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canarob
2011-Sep-22, 19:18
I know it's only one month and a bit of a blip, but I think this happened sooner than most of us expected. While the year over year numbers will show the 416 to be in the lead for the foreseeable future, it's still interesting to see so much demand for highrise in the 905.

Sales of condos in 905 outstrips Toronto sales for first time

By Susan Pigg | Thu Sep 22 2011

Itís a given in the building industry that you donít put new condos up for sale in August because everyone is in vacation mode.

But Peter Cortellucci, vice president of Corel Group, was so excited about his companyís new condo project ó the 37-storey, first phase of the massive new Vaughan Metropolitan Centre development ó he pushed ahead early.

Thousands of would-be buyers packed the Corel Groupís two full-scale model units at Highway 7 and Jane St. By the end of August, almost 70 per cent of the 337 units were snapped up.

The Expo Condos ó the first of five highrises towers within easy reach of the subway extension to York University ó helped new condos sales hit record levels in the 905 region in August, outstripping condo sales in the 416 for the first time.

Expo, along with other new projects that opened for sale in Oakville and Markham in August, saw condo sales jump 105 per cent from the same period a year ago, according to figures released Thursday by the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD.)

New home sales were up 48 per cent in the 905 region over August, 2010, according to market research by RealNet Inc.

A total of 2,011 new condos were sold across the GTA in August, 1,185 of them in the 905 region compared to 826 in Toronto.

The figures apply only to new condo sales, not resales.

ďYouíre seeing more developers move into the 905 because itís getting mighty crowded in the 416, so theyíre just expanding the envelope a bit,Ē said Stephen Dupuis, president of BILD.

Condo sales were up more than 1,000 per cent in Oakville and 664 per cent in York region thanks to a few big projects that sold out quickly in August, said Dupuis.

New condo sales were up just 10.1 per cent in Toronto after a very strong year, he noted.

The average price per square foot of a condo in the GTA is $532, up 8.6 per cent from last August. The average condo in downtown Toronto is now over $600 per square foot, compared to about $400 a square foot in the 905 regions, he said.

The 905 numbers are an unexpected anomaly, said Ben Myers of the industry research company Urbanation, given that 75 per cent of all new condo sales typically take place in the downtown and just 25 per cent in the 905 regions.

The new projects are largely the result of the provincial push for the regions to intensify development, low interest rates and the creation of new infrastructure, such as the Spadina subway extension to York University, slated to open in 2015, said Dupuis.

As those new 905 units, many of them substantially bigger and less expensive than downtown Toronto condos, are going up for sale, itís giving young and first-time buyers the option to both work and live in the 905 regions, rather than commute from downtown condos, said Myers.

But the dominance of the 905 is unlike to last, he said.

Dupuis agreed, adding that while he expects sales in the 905 regions to remain strong through September, more Toronto projects are likely to come on the market this fall which could return the city to condo sales dominance again.

http://www.moneyville.ca/article/1057940--sales-of-condos-in-905-outstrips-toronto-sales-for-first-time