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Toronto housing prices fall for fourth month as sales drop 35%

[OTTOWA] Toronto housing prices fell for a fourth month in September as sales remained sluggish, particularly in the detached-home segment that has borne the brunt of the correction in Canada's biggest city.

Benchmark prices fell 0.6 per cent from a month earlier, bringing declines since May to 8 per cent, according to data released by the Toronto Real Estate Board Wednesday. Realtors sold 6,379 homes, down 35 per cent from September 2016.

Toronto's housing market, which UBS Group called the world's most overvalued, began its slump after policy makers introduced legislation in April to cool runaway prices.

While the four-month decline is the biggest in records back to 2000, home values are still up 12 per cent from a year earlier and have more than doubled since the 2009 recession.

"Consumer polling undertaken for TREB in the Spring suggested that buying intentions over the next year remain strong," Tim Syrianos, the board's president, said in the statement.

The September drop was the smallest since the slump began.

New listings were up 9.4 per cent from a year earlier to 16,469, leaving the sales-to-new listings ratio at 39 per cent, a level economists consider to be between a balanced and a buyers market.

The correction is primarily in Toronto's detached market, where average prices exceed C$1 million (S$1.09 million). 

Single family detached homes are down 0.6 per cent in September and 11 per cent since May. Condominium prices have fallen just 1.5 per cent from their peak, and were little changed in September.


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