GTA records historic record-low new home sales in April with just 771 sales

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The GTA new home market crashed with record-low new sales in April, the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) says in a statement.

It was the lowest April for total new home sales, as well as single-family and condominium apartment sales since Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new home market intelligence, started tracking in 2000.

A total of 771 new homes were sold in April, down 80 per cent from April 2019 and 78 per cent below the 10-year average. Single-family homes, including detached, linked, and semi-detached houses and townhouses (excluding stacked townhouses), accounted for 301 new home sales, down 62 per cent from last April and 79 per cent below the 10-year average.

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Sales of new condominium apartments, including units in low, medium and high-rise buildings, stacked townhouses and loft units, at 470 units sold, were down 85 per cent from April 2019 and 78 per cent below the 10-year average.

“The plunge in new home sales in April came as both builders and potential buyers stepped back from the heated activity of the first quarter, adjusting to the new reality ushered in by COVID-19,” said Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s executive vice-president, data solutions.

“Most planned new project launches were put on hold, sales programs for existing projects moved to virtual or by-appointment-only models, and short-term home-buying plans were disrupted by employment uncertainty, as well as the challenges of stay-at-home routines.”

Total new home remaining inventory decreased slightly from the previous month to 13,851 units. Remaining inventory includes units in preconstruction projects, in projects currently under construction, and in completed buildings.

The benchmark prices for both new condominium apartments and new single-family homes increased slightly in April compared to the previous month. The benchmark price for new condo apartments was $984,369, which was up 29.8 per cent over the last 12 months, and the benchmark price for new single-family homes was $1,117,955, which was down 0.2 per cent over the last 12 months.

“As we expected, the April new home sales numbers reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the GTA economy,” said David Wilkes, BILD President & CEO.

“The good news is, the residential and commercial building and development industry, along with the professional renovations industry, is positioned to play a significant role in the recovery of our region and Ontario. In the coming weeks, we’ll be putting forward recommendations for all three levels of government that can accelerate the healing of our economy.”

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