Toronto New Home Sales Drop, As People Fleeing Turn Durham Into A Bigger Market

Greater Toronto new home sales have picked up, from usually low levels in prior years. Altus Group and BILD GTA data shows new homes sales climbed in January. One unexpected blip in the data is the City of Toronto, which actually saw a sharp decline in sales. It appears flight from the City isn’t just a resale issue. Two Toronto suburbs now outperform the City for new home sale volumes.

Greater Toronto New Home Sales Rise Over 4%

Greater Toronto new home sales printed one of the biggest Januarys’ in years. There were 2,171 new home sales in January, up 4.43% from a year before. Last month was also 78.83% higher than the same month in 2019, when suburban sales were unusually low. This time the growth of sales is almost exclusive to the suburbs. 

Greater Toronto January New Home Sales

Total January new home sales in Greater Toronto.
Source: Altus Group, BILD, Better Dwelling.

All Gains Are From Single-Family Home Sales

The surge in single-family homes seen in the resale market also occurred in the new home market. There were 1,506 single-family sales in January, up 51.05% from last year. Last month’s single-family sales are also 243% higher than 2019’s volume. This segment grew by more than double the aggregate volume. Naturally, that means it had to steal some market share from condos.

Condo Apartment Sales Plummet By 38%

Condo apartment sales made a sharp drop, and were low even for a January. There were 665 new condo sales last month, down 38.54% from last year. Last month’s sales were 14.30% lower than the volume seen in 2019. The decline was primarily related to a drop in sales in the City of Toronto. 

Toronto New Home Sales Fall Significantly

In the City, new single-family homes were higher than the past couple of years. There were just 23 single-family homes sold in January, up 43.75% from a year before. This is 475% higher than sales in 2019. It sounds impressive, until you realize that was still only 23 homes. New single-family homes aren’t particularly common in the City, so they’re subject to a low base effect. 

Greater Toronto New Home Sales

Total new home sales in Greater Toronto for January, by region.
Source: Altus Group, BILD, Better Dwelling.

Now, condos in the City of Toronto – that’s where the City took a hit. Only 367 condos were sold in January, down 42.11% from a year before. This is 31.66% lower than January 2019 – a big drop from either year. Soft condo demand in the secondary market has spread to the new home market. 

Durham Is The Biggest Market For New Homes

Durham Region is now the biggest new home market in Greater Toronto, as the flight from the City continues. The region saw 722 new home sales in January, up 301% from the previous year. The number is a massive 876% higher than 2019 sales. Just over three dozen of the sales were condos, with the rest being single-family homes. 

The pandemic has shifted buying behavior in two major ways, that’s impacting sales. Work-from-home is enabling people to work further away from home. It also requires people to have a little more space. It’s unlikely people are leaving the City for the sake of leaving the City. However, it would appear many don’t see the value of paying a premium to be in the City these days. 

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