The last few weeks of summer was an "unusually" busy time for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) new home market, as over 4,500 new homes were sold, according to the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).
On Monday, BILD announced that a total of 4,539 new homes sold last month, up 217% from August of last year and 119% above the 10-year average, according to Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new home market intelligence. This also marked the highest number of new home sales for August since Altus Group started tracking in 2000.
During the same time, sales of single-family homes, which include detached, linked, and semi-detached houses and townhouses (excluding stacked townhouses), with 1,930 units sold, were up 355% from last August and 139% above the 10-year average.
What's more, condominium apartments, including units in low, medium and high-rise buildings, stacked townhouses and loft units, accounted for 2,609 new home sales, were up 159% from August 2019 and 106% above the 10-year average.
When breaking it down by municipality, Toronto had the highest number of new condominium apartment sales, with 1,423 transactions in August. Halton followed behind with 483, while York had 365 sales, York had 365, and Durham had 163.
"With the record sales activity and unusual number of project launches we saw in August, it is becoming clear that the COVID-19 pandemic delayed consumers’ housing purchase decisions as well as builders’ project openings,” said Ryan Wyse, Altus Group’s Manager, Analytics, Data Solutions.
“After the normally busy spring months were severely affected by the pandemic and related government-imposed restrictions, we saw much stronger activity than normal during the summer.”
The total number of new homes remaining in inventory in August was 14,331 units, which includes units in preconstruction projects, in projects currently under construction, and in completed buildings.
What's more, BILD says while the benchmark price for both single-family homes and condominium apartments dipped slightly in August compared to the previous month, it was still up year-over-year. The benchmark price for new condo apartments in August was $972,859, up 15.7% over the last 12 months, while the benchmark price for new single-family homes was $1,169,823, up 8% over the last 12 months.
David Wilkes, BILD President and CEO says while the GTA housing market had a "strong" summer, with the resurgence in COVID-19 cases, the coming months are full of uncertainty. “What is certain is that residential and non-residential construction has played a key role in kick-starting the economy in our region and in Canada, and will continue to do so."
Wilkes added that BILD is working with all levels of government to remove barriers to building and economic recovery.