Real estate markets in Toronto and Vancouver fell in September, with sales and home prices down in both the cities as interest rates continue to dampen demand and mortgages remain difficult to secure.
In the Toronto region, home resales fell 11 per cent in September over August on a seasonally adjusted basis, and were down 44 per cent from the previous year, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB). Data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver show that resales in the Vancouver area declined 10 per cent over August and 46 per cent since last year.
In Toronto, the price decline followed a short-lived resale and price upswing in August, which led to speculation the five-month market decline may have started to reverse. However, September’s numbers were in line with the broader trends since March, with fewer sales and falling prices.
The home price index, which excludes sales of extremely expensive homes, fell for the sixth straight month in the Toronto region, down 1.2 per cent from August and 19.3 per cent from the market peak in March. The typical price in September was $1,110,700.
Although falling steadily, the home price index in Toronto is still up 4.3 per cent compared with September last year. However, the average sale price, which includes all homes, is now down 4.3 per cent compared with last September, which could suggest that fewer extremely expensive homes have been sold this year.
Since the market peak in March, home prices in the Toronto region have fallen substantially, with homes in Peel down 18.7 per cent, in Durham down by 18.6 per cent and in the City of Toronto down by 19.2 per cent.
Over all, new listings were down 16.7 per cent for the Toronto region in September as homeowners waited for stronger market conditions.
In a statement, TRREB chief market analyst Jason Mercer noted that new listings are well below historic norms. “October generally represents the peak of the fall market, so it will be important to see where price trends head over the next month,” he said.
In the Vancouver area, the composite benchmark price for all residential properties in September was $1,155,300. This is up by 3.9 per cent compared with last September, but down 2.1 per cent from August and 8.5 per cent over the past six months.
Prices have fallen over the past six months across the Vancouver region, with the largest declines in Maple Ridge – where the home price index is down 16.5 per cent – and Pitt Meadows, which is down 15 per cent. Prices in Greater Vancouver are down 8.5 per cent since March.
Andrew Lis, the B.C. board’s director of economics and data analytics, said that buyers have more selection than they did last year. “With fewer homes selling and new listings continuing to come to market, inventory is beginning to accumulate.”