January's slow start gave way to a quiet February, with fewer than 1,000 new homes changing hands across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) last month.

According to a new report from the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), just 922 new homes were sold in the GTA in February, the second-lowest level for the month since tracking began in 2000.

Following the frenzied spring market of 2022, the figure represents an annual decline of 76%, and is 69% below the 10-year average, data provided by Altus Group, shows.

Condominium apartments -- including units in low, medium, and high-rise buildings, stacked townhouses, and lofts -- accounted for the majority of transactions in February, with 697 units sold. Still, sales declined 78% year over year and were 61% below the 10-year average.

Only 225 single-family homes were sold across the GTA in February, the lowest level for the month in 23 years. Accounting for detached, linked, and semi-detached houses, as well as townhouses, the figure was down 65% annually and came in 81% below the 10-year average.

Despite the dwindling sales, the benchmark price for new single-family homes jumped up 1.6% on a monthly basis in February, to $1,759,043. However, it was down 5.4% from February 2022's record-high.

Meanwhile, the benchmark price for new condo apartments dipped 1.2% from January to February. At $1,113,164, it was down 5.5% on an annual basis.

On a positive note, total new home remaining inventory reached its highest level in more than two years last month, aided immensely by the launch of seven condo apartment projects. The 14,621 units, more than 13K of which are condos, are distributed across pre-construction projects, completed buildings, and projects that are currently under construction.

The GTA now has 9.3 months of condo inventory and 5.2 months of single-family inventory; a balanced market would have nine to 12 months of inventory.

The ramp up of inventory comes in anticipation of a stronger spring market, Edward Jegg, Research Manager with Altus Group, noted. The warm weather may bring about a sales bottom, which could spur buyers to overcome their economic-induced hesitancies.

Although the rising inventory may present an opportunity for some buyers, Dave Wilkes, President and CEO of BILD, cautioned we have not yet overcome "the structural challenges that hamper housing supply in the GTA," and it would be a mistake to assume otherwise.

Wilkes implored government officials and industry leaders to work together to implement the changes required to meet Ontario's goal of building 1.5M new homes by 2031. The target, according to Ontario's Housing Affordability Task Force, would address the province's housing supply crisis.

Real Estate News