toronto condos

Toronto developers are getting desperate as no one is buying condos anymore

Condo sales numbers in and around Toronto have taken a drastic tumble so far this year, and now that the market is starting to lean towards buyers who can choose from thousands more homes available, sellers are growing uneasy, even desperate — especially developers.

Some companies have gone as far as indefinitely deferring entire complexes that were already underway, while a few in-progress communities are going into receivership, with those behind them unable to attract enough buyers to fund their completion.

In this landscape of still-high interest rates and market inactivity, many individual owners are having to sell for less than their asking price, or even at a loss. And, local project leads are trying all sorts of tricks to lure people to buy pre-construction condos.

One firm, Camrost Felcorp, launched a "Mortgage Madness" campaign in March through which it offered to cover an entire two years of mortgage bills for anyone who bought a unit (under $1 million) in three of its forthcoming buildings in the GTA.

Others, like Verge Condos, are reducing the minimum down payment amount, while still others are advertising free (or cheap) parking, rental guarantees, or other incentives — some of which you have to sign up for more information to find out.

It is reminiscent of the rental discounts and perks that landlords were extending during the pandemic when so many people vacated the city, and demand and prices plummeted.

What many residents are finding confusing about these numbers and trends is the fact that the entire country, Toronto especially, is in a housing crisis — but the fact is that prices are simply not falling into a realm of affordability that would enable more people to actually purchase homes here.

During the first quarter of this year, only 50 per cent of units in pre-construction in the GTA were pre-sold — 11 per cent less than the same time last year, and well below the threshold of 70 per cent that stakeholders require to finance construction.

Also, 52 per cent fewer condo projects across the region broke ground in recent months compared to the first few months of 2023. In April specifically, the GTA market saw a 74.4 per cent year-over-year jump in the number of active home listings, and hit a record for the number of units on the market in proportion to dwindling sales.

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