New home industry posts solid first quarter

TORONTO, April 19 /CNW/ - Healthy sales of new homes in March contributed to a solid first quarter performance for the new housing market in the Greater Toronto Area, the Building Industry & Land Development Association (BILD) revealed today.

According to RealNet Canada Inc., BILD's official source of new home market intelligence, there were 3,434 new homes and condos sold in March 2011 and a total of 9,374 units sold from January to March, down 8.5 per cent year/year. The decline in total Q1 sales is fully attributable to weakness in the low-rise, 905 housing market, reflecting the very constrained low-rise land supply.

"Last year, we experienced the new home sales equivalent of March madness as 4,569 new homes were snapped up by homebuyers in a single month. The 3,434 new homes sales in March of this year, albeit down 25 per cent year/year, represents a healthy but much more stable level of activity," said BILD President and CEO Stephen Dupuis.

"While the demand side remains strong, the interplay of factors like the HST and the new mortgage financing rules are certainly keeping the froth factor at bay as the new housing market moves into a state of sustainable equilibrium," he added.

As for the first quarter as a whole, RealNet Canada President George Carras pointed out that high-rise sales held pace with Q1/2010 thanks in part to the $75,000 price differential  compared with low-rise.  The current high-rise price index sits at $446,965 compared with a staggering $522,034 for low-rise product.

"You can't sell what you don't have," Carras explained, noting that as at March 31, 2011, there was only 5.5 months of supply of low-rise new homes. "Active new home inventories are well below the long-term average levels."

March '11 Low Rise     High Rise     Total    
Region 2010 2011 % Change 2010 2011 % Change 2010 2011 %Change
Durham 295 237 -19.7% 10 9 -10.0% 305 246 -19.3%
Halton 163 287 76.1% 85 68 -20.0% 248 355 43.1%
Peel 493 386 -21.7% 107 62 -42.1% 600 448 -25.3%
Toronto 64 58 -9.4% 2,351 1,733 -26.3% 2,415 1,791 -25.8%
York 906 486 -46.4% 95 108 13.7% 1,001 594 -40.7%
GTA 1,921 1,454 -24.3% 2,648 1,980 -25.2% 4,569 3,434 -24.8%
Jan-March 4,918 4,018 -18.3% 5,330 5,356 0.5% 10,248 9,374 -8.5%

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                                                                                           
Stephen Dupuis
President, Chief Executive Officer
416-391-3453 or 416-948-8654
Danny Roth 
Brandon Communications
George Carras
RealNet Canada
416 596 7676 x 223



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