Toronto home sales fall 49% as benchmark price slides in October

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Home sales in the greater Toronto area fell 49.1 percent in October from a year earlier, and benchmark prices fell slightly month-on-month as the region’s housing market continues to move toward higher borrowing rates.

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According to monthly figures released Thursday by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board, the GTA’s benchmark composite price fell 1.3 percent in October to $1,098,200 from $1,110,700 a month earlier the median price of homes sold increased from $1,086,762 to $1,098,502.

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“With new registrations at or near historic lows, a modest increase in demand from current levels would cause a noticeable tightening of the resale home market in a short period of time,” TRREB President Kevin Crigger said in the report. “Obviously there is still a lot of near-term economic uncertainty. In the medium to long term, however, demand for housing will pick up again.”

Crigger said he believes public policy initiatives, such as strong mayoral regulations recently introduced in Ontario, will help build more affordable homes in the region to meet the needs of new households.

With no new homes coming onto the market, TRREB said the “continued inventory shortage” would contribute more to flattening home prices going forward than the declines seen so far this year.

Home prices have fallen since the Bank of Canada began aggressively raising interest rates in March.

Data from TRREB shows that higher-priced single-family homes have been hit hardest, with an average year-on-year decline of 3.7 percent, with the Halton region seeing the largest drop of almost 10 percent.

Condominiums have outperformed, with average prices up 1.8 percent since last year.

Some markets saw significant condo price increases during this period, including Orangeville with a 17.9 percent increase, followed by Peel Region with 11.6 percent.

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