​Buying a brand new townhouse in Richmond Hill – what is the market like and how does it compare to the resale market?

A friend/client of mine recently asked if the townhouse project at Kettle Lakes Club by Aspen Ridge Homes is worth investing in. To answer her questions, I did some research on the new townhome market in Richmond Hill.  While preparing a mini-report for her, I think many of you might be interested in the price comparison between brand new and resale townhouse in Richmond Hill, so let me share what I found.

Below is a summary of what was available in recent months. Since some models and lots were already sold out when this summary was put together and sales records for individual projects are inaccessible by the public, this summary is not a fair assessment of builder’s pricing strategy. Always visit the builder’s website and sales office for the current availability, pricing and features.

Builder Development Location Type Size Range ‘List’ price per sq ft
Treasure Hill Homes Urbantowns on Bayview S of Elgin Mills, W of Bayview Freehold, 3-storey 1904-2460 $360 - 385
St. Regis Homes Mission Hill on Bayview S of Elgin Mills, E of Bayview Freehold, 3-storey 2565-3603 $270 - 370
Siteline Communities Esta Gardens S of 16th, E of Bayview Freehold, 3-storey 2395-2546 $310 - 330
Rivermill Homes Renaissance Court S of Carrville, E of Bathurst Freehold, 3-storey 2290--2530 $320 - 330
Touchstone Homes Opportunity N of Gamble, E of Bathurst Freehold, 2- storey 1457-2071 $320 - 380
Aspen Ridge Homes Kettle Lakes Club S of Bethesda Sideroad, E of Bayview Freehold, 2-storey 1717-2583 $280 - 380

After putting together this summary table, there are two trends that are apparent to me: the floor area:lot area ratio are higher in all of these projects and these new development townhouses are on average larger than the townhomes available on the resale market. Many of the new townhouses are 3-storey with lots that are under 20 ft. Some of the more expensive units (over $800,000 in sale price) also offer 2-car garage. I think this night be the builders' attempt to maximize profit with rising land values. Also, lots of homebuyers who were looking at single-detached, 4-bedroom, 2-car garage homes are now looking for more affordable alternatives and these larger townhouse might be perfect for them. 

Let’s compare the average ‘list’ price of brand new and resale townhomes in Richmond Hill in October 2014. Note that the builder’s ‘list’ price usually include HST and have taken into account Ontario government rebate of $24,000 for qualified purchasers (ie. purchasers buying from a new home builder for principal residence). In October 2014, the townhomes builders’ average ‘list’ price was $756,899. Assuming this average price of $756,899 include HST and the rebate, the average builder’s ‘base’ price was $691,061. In October 2014, the average price of resale townhomes in Richmond Hill was $575,987, almost 20% lower when compare to the ‘base’ price of new development sites. While the difference seems huge, don’t forget that in most cases, you are paying next year's price for a closing date one year later; secondly, the average new development townhomes nowadays are bigger than their resale counterparts.

If you are in the market for a townhome, what would you choose? For me the 20% difference in price is worthwhile if we take into account the cost of updating a decade-old home with today's popular features and amenities. However, the HST, the government levies, utilities hook-up charges and countless extras would stop me from buying brand new. How about you?

Don't hesitate to contact me if there are any real estate topics that you are interested in, or if you want to obtain a report of any market in GTA. I will be happy to prepare a custom report for you!

Janis Tsang

Janis Tsang

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Atria Realty Inc., Brokerage*
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