The sale of new homes in the Greater Toronto Area in March was down sharply with just 1,960 sales, including 1,649 condos.
The drop was 67% below sales a year earlier and 21% below the 10-year average, the Building Industry & Land Development Association (BILD) reported Tuesday.
The introduction of tighter mortgage rules in January played a part in the slowdown.
“Some of the demand that might have normally occurred this year was brought forward last year, helping to set a record year for condo apartment sales in 2017,” said Patricia Arsenault, EVP, Research Consulting Services at Altus Group, BILD’s official data source. “After an adjustment period, we expect the monthly pace of condo apartment sales to improve.”
Single-family home sales did pick up from February with 311 new detached properties sold in March compared to 265 in the previous month, but sales were 77% below those of March 2017.
David Wilkes, CEO of BILD, says that the numbers reflect the exceptionally strong sales of new homes in 2017, which was the fourth strongest year for new home sales in the GTA since Altus began tracking the data in 2000.
“This year, the cumulative effects of government measures to cool the housing market are likely keeping many potential buyers out of the housing market,” he said. “Many may simply be taking a wait-and-see approach.”
Prices continued to be impacted by low supply in March, and while the benchmark price for new single-family homes decreased slightly to $1,207,832, it was 7.4% above last year.
The benchmark price for new condominium apartments continued to rise to $742,801, which was 39.4% above last March. On a per square foot basis the price has increased from $666 in March 2017 to $825 in March 2018. The benchmark unit size for condos increased to 900 sq. ft. from 800 sq. ft. a year ago.