A report released by RealNet Canada Inc. (RealNet) and the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) found that, in 2014, ten years after the Ontario government introduced its Greenbelt legislation and began promoting urban intensification, condominium completions hit record highs. Market analysts agree this is no coincidence.
“The results of the GTA housing market in 2014 were ten years in the making,” says George Carrass, RealNet President. “Our analysis of the 2014 market and the story the numbers tell is frankly less about the year that just passed and more about a policy decision made by the provincial government a decade ago. The desire to curb sprawl and encourage intensification has led to the continued condominium boom in the 416, spiking home prices and a widening price gap between low rise and high rise housing product.”
According to the Strategic Review of the GTA’s 2014 new home market, high-rise sector statistics for the year revealed:
- A record-breaking total of 25,571 new condominium completions;
- The third highest year in condo sales of the last decade, with 21,991 transactions (representing $10-billion); and
- Demand outpaced supply, with an excess of 2,254 units sold in 2014.
Total new home sales, including condominiums, increased drastically on a year-over-year basis. At the end of 2014, sales of new homes reached 39,736, an increase of 41 per cent from 2013.
“A decade after the introduction of intensification policies, the extremity conditions in the market impacting the price and supply of low rise and high rise homes does not signal the beginning of the end, but rather the end of the beginning,” says Carras.