2011 - Year of the Condo as GTA market shifts

GREATER TORONTO, Jan. 20, 2012 /CNW/ - More than 28,000 new condominium units were sold in the Greater Toronto Area in 2011, setting a new record for the market's high-rise sector while demonstrating a shift in today's new home purchasing decisions, the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) revealed today.

According to RealNet Canada Inc., BILD's official source of new home market intelligence, there were 45,926 new homes sold in the GTA last year, resulting in the second-best year ever for total sales. Not surprisingly, the high-rise sector played a considerable role in the market's success, closing the year with a 62 per cent market share. This is in direct contrast to the year 2000 when high-rise sales held a mere 25 per cent share.

"What we are seeing today is a shift towards higher-density housing as more new home purchasers seek the most affordable homes to match their lifestyle," explained BILD Chair Paul Golini Jr. "They are attracted by the premium location, design quality and amenities that are associated with condo living, along with the affordability they find in the high-rise market."

The price gap between new high-rise ($434,322) and low-rise ($545,372) homes currently sits at a record-high $111,000 spread.

There were over 130 new condo openings in the GTA in 2011, backed by a strong performance in the 905 markets, particularly York Region which saw high-rise sales more than double over last year.

The active supply for all new housing options are at near-record lows for new home purchasers, particularly in the low-rise sector where supply is down 73 per cent to 10 years ago.  According to RealNet the active supply available in the low-rise sector is at a record setting low of only four-months of housing inventory.

"The record low supply numbers demonstrate the need for government partners to participate in providing a full range of affordable housing options for new home buyers," said BILD's Acting President Joe Vaccaro.  "All governments should focus on streamlining and expediting the approvals process and reviewing the fees and charges faced by the GTA's new home sector to support complete communities and intensification.  Unnecessary process delays and government-imposed costs are barriers to providing future homeowners with a full range of affordable housing options."

December '11 Low Rise     High Rise     Total      
Region 2010 2011 % Change 2010 2011 % Change 2010 2011 %Change
Durham 124 109 -12.1% 6 5 -16.7% 130 114 -12.3%
Halton 223 121 -45.7% 24 27 12.5% 247 148 -40.1%
Peel 281 182 -35.2% 148 37 -75.0% 429 219 -49.0%
Toronto 37 38 2.7% 659 547 -17.0% 696 585 -15.9%
York 283 324 14.5% 81 233 187.7% 364 557 53.0%
GTA 948 774 -18.4% 918 849 -7.5% 1,866 1,623 -13.0%
Jan-Dec 16,359 17,460 6.7% 21,019 28,466 35.4% 37,378 45,926 22.9%

Source: RealNet Canada Inc.

With more than 1,350 members, 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 Toronto Area.  BILD is proudly affiliated with the Ontario and Canadian Home Builders' Associations.

SOURCE Building Industry and Land Development Association

For further information:

Andrei Zaretski 
Manager, Marketing & Media Relations
416-391-3450 or 416-843-4898
      Joe Vaccaro
Acting President



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