toronto housing supply

There are basically no houses available in Toronto and it's a big problem

For years now, real estate experts have been shouting from the rooftops about how Toronto and its surrounding suburbs face a critical shortage in housing. This imbalance between supply and demand is fuelling skyrocketing prices and is considered a key factor in the housing crisis, and the warnings are only growing louder.

A new report from the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) underscores just how much of a problem things have become in the region. Citing data from Altus Group, BILD is shedding light on how tight the supply has become in the housing market's most competitive category; single-family homes.

With a population of over six million, there are a whole lot of people and homes in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and with much of the metropolitan area built out with large tracts of single-family, cookie-cutter homes, it would be fair for one to assume that there are thousands on the market.

But the reality is much the opposite, the new report revealing that the remaining inventory for single-family homes dropped to a record low of just 550 units in January. That's a few hundred houses available across an area home to millions.

That puzzlingly low number is just 10 per cent of the single-family homes listed in the pre-pandemic days of Jan. 2019, and well under the average 15K units in the period from 2000 to 2009.

Meanwhile, there were 8,333 condo apartment units on the market in the same time period, which is still considered brutally low, representing less than three months of inventory based on average sales in the past year compared to the 9-12 months of inventory typical of healthier markets.

This dangerous combination of high demand and the limited supply is being cited as proof of a housing crisis in the GTA by Justin Sherwood, BILD's Senior VP of Communications and Stakeholder Relations, who adds, "That is why BILD has welcomed the recent report from Ontario's Housing Affordability Task Force and why we support its 55 recommendations to address the housing supply and affordability challenge in Ontario and the GTA."

Aside from the dangerously low figures in single-family housing stock, it was actually the most productive January in the broader real estate market in 19 years, with 2,853 sales of combined home types up 18 per cent year-over-year and 47 per cent above the ten-year average.

Still, most of these units sold were within other markets, with 2,274 units in low, medium and high-rise buildings, stacked townhouses and loft units sold in January. This marked an increase of 40 per cent above the previous high in 2017.

In contrast, only 579 single-family homes moved, including detached, linked, and semi-detached houses and townhouses, 33 per cent below the ten-year average.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture

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