Real Estate Cheat Sheet: new condo projects, first-time buyers and more market news

Real Estate Cheat Sheet: new condo projects, first-time buyers and more market news

(Image: Shane Fester from the Flickr pool)

Real estate commentators usually reach for sales figures and average prices to explain what’s happening in the market, but there are a ton of other figures that are equally illuminating. This week, we’ve seen stories about the number of new condo projects in Toronto, the amount a typical first-time buyer is planning to pay and more. We round up the notable numbers below.

• A lengthy Bloomberg story reports that Toronto has had only 13 new condo project announcements in 2013, the slowest pace since 2009. (To compare, developers had announced 29 new projects by this time last year.) Developers are wary, and for good reason: the supply of new high-rise condos is approaching an all-time high, there are already 61,000 units under construction and buyers are becoming cautious thanks to tighter mortgage rules.

• Real estate research firm BuzzBuzzHome released some stats culled from its database of new-build projects, revealing that the largest new suite currently for sale is an 11,370-square-foot monster at Aura at College Park and the smallest is a 270-square-foot unit at Peter Street Condos. The site also reported the average prices of new one-bedroom and two-bedroom condos ($377,048 versus $529,497) and calculated the median monthly maintenance fees ($394.45).

• The Bank of Montreal conducted a nationwide poll of first-time homebuyers and found that the average newbie is 29 years old and plans to pay $300,000. However, in Toronto, first-time buyers expect to pay $446,000.

• Commercial office space is still in high demand as companies move to the core to be near downtown’s young, educated workforce. Downtown vacancy rates dropped to just 4.2 per cent last quarter (the historic low is 3.99 per cent) and developers are moving forward with projects long before they’ve locked in the once-standard 60 per cent of their tenants, according to Colliers International.

• Toronto condo kings retreat to avert property hard landing [Bloomberg News]
BBH Data: The 7 most interesting facts about new construction condos in Toronto [BuzzBuzzHome]
Homebuyers expect to spend $300,000 on first property, poll shows [Canadian Press]
• Toronto office developers launch projects early in face of high demand [Toronto Star]