New Seaton by TowerHill Homes, part of the New Seaton Builder Group community in the GTA.
It’s a problem that Greater Toronto Area homebuilders would not have needed to reckon with a couple of years ago.
But it may be one of the best examples of just how desperate homebuyers in the low-rise are becoming to snap up the limited opportunities offered on the market.
Last week New Seaton Builder Group sent out an email to registrants warning them against lining up at the New Seaton sales office ahead of the official opening, for which there is no date set and could still be months away, according to the email.
“It has come to our attention that some have formed a line and we can assure you that there is no opening in the next month and kindly ask that you do not park on Sideline 26 or Taunton Road as it creates a safety hazard for passing motorists and our surrounding neighbours,” reads the email blast distributed by the builder, a portion of which can be viewed below.
Seaton is a planned community located north of Pickering in the GTA. Brookfield Residential, TowerHill Homes and Aspen Ridge Homes make up the builder group behind New Seaton, a community of single-family homes and townhomes.
While lines forming ahead of a release of new low-rise homes in the region is nothing new, it’s uncommon to see a builder explicitly ask registrants not to line up months in advance in order to gain an edge over other shoppers when the homes hit the market.
The email blast from the New Seaton Builder Group comes as the head of the GTA’s homebuilding industry group has called the scarcity of new single-family homes in the region “almost inconceivable.”
Low-rise inventory in the GTA fell to 1,001 homes at the end of February, with only 324 single-detached homes available to buyers at that time, according to recent data. The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) President Bryan Tuckey says provincial policies that guide residential development are to blame for the shortage.
“As the current data demonstrates, legislative guidelines and planning policies have real impacts on real people,” says Tuckey. “With significant declines in builder inventory and record prices (for both low and high-rise homes), the GTA housing market is in crisis and it is time for governments to work with us to address the problems.”
Whether builders asking prospective buyers not to line up months in advance is the new norm for the market has yet to be seen.