Buyer demand for new townhomes surged in 2020
Photo: James Bombales
New townhomes recorded robust sales numbers in several markets across Canada this year, as consumers looked for affordable lower density options amid the pandemic.
Real estate data firm Altus Group published a report this month highlighting strong new townhome sales in Vancouver, where transactions doubled compared to last year’s levels, and the Toronto region, where new townhomes saw the biggest improvement in sales of any property type versus 2019.
Even in Alberta’s weak residential real estate markets, townhome sales were only down slightly in Calgary and Edmonton, the report said.
Altus Group looked at new townhome sales in the first three quarters of 2020 and compared year-to-date activity in the property segment to the past four years. In Vancouver, sales have already surpassed 2019 and 2018 totals just in the first nine months of the year. In Toronto, activity in the first three quarters has already exceeded sales in the previous three years — only 2016 saw better results.
In its report, the firm said that the surge seen in 2020 lines up with growing buyer interest in townhomes that’s been building for several years.
“With housing affordability challenges in the major markets increasingly pricing single-detached housing out of the reach of many buyers, townhouses provide a family sized option with many of the desirable features, such as garages, private front door and amenity spaces, at a much lower price point,” Altus Group said in the report.
It went on to note that new townhomes in suburban regions outside major cities are typically less expensive than two-bedroom condos in more central areas.
Looking ahead, buyer demand for townhomes is expected to keep growing. Altus Group predicted that pandemic-driven factors like low interest rates and flexible remote work arrangements allowing buyers to live farther from their employers would influence demand. The firm also noted that Millennials searching for affordable and family-friendly housing options would continue to support demand.