The Building Industry and Land Development Association released its monthly new home sales figures for February 2019, reporting a significant spike in new single-family home sales in the Greater Toronto Area.
According to Altus Group, BILD’s trusted source for new home market intelligence, there were 3,112 new home sales in the GTA in the first two months of the year, with more than a third being new single-family homes.
In February 2019, there were 639 new single-family home sales, which is a staggering 147% year-over-year increase. Clearly, some buyers are coming in off the sidelines more than a year after the mortgage stress test was implemented. For single-family homes, this is the greatest monthly sales amount since April 2017. While single-family sales are high compared to a year ago, the total for the month is still 50% below the 10-year average.
“We are hopeful that the measures introduced last week in the federal budget will enable more first-time home buyers to enter the market and purchase the type of home they want,” says President & CEO David Wilkes. “However, these measures are only the first step and BILD will continue to advocate for a review of the mortgage stress test so more first-time home buyers can realize the dream of homeownership.”
The new condo market didn’t see the same spike in sales, dropping 58% year-over-year with 772 units sold. This is also 51% below the 10-year average.
“Softer new condominium apartment sales in February can, at least in part, be attributed to the rapid increase in prices in the past two years, which has priced many would-be buyers out of the market,” says Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s Executive Vice President, Data Solutions. “The good news is that, although still relatively low in historical terms, there is now more inventory available to purchase and this is curbing the upward pressure on prices.”
With regards to inventory, it seems like the GTA is hovering around healthy levels. As of the end of February 2019, there were 11,269 new condo units and 5,233 new single-family homes available across the GTA. That said, “BILD is continuing to call on the provincial government and municipal governments to take the steps necessary to facilitate additional housing supply to meet the growing need across the GTA,” says Wilkes.
The average price of a new single-family home in the GTA dropped 8% compared to the same month a year ago, coming in at $1,122,682. As expected, the average price of a new condo continued to climb, increasing 8.6% to $792,709.