Solid condominium performance bolstered by affordability in the first half of 2008, says RE/MAX

            Condo sales increase in 30 per cent of GTA districts,
           while 87 per cent post gains in average price over 2007

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, Sept. 3 /CNW/ - Showing remarkable resilience in a
complex real estate environment, sales of condominium apartments, town homes,
and lofts moved ahead of 2007 levels in 30 per cent (18/60) of districts
examined in the GTA this year, according to RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada.
    Condominiums proved to be as solid an investment as single-detached homes
in 2008, with property values of both rising virtually across the board in the
first half of the year. The average price of a condominium appreciated in
close to 87 per cent (52/60) of Toronto Real Estate Board districts examined
by RE/MAX - with 20 per cent (12/60) reporting double-digit increases from
January to June 2008, compared to one year ago. Willowdale, Lansing (C07)
topped the list of best performers, with a 14.66 per cent increase in values,
rising from $258,884 to $296,854. Thornhill (N02) placed second with a
13.3 per cent increase, bringing average price to $290,709. Both Willowdale
and Thornhill saw nominal increases in sales activity as well, rising 2.8 and
3.5 per cent respectively. The downtown core (C01), including King West,
secured third spot with an 11.35 per cent increase in average price, bringing
values in the area to $355,201 from $318,974 one year ago. Lawrence Park (C10)
saw an 11.3 per cent increase in values, rising from $350,916 to $390,589, and
a 5.7 per cent increase in unit sales, rising from 174 in first half of 2007
to 184 in 2008. Cabbagetown (C08) placed fifth with a 10.82 per cent increase
in average price, rising from $301,224 to $333,818.
    "Condominiums experienced upward momentum during the first six months of
the year, despite an overall lag in the marketplace," says Michael Polzler,
Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic
Canada. "Their entry-level price point - between $200,000 and $300,000 for a
small, one-bedroom unit downtown - clearly struck a cord with a broad range of
purchasers. And while singles, empty nesters, and retirees, remain driving
forces in the condominium market, a new demographic has emerged - young
families. This active segment of the market is fuelling demand for town home
developments throughout the central core."
    While sales of single-detached homes softened, 95 per cent (60 out of 63)
of communities examined experienced an increase in the average price in the
first half of 2008. Of the 63 districts reporting, 22 per cent (14) reported a
moderate double-digit increase in price. Three of the top five districts that
saw significant upward momentum were located outside of the central core,
while two were solid blue-chip neighbourhoods in the East and West Ends.
    Leading the charge was Mississauga's Lorne Park (W13) with a 13.63
percentage increase, bringing average price in the area to $679,914. Caledon
(W28) came in a close second, with a 13.62 per cent increase in
single-detached homes, with an average price of $500,812. Markham (N01)
claimed third spot, with a 13.5 per cent increase in average price ($616,025
vs. $542,713). The popular High Park, Bloor West Village (W02) area secured
fourth place, with average price hovering at $513,543, up 13.01 per cent from
one year earlier. Danforth/Riverdale (E01) rounded out the top five with a
12.83 per cent increase in average price ($460,805 vs. $408,404).
    Despite the higher price tag for single-detached properties, the bulk of
sales occurred at more affordable price points. For example, in Lorne Park and
the surrounding areas, the average price was $679,914, but the most popular
price point was $275,000 to $375,000 where 28 per cent of sales occurred. In
Caledon, 36 per cent of sales occurred between $350,000 and $450,000. In
Markham, where values average $616,025, close to 29 per cent of sales occurred
between $475,000 and $575,000. In High Park and Bloor West Village, 28.9 per
cent of sales were priced between $350,000 and $450,000. In the
Danforth/Riverdale neighbourhood, close to 32 per cent of sales occurred
between $375,000 and $475,000. The most popular housing type in most markets
was the two-storey, followed by the bungalow, with the exception of older,
more established areas like High Park, Bloor West Village and Danforth,
Riverdale where the second most popular housing type was the two-and-a-half
storey home.
    "Affordability has played a key role in market performance over the past
six months," says Polzler. "Price-sensitive purchasers clearly broadened their
search perimeters, looking to Toronto's bedroom communities for more
affordable detached housing, while condominiums have provided monetary relief,
especially in the central core. Demand for condo apartments, towns, and lofts
is expected to be solid for the remainder of the year as a result."

    RE/MAX is Canada's leading real estate organization with over 18,000
sales associates in more than 656 independently-owned and operated offices.
The RE/MAX franchise network is a global real estate system operating in over
65 countries. More than 7,000 independently-owned offices engage over 110,000
member sales associates who lead the industry in professional designations,
experience and production while providing real estate services in residential,
commercial, referral and asset management. For more information, visit:

    Note: All statistics sourced from RE/MAX and TREB Net
    Districts that recorded less than 100 sales year-to-date were discounted
    to prevent the reporting of statistical anomalies.

    Top Five Districts by Average Price Appreciation - January to June
    Detached Homes
                         2007      2008     %      2007        2008       %
    Neighbourhoods      Avg. $    Avg. $   +/-  Unit Sales  Unit Sales   +/-
    Lorne Park (W13)  $598,344  $679,914  13.63      362         299    17.4
    Caledon  (W28)    $440,754  $500,812  13.62      458         412   10.04
    Markham (N01)     $542,713  $616,025  13.50      250         205      18
    High Park,
     Bloor West
     Village (W02)    $454,405  $513,543  13.01      505         419   17.02
     Riverdale (E01)  $408,404  $460,805  12.83      583         488   16.29

    Top Five Districts by Average Price Appreciation - January to June
    Condominiums (Apartments & Town Homes)
                         2007      2008     %      2007        2008       %
    Neighbourhoods      Avg. $    Avg. $   +/-  Unit Sales  Unit Sales   +/-
     Lansing (C07)    $258,884  $296,854  14.66      426         438    2.81
    Thornhill (N02)   $256,572  $290,709  13.30      252         261    3.57
     (C01)            $318,974  $355,201  11.35    1,865       1,632   12.49
    Lawrence Park,
     Davisville (C10) $350,916  $390,589  11.30      174         184    5.74
    Cabbagetown (C08) $301,224  $333,818  10.82      703         598   14.93

    Source: RE/MAX, TREB NET
    (*) Based on districts reporting sales over 100 units year-to-date

For further information:

For further information: Christine Martysiewicz, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic
Canada, (905) 542-2400; Eva Blay, Point Blank Communications, (416) 781-3911

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