Toronto home sales slump again in September
There were fewer homebuyers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) last month, as the country’s largest housing market continued to feel the chill from higher interest rates.
A total of 5,038 homes were sold across the GTA in September, representing a 10.5 per cent decrease from August, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reported Wednesday. On a year-over-year basis, sales sank 44.1 per cent compared to September 2021.
There was an increase in the number of new listings on a month-over month basis, as 11,237 properties hit the market in September, in comparison to 10,537 new listings in August.
However, TRREB pointed out that new listings for September were at the lowest level for that month since 2002.
Home-buying activity has slowed since the Bank of Canada started its rate-hiking campaign in March in an attempt to tame runaway inflation. The central bank raised its main policy three-quarters of a point to 3.25 per cent in September; it was the fifth consecutive hike by the Bank of Canada after it entered the year with the overnight rate target at 0.25 per cent.
HOME PRICES HOVER BELOW $1.1M
The average selling price for a GTA property came in at $1,086,762, which is a 0.67 per cent increase from August’s average of $1,079,500.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, TRREB said September home prices fell 2.7 per cent from August.
“Hovering just below $1.1 million, the average selling price may have found some support during the last couple months of summer,” Jason Mercer, chief market analyst for TRREB, said in a news release.
“October generally represents the peak of the fall market, so it will be important to see where price trends head over the next month.”
HOUSING AS AN ELECTION ISSUE
The city of Toronto is currently preparing for a municipal election that’s scheduled for Oct. 24.
Kevin Crigger, president of TRREB, said municipalities need to make sure the “temporary dip in housing demand is not allowed to mask the critical shortage of homes available for sale in the GTA.”
“Candidates running in the upcoming Ontario municipal elections must ensure homebuyers and renters have adequate housing options in the years to come,” he said in the release.
“Municipal council decisions have a direct impact on housing affordability, in terms of the protracted development approval processes, high development fees and other related policies that preclude timely housing development.”