Jan 24 - December 2004 Sales Figures (Housing Statistics)

February 2, 2005

Condos drive new home market in 2004

January 24, 2005

Attached: Monthly New Home Sales GTA - Jan/00-Dec/04

Toronto— There were 1,964 new homes and condominiums sold in the Greater Toronto Area in December, bringing the final yearly total to 41,724 units, Julie Di Lorenzo, president of the Greater Toronto Home Builders’ Association, revealed today.

Total sales were down a very modest 2.5 per cent compared with 2003, but it was still an excellent year, Di Lorenzo stated. “This is the fifth consecutive year where new home sales have exceeded 40,000 units, which is a remarkable bull run by any standard,” she said.

The high-rise condominium market surged ahead by 16 per cent in 2004 to claim a 33 per cent share of total new home sales compared with 28 per cent in 2003. Meanwhile the low-rise housing market declined by 9.5 per cent during 2004.

Di Lorenzo attributed the decline in low-rise sales to the early impact of cost escalation and uncertainty arising out of provincial land supply restrictions. Low-rise builders are simply running out of land, and the scarcity has resulted in higher prices which naturally lead to declining sales.

The RealNet New Home Price index for low-rise homes spiked dramatically in December, rising 5.7 per cent in just one month and 15.4 per cent year over year. “Basically, the same house you could have bought in January last year would have cost you $50,000 more if you waited until December,” Di Lorenzo noted.

On the other hand, the index for high-rise condos was up a modest 1 per cent in December and 6.9 per cent or $17,500 over the course of the year. Condo prices are expected to rise more rapidly in 2005 due to cost pressures including much higher development charges in the city of Toronto.

The index is essentially the average asking price of all the remaining new homes and condos currently available for sale, as calculated by RealNet Canada Inc., the GTHBA’s independent source of new home market information. The index is based on currently available new home offerings, weighted by remaining inventory, for projects of 15 or more units, excluding ultra-luxury product across the GTA.

Looking ahead, Di Lorenzo is forecasting a reasonable year for new home sales. “Low mortgage rates and strong continued net migration to the GTA will partially counteract the impact of restrictive provincial land supply policy,” she said.

LOW-RISE
HIGH-RISE
TOTAL
REGION
2003
2004
%
Change
2003
2004
%
Change
2003
2004
%
Change
Durham
4,960
5,090
3%
150
293
95%
5,110
5,383
5%
Halton
5,576
5,030
-10%
500
251
-50%
6,076
5,281
-13%
Peel
9,485
7,494
-21%
1,685
1,854
10%
11,170
9,348
-16%
Toronto
2,267
1,663
-27%
8,200
10,317
26%
10,467
11,980
14%
York
8,630
8,697
1%
1,336
1,035
-23%
9,966
9,732
-2%
GTA:
30,918
27,974
-10%
11,871
13,750
16%
42,789
41,724
-2%

The top five municipalities in the GTA for 2004 are Toronto (11,989), Brampton(5,461), Mississauga (3641), Markham (3,143) and Richmond Hill (2,282).

Also see:

Monthly New Home Sales GTA - January 2000

For further information:
Suzanna Cohen, Director of Communications 416-391-3450
Stephen Dupuis, Executive Vice President 416-391-3453