Toronto Property Sales Fall but Prices Hold Steady

Toronto property sales fell again in November, but prices held reasonable steady as the market begins to stabilise.

Sales of Toronto property fell by 3.4 per cent in November from the October level on a seasonally adjusted basis according to the Toronto Real Estate Board. The fall represents the biggest drop in Toronto property sales since March of this year.

However, the benchmark price, which adjusts for the types of houses sold, fell by just 0.4 per cent from last month to $763,600.

The property market in the Toronto region has been stabilising after a slowdown in sales and prices earlier this year amid tougher mortgage-lending rules. The market picked up pace through the summer, though sales have now declined for the third month in a row.

New listings for Toronto property fell by 26 per cent to just 10,534 on a year-to-year basis from November 2017, which could partly account for the lack of sales activity.

President of the board Garry Bhaura commented: ‘New listings were actually down more than sales on a year-over-year basis in November. This suggests that, in many neighbourhoods, competition between buyers may have increased. Relatively tight market conditions over the past few months have provided the foundation for renewed price growth.’

On an annual basis Toronto property prices rose by 3.5 per cent to an average of $788,345 despite property sales declining by 15 per cent.

The semi-detached housing segment was the strongest performing sector with average prices rising 8.3 per cent to $791,760 on the year. Condo prices jumped 7.5 per cent to $556,723.

Director of market analysis for the board, Jason Mercer, said: ‘Given the impact of new mortgage stress tests and higher borrowing costs, it makes sense that condos and the semi-detached market experienced relatively stronger rates of price growth in November.’

The Toronto property boom was partly halted by the introduction of extra tax on overseas property investors. The 15 per cent foreign-buyers tax was introduced in 2017, intended to stop the Toronto property market from overheating.

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