In a sure sign that the vertical city is rapidly becoming the vertical region, the sale of new condos in the Toronto area is tracking to pass the level seen in 2011, the year the home building industry came roaring back from the 2008 recession.
There were 1,880 condos sold in August of this year, a typically slow month. That’s about a 74 per cent increase over the same month last year and slightly more than the 1,754 units that sold in August of 2011, according to Altus Group data released Thursday by the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).
There have been 17,949 high-rise sales between January and August this year to date, compared to 17,380 in the same period of 2011. Condo sales are up 31 per cent this year to date over the same period last year.
The inventory of new low-rise homes was only 1,379 in August, compared to 16,560 in June 2006, when the provincial Growth Plan was introduced. That trend is fuelling price increases, said BILD CEO Bryan Tuckey.
Demand for low-rise homes continues to be strong, however. The generation that has been content to live in a one-bedroom-plus-den condo is starting to have children and those families would like more space, he said.
“As their family needs change, they’ll want to have a choice in ground-related and larger condominium units. The majority will be looking for ground-related product. Whether that be the new single, which is really a townhouse in the Toronto area, or a detached in the GTA remains to be seen,” said Tuckey.
“In the City of Toronto, where the majority of the high rise inventory is, it needs to have around 20,000 homes a year constructed, and we will really start to monitor that. We’ve never had the experience of this low an inventory in the last 10 years,” he said.