Recently, I was asked by a reporter what I thought of the fact that new home sales in the GTA were down 13 per cent in January. My response was that January is when builders are offering inventory as opposed to new launches, therefore I would be no more or less excited if sales were up or down by 13 per cent. I added that sales in February and March would be much more revealing of any trend, and that I expected some positive results based on the industry buzz about new project launches.
As it happens, my prediction was accurate, albeit far too conservative — new condo sales in the GTA in February were smokin’ hot. As a matter of fact, it was the best February ever for condo sales. According to RealNet Canada Inc., there were 2,202 new condos sold in the GTA last month, marking the first time ever that more than 2,000 high-rise units have been sold in February â€“ so much for the proverbial blahs!
Usually, when records are broken, it’s by small increments, not 36 per cent better than the third best year ever (2010) or 26 per cent compared to the second best year (2002). For fun, I calculated average condo sales for the month of February since the year 2000, and it’s about 1,100 units, so this year’s total is double the long-term average. Not surprisingly, condo sales accounted for 61 per cent of total new home sales in the GTA in February.
I’ll be watching the March numbers (due out mid-April) with great interest and am expecting a very solid first quarter for new condo sales in the GTA â€“ we’re certainly off to a great start!
Stephen Dupuis is the President and CEO of the Building Industry & Land Development Association.