The sight of construction cranes in Toronto is becoming ubiquitous and based on the final 2009 new home sales results released to BILD by RealNet Canada Inc., the cranes will be part of your vista for years to come.
There were 33,615 new homes and condos sold in the GTA last year, up 24 per cent over 2008. Forty-six per cent or 15,425 of those units were high-rise condo apartment suites with a smattering of lofts or stacked units mixed in.
Given the pre-sale nature of our housing market, the crane companies can look forward to ‘towering’ business in 2010 and beyond as those projects move out of the pre-sale and into the construction phase. Those cranes are symbols of tens of thousands of direct and indirect construction jobs leading to dreams coming true for the future homeowners and vibrant new neighbourhoods within our existing communities.
I said last week that roughly 80 per cent of high-rise sales occur within the City of Toronto. The actual 2009 total of 11,944 units works out to 77 per cent, so I wasn’t far off. Breaking the Toronto numbers down, 69 per cent of the City’s condos were sold in the old City of Toronto followed by 18 per cent in North York, nine per cent in Etobicoke and four per cent in Scarborough.
I also said that outside the 416 area code, Mississauga and Markham have seen most of the suburban condo development. In 2009, Markham was number two with 1,003 high-rise units sold while Mississauga was not far behind with 823. The previous year, Mississauga edged Markham 1,049 to 533.
Rounding out the Top 5, it’s back to southern York Region with Richmond Hill in fourth with 452 new condos sold, followed by Vaughan at 362 units.
While the preponderance of high-rise condos continues to be built within Toronto, we are seeing more and more suburban condo development as the market matures. With high-rise projects sprouting up in traditional low-rise bastions like Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Brampton and Whitby (the next five in the Top 10), we’re witnessing a steady evolution in the GTA new housing market as we move towards much more intensified development patterns pursuant to the Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth Plan.
– Stephen Dupuis is president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD). He can be reached at email@example.com.