TORONTO — Toronto-area home sales in September fell 44 per cent compared with last year and 10 per cent from August as the market experienced the lowest number of new listings September has seen in 20 years.
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board released the data on Wednesday, saying home sales for the typically busy month were bogged down by interest and mortgage rate hikes.
The numbers mark a continuation of a market cooldown that has already put a damper on bidding wars and discouraged some sellers from listing their properties because they likely won’t fetch as much money as their neighbours did at the start of the year, when the market was moving at a torrid pace.
There were 5,038 home sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in September. The region also saw 11,237 new listings, an almost 17 per cent drop from a year ago and the lowest number for the month since 2002.
The fall in new listings was coupled with the composite benchmark price reaching $1,086,762, a 4.3 per cent dip from last year, but an almost one per cent rise from August.
“Hovering just below $1.1 million, the average selling price may have found some support during the last couple months of summer,” said TRREB’s chief market analyst, Jason Mercer, in a news release.
“With new listings down quite substantially year-over-year and well-below historic norms, some homebuyers are quite possibly experiencing tighter market conditions in some GTA neighbourhoods.”
Average prices were highest in the 905 — part of the GTA encompassing suburban regions like Vaughan and Durham — where they totalled $1,099,938. In the 416, a nickname for the City of Toronto that excludes its suburbs, the average price was $1,061,876.
Across all areas studied by TRREB, average prices of detached homes fell 10 per cent year-over-year to $1,369,186, semi-detached properties dropped by 6.5 per cent to $1,043,120 and townhouses edged down by almost one per cent to $901,592. Condos, however, rose by roughly three per cent to $730,818,
“October generally represents the peak of the fall market, so it will be important to see where price trends head over the next month,” Mercer said.
The year-over-year fall in overall prices across all categories, but month-over-month increase that the GTA saw was mirrored in B.C., where the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said the composite benchmark price reached $1,155,300 last month. That price was up 3.9 per cent from last September but down 2.1 per cent from August.
“Although Vancouver is one of the priciest cities in the world, look for broadly similar trends to unfold in many other Canadian markets that thumbed their nose at affordability when borrowing costs were three points lower than today,” BMO Capital Markets senior economist Sal Guatieri said in a Tuesday note to clients.
Similar to Toronto, the Vancouver board also said home sales in September dropped by 46 per cent since last year and 10 per cent from August as interest rate increases cooled buyer sentiment.
The sales for the month were almost 36 per cent below the 10-year September sales average.