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Photo: Gary J. Wood/Flickr

Dated bungalows selling way over asking in super-competitive Canadian housing markets often grab headlines, but 2016 was hardly a quiet year in Canada’s new-construction housing market.

That much is clear from even a quick scan of BuzzBuzzHome’s Toronto and Vancouver New Home Outlooks, which each include an overview of the national market’s developments over the past year as well.

The comprehensive reports, the work of BuzzBuzzHome’s research team, provide an in-depth look at not only where the market is headed, but where it’s been recently. Here are five facts that defined the new-build segment in 2016.

1. Each quarter, a minimum of 170 new developments sold out in Canada.

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Toronto had more cranes than any other city in North America last year; clearly builders banked on being able to sell a high number of units there. And they did, as the city consistently outperformed all others for sales. Specifically among the 10 biggest census metro areas, the third quarter was the busiest for developments selling out across Canada, and Toronto provided the biggest boost. During that three-month period, 205 Canadian developments sold out. Toronto topped the list with 110 sellouts, followed by Vancouver in a distant second at 33 sellouts.

2. Half of the top 10 most active markets for residential development were in Ontario.

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It’s probably not unexpected that Toronto led all census metro areas for the total number of active developments in 2016 at 1,132 housing projects. That’s more than Vancouver (552) and Edmonton (415) combined and accounts for 32 per cent of the active developments in the 10 leading markets. But four other Ontario cities were in the top 10: Ottawa (228), Kitchener-Waterloo (103), Hamilton (102), and London (64), too.

3. Canadian condo development increased by 11 per cent on average, but…

“New housing development is getting denser,” according to BuzzBuzzHome’s Notable Trends in Canada section of the national report. However, it’s a story of highs and lows: the number of housing developments with units for sale dropped 10 per cent at the same time. This, the report says, reflects “an increasing demand for city living and walkable communities generated in part by unaffordable single-family pricing.”

4. Mattamy Homes was the most-viewed developer on BuzzBuzzHome.

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A vast majority of house hunts start online, so a builder’s online presence is worth noting. The major North American builder Mattamy Homes racked up the greatest number of unique visitors on its Canadian projects on BuzzBuzzHome last year. Mattamy Homes’ Canadian pages attracted a total of 122,376 visitors. While it is active in the US, north of the border Mattamy has a broad Canadian focus touching on the Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary markets.

5. The median price of single-family home in Hamilton is more expensive than in Vancouver.

It’s no secret Hamilton’s housing market is hot, riding on the shoulders of Toronto’s strong price performance. But it may come as a shock to see just how pricey the new housing stock has gotten in Steeltown. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the median price of a new single-family home in Hamilton was $1,029,900. Only Toronto was more expensive at $1,109,490. Vancouver placed third with a median price of $976,980.

For more facts like these, download BuzzBuzzHome’s New Home Outlook 2017 for Toronto and Vancouver.

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