New records were set in 2016 for low inventory, high prices and high-rise condo sales in the Greater Toronto Area, the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) says.

Data from its official source, Altus Group, shows 29,186 high-rise units were sold last year, the highest on record and up 30 per cent from 2015. All parts of the GTA saw increased sales, led by Durham which doubled its 2015 total.

High-rise made up 62 per cent of the 47,161 sales in the GTA last year; a sharp contrast to the new-homes record of 2002 when 78 per cent were low-rise.

“The decline in low-rise sales in 2016 was due to the lack of product available to purchase, not softer demand,” said Patricia Arsenault, Executive Vice President of Research Consulting Services at Altus Group. “The fact that new product is being quickly absorbed, despite rising prices, shows there is continued buyer interest in purchasing new ground-oriented homes in the GTA.”

While sales boomed despite the inventory-squeeze, prices soared with the average price of available new low-rise homes reaching $995,116 in December 2016. New single-family detached homes in the GTA averaged $1,264,604, increasing more than $273,000 in the past 12 months. 

“We have a shortage of housing supply in the GTA that is approaching crisis levels,” said BILD President and CEO Bryan Tuckey. “Housing is selling as quickly as the industry can bring it to market and the lack of developable land that is serviced with infrastructure, excessive red tape, out-of-date zoning and NIMBYism are hindering our ability to bring more to the market.”

New high-rise supply was at a ten-year low in December (11,792 units) while low-rise was 1,878 with just 742 single-detached homes.
 

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