Historically, if you were in the market for a condo in the Toronto Region, you could expect to pay about half the price of the average detached home to secure your desired suite.
But today, the gap between the two home types has widened to its second-largest gap in recent history – begging the question, are condos in the GTA poised for strong price growth this year?
Although no one can predict the market, to help understand the historic market relationship between condos and detached price points Zoocasa has analyzed 10 years of market data and today’s unique market factors to help understand what could be in store for the condo market in 2022.
Detached Homes and Condo Gap the Second Highest It’s Been in Recent History
Comparing January figures from 2011 – 2021, the ratio between the average detached home price and condo apartment price in the Toronto Region was 1.99. This means, historically, a detached home would cost around double the price of a condo.
Today, this ratio has crept up to 2.33, the second-widest it’s been in the last 11 years. The last time the gap between the two home types was this high was in January of 2017, the same year new policies like the Federal Stress Test and Ontario’s Non-Resident Speculation Tax were announced to help cool the industry after the GTA market (in particular, detached homes) saw extremely strong price appreciation in 2016.
Following the 10-year average price ratio between detached homes and condo apartments; the current average price in the GTA for a condo apartment would be estimated at $875,034*, $100,000 more than they’re priced today.
With the gap between the two home types widening beyond the historical average, and upcoming market factors that could make lower-priced homes more popular, condo apartments in the GTA could see stronger price growth in 2022.
What Factors Could Cause Price Gains Amongst the Condo Segment?
Pandemic-era lifestyles have led to spacious, suburban homes gaining immense popularity amongst buyers, and have experienced corresponding price gains across the province. However, although condos experienced a slower period during the early months of the pandemic, prices promptly rebounded as lockdown measures lifted and vaccines rolled out.
Looking ahead into 2022, the historically large gap between condos and detached home price points isn’t the only factor that suggests we could see strong growth in the condo segment this year.
Economically, rising interest rates as a result of the Bank of Canada ending emergency-era monetary policy could result in more affordable condo homes surging in demand in comparison to their pricier counterparts. We saw this phenomenon play out in 2018 when interest rates rose last. During this time period, sales velocity in the Toronto Region was down across all product types, but price growth was highest amongst condo townhomes and apartments, which grew by 9% and 10% respectively that year. Comparatively, detached homes grew only 4% during that same period.
For this reason, Zoocasa has predicted in its 2022 Housing Market Predictions that condos will lead price growth this year. According to CEO Lauren Haw, “Taking cues from 2018, when interest rates rose last, we can predict that the most affordable price points in the market, like condos and townhomes, will lead growth in 2022 as a result of higher borrowing costs.”
Outside of economic factors, just as increased lockdown measures made city-living less desirable, the softening of pandemic restrictions and a return to both working and playing downtown may increase buyer demand for more connected, condo lifestyles in the city centre.
What Should Today’s Buyers Know About Buying a Condo?
For buyers considering purchasing a condo in the GTA, Zoocasa REALTOR Ross Aitken explains, “In the first month of 2022 alone, the average price for a condo in the Region grew $36,000. The market is moving quickly, in no small part due to buyers being optimistic and excited for a return to enjoy an urban lifestyle after nearly two years of recurring lockdowns.”
When asked about how the condo segment may react to some of the economic factors influencing the market this year he shares, “Usually, when we see detached price gains slow, condos will grow. Heading into the new year, major bodies like the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board are expecting price appreciation to moderate from the record pace we saw in 2021, and rising interest rates will only make the most affordable homes on the market more attractive. I’m anticipating that we’re going to see a big year for condos in the Region.”
January’s started the year off to a strong start, with buyers for all product types finding themselves in stiff competition to purchase a home. “What today’s buyer needs to know is that success really starts with due diligence. Properties are moving quickly in this market, if you’re serious you need to be able to compete. This means having your mortgage pre-approval completed and your lawyer ready to review the status certificate. Your agent will be able to walk you through getting your team in place beforehand so you’re ready when the right property comes to market. Preparation will pay off!”