Toronto's New Condo Sales Rebound!

August 6, 2009


Q2/09 halts two quarters of negative growth in Toronto Census
Metropolitan Area (CMA) new condominium apartment market

Urbanation, Inc., since 1981 the leading source of
information and analysis on the Toronto condominium market, today released highlights of its
Q2/09 market overview.

Said Ben Myers, Urbanation’s recently-appointed Editor and Executive Vice President, “In line
with the Governor of the Bank of Canada’s prediction that the Canadian recession is expected to
end some time this year, it appears the recessionary conditions in the CMA condominium market
came to an abrupt end in Q2/09.”.

Sales in the new unit market outperformed even the most bullish predictions, with 2,963 new
condominium units sold in Q2/09, a 223 per cent increase over Q1/09’s dismal 917 new units

“Some credit is due to developers’ and brokers’ quick reaction to the recession, reflected in the
redesign, re-pricing and re-launching of projects with smaller suites, fewer amenities and lower
prices. This resulted in strongly positive purchaser reaction and bodes well for consumer
confidence in the CMA for the remainder of 2009 and into 2010,” added Myers.

In Q2/09, there were 2,963 new condominium sales, down 40 per cent from pre-recession
Q2/08’s 4,962 sales. Only two new projects (with 396 units) started construction in the second
quarter and the City of Toronto workers’ strike imposed further delays. On the plus side, only
three projects were pulled from the market, signaling that most developers remain optimistic and

An extremely positive note was struck by the relaxing of the forthcoming Harmonized Sales Tax
(HST) on new homes, including condominiums. The HST will now only be applied to any
portion of purchase price above $400,000. This eliminates a potential “wall of tax” which would
have been imposed at the $400k threshold.

Developers in 2009 creatively revised their suite mixes and pricing “on the fly” bolstering appeal
to investors and first time buyers, as opposed to empty nesters and family buyers, with great
success. The level of unsold unit supply at the end of Q2/09 fell to its lowest level since Q1/08,
to 14,854 units, 9 per cent lower in comparison to Q1/09. Over 15 per cent of the existing
inventory from Q1/09 sold in Q2/09, a much higher absorption rate than the previous three

Said Myers, “The performance of the CMA condominium resale market was most impressive in
Q2/09, posting 4,893 sales across the 1,059 resale buildings tracked by Urbanation – a new
quarterly record high, topping Q2/07’s 4,615 sales. The uncertainty in the new-construction
market may have driven buyers to the more predictable resale market, which will likely
outperform the new market this year, due to its ability to adjust prices in a changing market.”

Tagged with: toronto real estate new condominium sales urbanation
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