February was a record-breaking month for new condominium apartment sales in the GTA, while the number of new low-rise homes on sale reached new lows, says the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).
Across the GTA, there were only 1,001 new low-rise homes, including single-detached and semi-detached houses and townhomes, available for sale at the end of February, according to Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new-home market intelligence. Ten years ago, however, there were 17,304 low-rise homes available.
“February data demonstrates, quite clearly, that our housing supply crisis in the GTA is getting worse,” says Bryan Tuckey, BILD’s president and CEO, in a press release. “Our members are building to current provincial intensification policy and we are building less low-rise single-family housing and more high and mid-rise housing but consumer demand for low-rise homes has not dropped.”
“Today in the GTA we have a scarcity of single-family ground-related housing that is not just unprecedented – it is almost inconceivable,” continues Tuckey. “As a result, we are seeing record-breaking condo sales and continued price growth.”
By February’s close, there were only 324 new detached homes available for purchase in builder inventories. Ten years ago, there were 12,064 new homes available for purchase.
February saw available new detached homes reach a record-high average price of $1,469,449, while the average price for all single-family ground-related product, including semi-detached and townhomes, reached a new high of $1,081,013.
Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s executive vice president of research consulting services, says the low inventory of available single-family homes is a key factor driving price increases and it is limiting choice for consumers.
“If I were shopping for a single-family home 10 years ago, I would have been able to choose from among 500 different sites and nearly 18,000 units,” she says. “Today, there are less than 100 projects with any available units to purchase, totalling only about 1,000 units. And I would have to act very quickly to get one of those.”
In the GTA in February, there were more than twice as many new condominium units sold than low-rise homes. Altus Group recorded 3,542 sales of condo apartments in stacked townhouses and mid- and high-rise buildings, while there were only 1,541 sales of new detached and semi houses and low-rise townhomes.
Condo apartment sales in February climbed 79 per cent over the same period last year and more than double the 10-year average. Condo sales in February were driven by continued strong sales in Toronto, where there were 1,661 units sold, as well as a significant increase in sales in the 905 region, including 1,299 sales in York Region.
Average prices for available new condo apartments in the GTA also set records in February. The average price of new condo apartments in stacked townhomes and mid- and high-rise buildings was $532,086, up from January’s $507,511. The average price per square foot reached a record $652, and the average unit size fell to 802 square feet.
Condo apartment inventory levels continued to fall in February, reaching a new low of 10,342 units.
“While the February results point to a trend decades in the making, the severity of the monthly figures is jarring,” says Tuckey. “As the current data demonstrates, legislative guidelines and planning policies have real impacts on real people. With significant declines in builder inventory and record prices (for both low and high-rise homes), the GTA housing market is in crisis and it is time for governments to work with us to address the problems.