Toronto’s new-home market showed signs of recovery in November with the outlook for the condo segment improving, according to the latest monthly report from the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).
“The condominium apartment market in the GTA is finishing off the year on a stronger note than it started,” says Patricia Arsenault, executive vice president for Altus Group, which provides data for BILD’s reports.
“Both builders and buyers have re-engaged in stronger numbers in recent months, signalling that the downturn that followed record activity last year may be coming to an end.”
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The benchmark asking price for a new condo in the Greater Toronto Area in November was $786,602, a year-over-year increase of 11.9 percent. Condo prices have remained elevated even though activity has softened.
Condo sales, which include units in low-, medium-, and high-rise buildings as well as stacked townhouses and lofts, totalled 2,454 last month, making up a vast majority of the 2,823 new homes that changed hands in November.
While condo sales were down 24 percent from the same time a year ago, BILD notes that level is “only” 6 percent shy of the 10-year average.
There was an increase in activity in the single-family corner of the market, as buyers snapped up 369 detached, linked, and semi-detached homes as well as townhouses. That’s an annual increase of 8 percent, although the tally was 71 percent off the average for the past decade.
The benchmark price of a new single-family home in November was $1,150,823, representing an annual decline of 5.9 percent.
Overall, BILD expects the new-housing market — despite showing “signs of recovery” — will continue to face headwinds until the provincial government tackles issues restricting supply and demand.
“The time for talk is done and our region needs action now to ensure we build the more than 50,000 new homes needed annually to support the GTA’s growing population,” says David Wilkes, BILD’s president and CEO.
However, Wilkes says the building industry finds the provincial government’s “commitment to unlocking supply” encouraging.
Earlier this month, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government tabled Bill 66, which if passed would let municipalities potentially approve the development of protected Greenbelt land by creating open-for-business bylaws.
The Greenbelt is made up of more than two million acres of protected land, including farm fields and environmentally sensitive land, surrounding the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
Critics of the bill, also known as the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, are concerned about potential environmental damage from development of the Greenbelt.