the implementation of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan in April, high-rise owners were sitting pretty. In fact, they benefitted from the strongest price growth of all home types.
Condos drove the 2017 housing market
According to year-end numbers from the Toronto Real Estate Board, over the calendar year, condo prices in the GTA rose a robust 23 per cent to an average price of $512,478 — nearly double that of detached homes, which increased 12.8 per cent to $1,098,951.
Therein lies the issue: With the average house price still topping $1 million, home buyers are increasingly seeking cheaper options. Prices for middle-market home types, such as Toronto townhouses and semi-detached homes, rose 16.5 and 16.2 per cent to $643,330 and $782,756, respectively.
“It is interesting to note that home price growth in the second half of 2017 differed substantially, depending on market segment,” says Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis.
“The detached market segment — the most expensive on average — experienced the slowest pace of growth, as many buyers looked to less expensive options. Conversely, the condominium apartment segment experienced double-digit growth, as condos accounted for a growing share of transactions.”
While the entirety of the market slowed overall in the last three quarters of the year, condos were least impacted, with sales softening 9.6 per cent. Detached home activity suffered from a decrease of 23 per cent, semi-detached 20.5 per cent, and townhomes slowed six per cent.
What’s more, the new mortgage stress-test rules will reduce home buying budgets by as much as 20 per cent. So, the flock to the most affordable housing won’t end anytime soon.
Which Toronto condos saw the greatest price growth?
But not all condo inventory is created — or coveted — equally. So, which Toronto-area unit owners saw the greatest returns? According to a past sales analysis by Zoocasa, condos south of Queen Street West enjoyed the greatest bang for their buck: nine out of 10 of those buildings, saw price-per-square-foot values surge more than 30 per cent.
Translation: If you purchased one of those units in 2016 for $400,000, you’re about $120,000 richer in equity today.
Check out the infographic below to see which Toronto condos increased most in value in 2017.