New data showed sales activity in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) housing market fell from record levels in February, but that wasn’t enough to keep home prices from hitting a new all-time high.

Toronto-area home sales dropped 16.8 per cent in the month compared to last year, with declines across all types of properties tracked, according to the latest data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB).

There were 9,097 transactions reported in the month, TRREB said.

The number of new listings also fell in February, but to a lesser extent than sales.

New listings were down 6.6 per cent from the same time last year, driven by the detached property market. TRREB said the City of Toronto condo market saw a rise in new listings in February.

Despite the pullback in demand, market conditions remained extremely tight and the housing affordability crisis worsened.

“Demand for ownership housing remains strong throughout the GTA, and while we are marginally off the record pace seen last year, any buyer looking in this market is not likely to feel it with competition remaining the norm,” said Kevin Crigger, president of TRREB, in a news release issued on Thursday.

The average selling price of a home jumped 27.7 per cent to $1,334,544 in February year-over-year – marking another all-time high, the data showed. Average selling prices have posted new records in five of the past six months.

The data comes on the heels of the Bank of Canada raising its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.50 per cent – the first hike since 2018. Market data from Bloomberg indicates the central bank is expected to hike its key lending rate five more times this year.

But until borrowing rates rise further, most economists don’t foresee there being a meaningful impact on the housing market.

“Many households sped up their home purchase and entered into a transaction in 2021, which is one reason the number of sales were forecasted to be lower this year, and a trending towards higher borrowing cost will have a moderating effect on home sales. Substantial immigration levels and a continued lack of supply, however, will have a countering effect to increasing mortgage costs,” Crigger said.