As the inventory of single-family homes continues to deplete -- ultimately putting further pressure on prices in the process -- condominiums remain an attractive alternative for buyers in the Greater Toronto Area, with new condo sales soaring.

Overall, sales of condominium apartments -- including units in low, medium, and high-rise buildings, stacked townhouses, and loft units -- were "particularly strong" in 2021, the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) announced today.

With a total of 32,919 units sold last year, condo sales were 40% above the 10-year average and only 125 units short of 2017’s all-time record, according to Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new home market intelligence. 

To close out the year, it was the second-highest December for condo sales in the GTA after the record-setting month in 2016, with 2,170 condo units sold.

READ: Toronto is Challenging Vancouver as Canada’s Priciest Housing Market

“New condominium apartment sales were impressive in December, pushing the total for 2021 to just shy of 2017’s record,” said Edward Jegg, Analytics Team Leader at Altus Analytics, Altus Group.

Lack of Supply Constraining New Detached Sales

However, on the other hand, Jegg said sales of single-family new homes continue to languish in the face of chronic low supply and soaring pricing.

Overall in 2021, there were 46,651 new homes sold in the GTA -- which was 27% above the 10-year average -- with 2,739 new homes sold in December added to the annual total.

Single-family homes, including detached, linked, and semi-detached houses and townhouses (excluding stacked townhouses), accounted for 13,732 new home sales in 2021 -- 4% above the 10-year average.

As for prices, BILD said benchmark pricing hit new records in December, with condominium apartments climbing 13.5% year-over-year to $1,163,924. In comparison, the benchmark price for new single-family homes hit $1,829,693 -- up 38.5% over the last 12 months.

The Lowest Supply Levels Since 2000

With fewer new projects starting in December -- typical for the month -- total new home remaining inventory, which includes units in preconstruction projects, in projects currently under construction, and in completed buildings, dipped from the previous month to 8,922 units, marking the lowest level since Altus Group began recording in January 2000. BILD said this represents about 2.3 months of inventory based on average sales for the past 12 months. A balanced market would have nine to 12 months of inventory.

“The record low inventory levels and record high benchmark pricing we saw in December illustrate perfectly why housing supply and affordability will rank among the defining issues in this year’s provincial and municipal elections,” said Justin Sherwood, BILD’s Senior VP of Communications and Stakeholder Relations.

“Insufficient housing supply is driving the GTA’s housing affordability challenge while exacerbating inequality, slowing down economic growth and threatening our collective quality of life," he added.

With both provincial and municipal elections on the horizon, Sherwood says that voters will be looking for significant platforms and policy ideas from candidates and parties.

Real Estate News