GTA new home sales strong year-to-date, high-rise dominates

by Steve Randall26 Sep 2017
August may have been quiet but 2017 so far has been a strong year for new home sales in the GTA, especially for the high-rise sector.

A report from the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) shows that 31,749 homes have been sold in the 8 months to the end of August, 28% above the 10-year average for the period and above sales for the same period of 2016.

Data from the Altus Group reveals that August sales were down 69% year-over-year to just 795 new homes with multifamily units and condos in high rise buildings dominating with 681 sales. Just 114 were low-rise single-family homes.

"The longer-term decline in single-family's share of new home sales has now kicked into hyperdrive –  dropping from about one-half in 2015, to one-third last year, to less than one-sixth in recent months," said Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group's Executive Vice President of Research Consulting Services. "While underlying demand suggests the pendulum should start to swing back a bit towards the single-family side, in reality it will be stopped in its tracks unless there is a significant increase in new single-family product making it to the market."

Supply issues continue to restrict sales of new homes in the GTA, although there was a slight improvement with 6,608 multi-family homes and 1,880 single-family low-rise homes available in builders’ inventories at the end of August.

There was also a slight decrease in prices although average prices in both high and low-rise sectors remain more than a third higher than a year ago.

The average price for available new single-family low-rise homes was $1,289,298, down from July's $1,316,693 and the average price of available multi-family homes in the GTA in August was $644,327, down from July's average of $665,041.

BILD president and CEO Bryan Tuckey is expecting an improvement in sales for September.

“Late summer is a quiet time for real estate, and most builders wait until September to launch developments and bring new product to market," said Tuckey. "We are expecting fall to be very busy, and 2017 could still be a record year of new home sales driven by the incredibly strong condo market."

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