toronto-condos Photo: Sam Xu

The number of new low-rise homes on the market in the Greater Toronto Area last month fell to a level that hasn’t been seen in a decade as prices swelled to an all-time high, according to Altus Group’s February market report.

The average price for a new low-rise home — this housing type includes detached and attached dwellings, as well as townhouses — soared 13 per cent year-over-year to a record $831,212 in February.

At the same time, the number of these homes that remained unsold by the end of the month totaled 4,015, which is a 10-year low.

“The GTA faces a constrained amount of serviced land designated for development, which has reduced the amount of new low-rise projects coming to market,” said Bryan Tuckey, CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), which releases Altus Group’s data, in a statement.

“As demand continues to outpace supply, prices in the low-rise markets have increased to record-breaking levels,” he added.

The number of single-detached dwellings builders completed last year in Toronto’s metro area sunk to a 37-year low of 7,871 homes, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Last month, the average price of a detached home in the GTA catapulted 16 per cent over February 2015’s level to $998,812, according to Altus Group.

For GTA high-rise units, the average price inched up 3 per cent year-over-year to $453,999. The price gap between this housing type and low-rise homes widened to a record $377,213 last month.

Looking back to February 2011, the gap in price was $57,220, so the price difference has increased 560 per cent in just five years, according to Altus Group.

The current supply of new high-rise homes on the market sat at 19,105 units as February drew to a close, marking a slight decline in inventory.

In all, 3,629 homes of all types sold across the GTA in February, up 21 per cent from a year ago, and coming in just short of the record for the month set in February 2011, when 3,650 new homes sold.

Compared to February 2015, low-rise sales activity last month surged 22 per cent to a total of 1,780 transactions, while high-rise transactions increased 20 per cent to 1,849 units.

“There were several new projects launched toward the end of January, which resulted in above-average February sales,” said Tuckey.

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