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GTA clocks surge in new homes sales pre-COVID-19

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Home sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) increased significantly in February, according to the latest market report from the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

Citing figures from Altus Group, BILD said there were a total of 4,665 home sales in the month, 211% higher than the sales recorded over the same month last year. February sales were also 57% above the 10-year average.

Of the total sales, 2,418 units were for new condominium apartments, which include low- to high-rise buildings, stacked townhouses, and loft units.

Over the month, the benchmark price for condos was $961,268, up 21.3% annually. For new single-family homes, the price was down by 2.2% to around $1.1m.

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Patricia Arsenault, executive vice president for data solutions at Altus Group, said GTA was slated to record a strong sales performance this year. However, the outlook for home sales in the region is now uncertain due to the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Low mortgage rates were triggering the release of pent-up demand that had been building on the back of strong employment and population growth, which helped boost February sales,” she said.

At the end of the month, the remaining inventory of new homes was at 17,199 units. The BILD market report said this represents about five months of inventory at the pace of sales in the past year, below the longer-term average of about eight months. This inventory includes units in preconstruction projects, in projects currently under construction, and in completed buildings.

“We are working diligently to coordinate responses with provincial and municipal authorities, protect workers and customers and ensure that we continue to fulfil our responsibilities to new home buyers. One of those responsibilities is building enough homes to top up depleted inventory and ensure our region’s new home supply keeps up with demand,” said David Wilkes, BILD president and CEO.

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