It was a year of highs and lows for the new-construction segment of the Greater Toronto Area housing market in 2016, real estate consultants the Altus Group suggest.
Highs include new-condo sales — these soared to a never-before-seen annual total of 29,186 units — and average new-condo list prices, which hit an all-time high of $507,128.
A low is the number of new homes on the market, with just 13,670 up for sale at the year’s end, down from 30,400 a decade before, according to the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), which releases Altus Group data.
“We have a shortage of housing supply in the GTA that is approaching crisis levels,” said Bryan Tuckey, president and CEO of BILD, in a statement.
“Housing is selling as quickly as the industry can bring it to market,” the industry spokesperson added, bringing up residents opposing development, “out-of-date zoning” and excessive red tape as development hurdles.
As a result, despite elevated condo sales, 2016 was not a banner year for the total number of homes builders sold. Last year, buyers snapped up 47,161 new homes, short of the 53,660 that builders offloaded in 2002, a the standing record.
BILD said limited supply led to higher home price, as the average listing for a new low-rise home, including detached and semi-detached homes as well as townhouses, was $995,116 in December.
Buyers had to pay a premium for detached homes due to their relative scarcity. There were only 742 standalone homes available across the GTA at the end of December, compared to 11,602 in December 2006. Last month, detached homes were listed at an average of $1,264,604, according to Altus Group figures.
“The fact that new product is being quickly absorbed, despite rising prices, shows there is continued buyer interest in purchasing new ground-oriented homes in the GTA,” stated Patricia Arsenault, an Altus Group spokesperson.
Underscoring the extent of price gains in the new-construction segment, detached home prices climbed by more than $273,000 in a year, BILD noted.