New home sales end year on sour note



    TORONTO, Jan. 26 /CNW/ - New home sales in the Greater Toronto Area ended
the year on a decidedly sour note, Leith Moore, Chair of the Building Industry
& Land Development Association (BILD), said today in releasing the final
statistics, compiled by RealNet Canada Inc., for 2008.
    Total new home sales for 2008 came in at 27,947 units, split 55 per cent
high-rise (condo suites and lofts), 45 per cent low-rise (single- and
semi-detached, town-homes).
    "The good news is that we recorded nearly 28,000 new homes sales in 2008.
That's a solid base of pending housing starts which should keep trades and
suppliers relatively busy in 2009," said Moore.
    "The bad news is that sales were down 38 per cent (16,750 units) last
year compared with 2007. Worse yet, fourth quarter sales were down 58 per cent
while December sales came in at a paltry 451 units, down 77 per cent from
December, 2007. This trend-line does not bode well for housing jobs and
related spin-off benefits," Moore stated.
    Moore noted that while homebuyers understand that home-buying is a safe
long-term investment and that factor's such as interest rates and prices are
solidly in their favour, they are being held back by uncertainty with respect
to the overall economy.
    "The pending federal budget is key to instilling confidence in the minds
of skittish homebuyers," said Moore, adding that while fiscal stimulus is
needed, government at all levels must also look at cutting the cost of doing
business and reducing red tape.
    "Now is not the time to be increasing costs such as development charges
or any of the myriad taxes, fees and levies paid by the industry," Moore
asserted, citing the recent provincial musings about harmonizing the GST and
PST as an example.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    December   Low Rise             High Rise               Total
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            %                     %                     %
    Region   2007   2008  Change   2007   2008  Change   2007   2008  Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Durham    175     46  -73.7%     30      0  -100.0%   205     46  -77.6%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Halton    173     67  -61.3%     11      6  -45.5%    184     73  -60.3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Peel      204     85  -58.3%     55     17  -69.1%    259    102  -60.6%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Toronto    61     14  -77.0%    849    155  -81.7%    910    169  -81.4%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    York      344     41  -88.1%     79     20  -74.7%    423     61  -85.6%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    GTA       957    253  -73.6%  1,024    198  -80.7%  1,981    451  -77.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jan to
     Dec   21,847 12,708  -41.8% 23,210 15,239  -34.3% 44,697 27,947  -37.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Source: RealNet Canada Inc.
    

    With more than 1,400 member companies, BILD, formed through the merger of
the Greater Toronto Home Builders' Association and Urban Development
Institute/Ontario is the voice of the land development, home building and
professional renovation industry in the Greater GTA. BILD is proudly
affiliated with the Ontario and Canadian Home Builders' Associations.





For further information:

For further information: Cynthia Malagerio, Manager of Communications,
(416) 391-3450 or (416) 951-4081, communications@bildgta.ca


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