GTA highrise new home sales on pace for record year

Monthly reports on new home sales in the GTA usually focus on lowrise – specifically, the shortage of supply and skyrocketing prices. But the latest release from the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) highlights that highrise home sales are on pace for a record year.

As of Aug. 31, 17,949 new highrise homes had been sold in the GTA, a record for this point in the year. While August is typically a slower sales month, sales this year were unprecedented with 1,880 highrise units sold, according to Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new home market intelligence.

August was also a record setting month for lowrise homes, with the lowest available supply and the highest prices ever.

“Our industry is building to government intensification policy and we are building at least as many high-rise homes as low-rise homes,” says Bryan Tuckey, BILD president and CEO. “The supply of lowrise homes – especially single-family detached homes – has plummeted in the years since the Growth Plan was introduced, but demand for those types of homes has not diminished. As a result, prices have increased dramatically.”

The average price of a new lowrise home, which includes single-family detached as well as semi-detached homes and townhomes, was a record $931,506 in August. That is a 16-per-cent increase from a year ago, and up considerably from the $393,398 average of June 2006, when the Growth Plan was introduced.

As of Aug. 31, there were just 1,379 new lowrise homes available to purchase across the GTA in builders’ inventory, a new record low. This is less than a tenth of the 16,560 that were available for purchase on June 30, 2006.

Last month, the average price of new single-family detached homes in the GTA was $1.16 million. In June 2006, a new single-detached home was $442,420.

At the end of June 2006, there were 10,823 single-family detached homes available for purchase in the GTA. On Aug. 31, this year across the GTA, there were only 592 available for purchase in builder inventories.

“Demand and prices of highrise homes are also starting to climb as more people are priced out of the lowrise market,” says Tuckey.

The average price of new highrise homes in the GTA in August was a record $480,914. This is seven-per-cent increase from August 2015.

“For much of the last decade, condo prices remained stable because units were getting smaller,” Tuckey says. “The price per square foot for condos has been steadily increasing. In the last few months, we have been seeing marked increases in condo-prices because average unit size stopped decreasing.”

In August, the average size of new highrise units in the GTA was 808 sq. ft. and the average price per sq. ft. was $595. n June 2006, the average price per sq. ft. was $344 and the average unit was 913 sq. ft.

Highrise supply was also down in August, with 14,600 units available for purchase in builder inventories. The decline was mainly in homes in the pre-construction stage due to limited new projects introduced in August, typically a slow month for new launches.

While the majority of August’s highrise sales were in the City of Toronto, a significant amount came from the 905 regions, particularly Peel and York.

There were just 491 new lowrise homes sold in August, down 44 per cent from the previous year and marking a 10-year low. Meanwhile, lowrise homes in the first eight months of the year recorded 12,956 sales, down nine per cent from August 2015.

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