New-condo sales in Toronto projected to decline after record-high year

by Ephraim Vecina07 Feb 2018

Sales of new condominiums in Toronto will probably drop in 2018 from last year’s record high as developers face rising construction costs and slipping investor demand, according to Urbanation Inc.

A total of 35,074 new condos were sold across the Toronto region last year, 30% more than in 2016, a surge driven by investor purchases and openings of projects with 500-plus units, the research firm said in a report late last week. Asking prices for available condos rose 35% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, to an average of $876 per square foot.

Read more: Amazon’s HQ2 may inflate Toronto rents by this much

Interest in condos has soared while deals for other types of homes in the Toronto area are cooling following a series of regulations enacted to tame the market’s booming prices. Urbanation projected that new-condo sales will fall to a “more sustainable pace” of about 26,000 units this year.

Last year’s rush of project openings put the industry under “tremendous pressure to push the units through the development cycle,” Urbanation senior vice-president Shaun Hildebrand said in the report, as quoted by Bloomberg.

Developers will be more cautious in launching new projects as they grapple with approval delays and resource constraints that make it harder to finish existing ones, Urbanation said. Investors are likely to be less aggressive purchasers, given high prices, caps on rent growth, rising mortgage rates and harsher lending rules.

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