Houses for sale in Ottawa

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The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board’s (TRREB) latest report shows fluctuating home prices from May to June and a continuing surplus of inventory, which the board attributes to shifting buyer sentiment and interest rate adjustments.

Last month, Toronto’s benchmark home price declined to $1,162,167, marking a 4.6 per cent decrease year-over-year but an increase of four per cent from May, TRREB said.

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The board, which represents just over 69,000 real estate brokers and salespeople across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), reported 6,213 home sales through TRREB’s MLS system in June 2024, marking a 16.4 per cent decrease from the 7,429 sales in June 2023. New listings, however, increased by 12.3 per cent year-over-year, totalling 17,964.

Regardless of housing type, sales and prices were down across Toronto and the GTA from last year.

Condo market woes showed no signs of abating in June, with sales plummeting by 28 per cent compared to last year. This, despite condos typically being the entry-level choice for first-time homebuyers and investors.

Townhouses weren’t far behind, suffering a 14 per cent decline, while semi-detached and detached homes declined by 11.4 per cent and 10.6 per cent, respectively.

The price slump was equally grim. Semi-detached homes led the descent with a 9.3 per cent decrease, followed by townhouses at 4.9 per cent, detached homes at 3.3 per cent, and condos at 1.5 per cent.

Regionally, Durham, had the steepest price decline, dropping 6.15 per cent, with Orangeville close behind at 6.14 per cent.

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Despite the Bank of Canada’s interest rate cut of 25 basis points at the start of June, TRREB said potential buyers remained cautious, holding out for further rate reductions that could offer more substantial relief, according to a recent Ipsos poll. TRREB’s president Jennifer Pearce said the polling showed a cumulative rate cut of 100 basis points or more was necessary to significantly spur home sales.

Although sales were down from both the previous month and year-over-year, active listings shot up by a staggering 67.4 per cent, giving buyers a distinct advantage in the well-supplied market, according to TRREB’s chief market analyst Jason Mercer.

“Recent home buyers have benefited from substantial choice and therefore negotiating power on price,” Mercer said. He anticipates that elevated inventory levels will help prevent a sharp rise in prices as sales pick up alongside anticipated lower borrowing costs.

TRREB chief executive John DiMichele believes that while high interest rates have caused a temporary dip in home sales, the growing population will fuel robust, long-term demand for both ownership and rental housing. DiMichele emphasizes the need for all levels of government to collaborate if they are to meet the inevitable surge in demand on the horizon.

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