GTA new condo, home sales down

The price of condominiums in the Greater Toronto Area has risen yet again, despite a drop in sales, the association that represents new homebuilders reports.

The average price of a new condo rose year-to-year to $758,370 in May, the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) says. The average price of new single-family homes, meanwhile, was $1.14 million – down 6.4 per cent over the last 12 months.

Condos accounted for 2,003 of the 2,345 total new home sales in May, only one per cent below the 10-year average but down 47 per cent from May 2017, which saw a record high of 3,766 condos sold. Single-family home sales, with 342 units sold, were down 33 per cent from last May and down 78 per cent from the 10-year average.

The increase in condo sales and relatively few openings – only five projects representing 710 units opened in May – meant remaining inventory was down at 9,345 units. The remaining inventory for single-family homes increased slightly in May to 4,505 units.

New homebuyers looking for more affordable options are driving condo prices higher, BILD says. The continuing increase also reflects a dip in existing inventory and a jump in average unit size to 892 square feet from 814 square feet a year ago. In turn, that reflects demand for family-sized units and an increase in the average price per square foot to $850 from $743 last year, it explains.

As for new single-family homes, “it is doubtful prices will continue to moderate, considering embedded government fees, taxes and charges, and high land costs due to regulatory constraints,” warns David Wilkes, BILD President & CEO. BILD has launched its Build for Growth campaign that coincides with the October 22 municipal election.

“Housing will be a key election issue in the GTA,” Wilkes says. “Providing housing for the next generation is a challenge that needs to be solved in a partnership between residents, the building industry and municipal governments across the region.” BILD says its four-point plan shows how municipalities can:

• Take a leadership role in increasing the supply of housing and support sustainable, affordable growth;
• Ensure government fees, taxes and charges on new homes are fair and equitable;
• Fund and build critical infrastructure;
• Cut red tape and adopt a Standard of Service Excellence for building permits and inspections to speed up building and renovations.

BILD encourages GTA residents and municipal candidates to sign its Housing Pledge at www.BuildForGrowth.ca.

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