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The average price of new low-rise homes across the Greater Toronto Area hit never-before-seen heights last month while high-rise prices dipped, a leading Canadian housing analytics firm said Tuesday.

The average price for all new low-rise home types — semi-detached, townhomes, and detached homes — was $811,579, up 18 per cent year-over-year, according to RealNet’s September 2015 GTA New Home Market Results.

These prices have come a long way from where they were 10 years ago; on average, a new low-rise home ran someone $386,188 in September 2005, less than half of what these homes cost today.

The September increase comes after new low-rise units went down in price for the first time in 19 months just one month earlier.

“Demand for ground-related homes in the GTA is far outpacing supply, and a continuous decline in inventory is fueling the price growth,” said Bryan Tuckey, CEO at the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), in a statement accompanying the RealNet report.

The average high-rise unit price, on the other hand, was down 2 per cent year-over-year to $441,156 in September.

But while prices were down year-over-year, condo units are getting more compact and more expensive on a per square foot basis. Last month, the average condo suite was at its smallest on record at 767 square feet — compared to 925 square feet in September 2005 — while the average per square foot price for a new condo was a record breaking $575.

“By finding creative ways to maximize living space, developers have been able to reduce the size of suites to make them more affordable for new-home buyers,” said Tuckey in the statement.

Meanwhile, both new low-rise and new high-rise homes saw lower sales in September 2015 than they did at the same point the year before.

Some 1,102 new low-rise homes were sold in the GTA last month, a 29 per cent year-over-year decline, according to RealNet, as remaining inventory sat at 4,452. This inventory would sell out in three months based on current sales trends.

“Lack of supply in the low-rise housing market significantly reduces housing choice for new-home buyers, many of whom have been prices of of the low-rise market,” said Tuckey.

Throughout September, buyers snapped up 1,079 new high-rise units, marking a 54 per cent drop from the activity witnessed in that month a year ago. Unsold inventory for these units numbered 25,848 in September.

Last month, the most high-rise units were sold in Toronto, with sales numbering 658 units. A total of 14,476 new high-rise units were sold across the GTA in the first nine months of 2015.

York Region led all areas in new low-rise sales activity in September with 462 of these transactions. As of September 30th, 15,252 new low-rise homes had been sold in the GTA this year.

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