Toronto-area home sales down 44.1% from a year ago in September

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September home sales in the Greater Toronto Area were down 44.1 per cent from a year ago while sales and average prices declined sequentially from August, according to monthly figures released by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board on Wednesday.

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Sales checked in at 5,038 units for the month compared to 5,627 in August and more than 9,000 in September 2001.

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New listings were also down on a year-over-year basis by 16.7 per cent to 11,237 from 13,494. This was the lowest number of new listings reported for the month of September since 2002. According to TRREB, this is especially troublesome given that the stock of homes in the GTA increased markedly over the last 20 years.

Meanwhile, the MLS Home Price Index (HPI) Composite benchmark reported an increase on a year-over-year basis of 4.3 per cent to $1,110,700 in September while the average price tumbled from $1,135,027 to $1,086,762 over the same period of time.

The real estate board emphasized that supply remains an issue in the region despite the impact of higher interest rates, which jumped by 75 basis points in September. Climbing interest and mortgage rates have put a damper on sales and weighed on prices, encouraging prospective buyers to sit on the sidelines and wait for greater price drops. But the lack of new listings means there may not be enough properties to go around.

TRREB chief market analyst Jason Mercer said new listings are well-below historical norms causing some buyers to experience tighter market conditions in certain neighbourhoods.

Mercer added, however, that October is usually the peak of the fall market.

“It will be important to see where price trends head over the next month,” he said.

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