Moving couch

by Paul Golini: Chair, BILD



Stable new home market to start the year

It sure feels like spring out there-even summer some days-but I have to keep reminding myself it is only March. And when we received the new home sales numbers for last month, again, I had to tell myself, the tally represents February sales and for February, they're pretty good.

The new housing market in the GTA is easing back into stability with two months of the year under its belt and 4,451 units sold. More than half of those units were sold in February.

According to RealNet Canada Inc., BILD's official source of new home market intelligence, February low-rise sales increased by 16 per cent over February 2011. Looking at the historic trend, the recent February sales figures fall very much in line when compared to 2010, which saw 1,610 sales.

With 1,666 singles, semis and townhomes sold last month, the low-rise market captured the majority of the market share for the second time this year. Meanwhile, the high-rise sector saw a 59 per cent decline, mostly caused by a transitional pause in the Toronto market as builders continue to sell existing inventory before launching a new series of projects.

The good news for new condominium purchasers is that the price per square foot has only increased by two per cent over February 2011, reflecting the design innovation and construction controls builders have in place to provide affordable units and stabilizing consumer prices.

What all of this really means is that we are seeing steady activity, particularly in the 905 markets and on the high-rise side. While it may appear that sales are down from last year, it actually reflects the typical February lag as existing units are purchased and new condominium projects prepare to launch later this year.

Paul Golini Jr. is Chair of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD). You can read more from Paul and BILD by visiting the Association's official blogTwitterFacebook and Youtube accounts.