There have been many headlines recently about the Greater Toronto Area’s (GTA) housing market cooling, and we even have a post about how we’re due for a gentle correction. But, a recent opening proves that the demand for new low-rise homes is still strong!
Something to keep in mind is that many of these headlines about cooling refer to the resale market and just because sales (new or resale) may be slowing in one area of the GTA, another area could be really hot.
A perfect example is what we witnessed in Richmond Hill last weekend. Four builders, Arista Homes, DECO Homes, Fieldgate Homes, and OPUS Homes, opened their new community, Richlands, to appointment holders.
Last week when the builders deployed their online appointment scheduler, thousands of people attempted to access the system at the exact same time, causing a little down time. All the registrants received a notification that Richlands “broke the Internet,” which we thought was pretty clever.
Once the system was up and running, the appointments filled up in minutes. Interested in the hype, we drove out to Richlands on Saturday morning to check out the product, chat with the builders, and see how eager the appointment holders were.
When we arrived, a good hour before the first appointments, there was already a line-up outside the big white tent in front of the four sales offices. The process went smoothly. Inside the tent, each builder had a table set up, and as the buyers entered, they went to the builder they registered with. Then the builders let in a few people at a time.
ID was checked, passes or numbers were handed out, and people were buying homes. Within about 15 minutes of opening the doors, we saw people writing out their deals with the sales representatives.
The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) recently released its new home sales figures for May 2017, announcing that the Fair Housing Plan has done little to cool the new home market. In the same release, Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s Executive Vice President of Research Consulting Services, says “The combination of lower sales, some increase in inventory and slower price growth in May compared to April was the first hint we have had of some hesitation among potential buyers of single-family homes.”
The important thing to note is that there are currently only 1,400 new low-rise homes available across the GTA, and a decade ago there were more than 16,400. Demand is strong and the population is growing more than ever. On a month-to-month basis, there may have been a hint of hesitation, but there really isn’t any reason to panic.
We’re still waiting on some numbers to come in from the builders, but overall it looked like a pretty successful weekend! There were thousands of interested registrants in the database and in the couple hours we were there, we saw many people writing deals in all four sales offices.
We think the Richlands opening is just the beginning of a very busy summer for the new home market!