March 20 - February blahs for new homebuyers

March 20, 2009

February "blahs" for new homebuyers

Toronto, March 20, 2009 - In what can only be described as a serious case of the "February blahs," new homebuyers stayed on the sidelines last month, resulting in GTA new home sales declining by 65 per cent in February, 2009, compared with the same month in 2008.

The 900 new homes and condos sold across the Greater Toronto Area in February compares with 2,604 in February, 2008. Sales were down across the board with above average declines in Toronto and York Region.

"Clearly, new homebuyers are holding back as their broader economic anxiety outweighs the opportunity presented by lower prices and even lower interest rates," said Stephen Dupuis, President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

Dupuis noted that builders have been reporting modestly higher traffic and buyer interest in March, perhaps reflecting the up-tick from the U.S. and Canadian government stimulus packages, but expressed concern that the pending provincial budget could upset the balance.

"We're looking for a provincial budget that builds on the federal government's jobs and spending stimulus measures. The new home building and renovation sectors can be a big part of the solution, but if and only if the Province gets it right in terms of the potential harmonization of GST and PST," Dupuis stated. "Getting it right means not giving homebuyers or homeowners any excuse, especially a tax increase to stay on the sidelines," he added.

February

Low Rise 

 

High Rise

 

Total

 

Region

2008

2009

% Change

2008

2009

% Change

2008

2009

%Change

Durham

228

115

-49.6%

16

11

-31.3%

244

126

-48.4%

Halton

274

203

-25.9%

124

9

-92.7%

398

212

-46.7%

Peel

251

136

-45.8%

60

22

-63.3%

311

158

-49.2%

Toronto

82

31

-62.2%

780

225

-71.2%

862

256

-70.3%

York

663

126

-81.0%

126

22

-82.5%

789

148

-81.2%

GTA

1,498

611

-59.2%

1,106

289

-73.9%

2,604

900

-65.4%

Source:  RealNet Canada Inc.

With more than 1,400 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.