Ten thousand of anything is a lot. When you’re talking about condos, it’s a lot of homebuyers showing a remarkable interest in Toronto’s high-rise housing market. According to RealNet Canada Inc., there were 1,764 new condos sold in the GTA in June, bringing the January-June total to a whopping 10,030 units.

 

With the first half of 2010 in the books, the new home market has risen 69 per cent compared with the first half of 2009, and the driving force has been sales of high-rise condo suites, which are up by a dramatic 142 per cent year over year.

 

I will be the first to admit that comparisons with the first half of 2009 are skewed, so I looked back to the first half of 2008, well before the crisis. By this point of the year in 2008, homebuyers had snapped up 7,748 condos. We thought that was a really hot market, so to be running 22 per cent ahead in 2010 is simply stunning.

 

The fact that six out of every ten new homes sold in June were high-rise condo suites reveals the extent to which homebuyers have embraced the high-rise lifestyle in the GTA. Through the first six months of the year, the split has been 53/47 in favour of high-rise condos. Normally, the split is more like 50/50.

 

As it happens, at least three quarters of all the condos currently being sold are in the City of Toronto.


As the condo sales turn into housing starts, they will spin off hundreds of millions of investment and thousands of person-years of employment for our skilled high-rise tradespersons.


Yes, ten thousand is a lot.


– Stephen Dupuis is president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD). He can be reached at president@bildgta.ca.