Size matters for the high-rise condo market - Metro US

Size matters for the high-rise condo market

As the leaves continue falling, the condo market in the Greater Toronto Area continues to rise high. Last week I noted that the RealNet Canada Inc. sales statistics for the GTA housing market showed the month of September ending on a decidedly upbeat note pointing to a very healthy final quarter of 2010 in the high-rise market.

As RealNet President George Carras noted in an unique webinar announcing the third quarter results, “Although at 3,767 units, the quarterly sales performance of high-rise new homes was an average result for Q3 over the last 11 years, monthly results for September and the year to date results offers a different perspective. September sales of 1,658 units were the third highest September performance while year to date sales of 13,994 units were the second strongest year on record for the high-rise market.”

That’s what I mean by rising high.

Delving a little more deeply into the stats, Carras revealed an interesting trend within a trend, showing that as low density new homes near record low inventory levels, there has been a surge in the supply of new condo projects introducing smaller-sized, lower-priced units to the market.

The right-sizing going on in the condo market has created a unique illusion whereby condo buyers are actually seeing average price per square foot increasing slightly, to $493 per square foot, while at the same time the average unit size is decreasing (to 834 square feet currently).

For the record, the current high-rise price index sits at $410,730, up 3.2 per cent from in September, 2009, but down 3.4 per cent from August of this year, based on the right-sizing trend by high-rise builders.

Stephen Dupuis is President and CEO Building Industry & Land Development Association.

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