Home sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) took yet another hit in September, falling 12% from the month prior.
In total, there were just 4,642 home sales reported in the GTA last month, according to a new report from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB). This is not only a noticeable change from the 5,294 sales in August, but is also a 7% decline from September 2022.
TRREB attributed the slump to "the impact of high borrowing costs, high inflation, uncertainty surrounding future Bank of Canada decisions and slower economic growth."
Not too surprisingly, the year-over-year drop in sales was most pronounced for ground-oriented homes — typically the most expensive housing type in any market. Detached, semi-detached, and townhomes saw sales drop by 7%, 19.4%, and 10.2%, respectively. Condo apartments, on the other hand, saw a minute 0.2% decline.
As sales slowed in September, the number of new listings shot upward, with a staggering 32.2% month-over-month jump. This is a change from the 10% tumble that was observed from July to August.
Even with sales down and supply up, the average selling price still managed an overall increase last month, hopping up 3.4% from August to $1,119,428. This also marks a 3% increase from the same time last year. On a seasonally adjusted basis, however, prices actually edged slightly lower — less than 1% — compared to August.
Price increases were led by Toronto detached homes, up 8.5% to an average of $1,724,007. The only housing type to see its average price decline was Toronto condo apartments, down $4.9% to $732,106.
“GTA home selling prices remain above the trough experienced early in the first quarter of 2023,” said TRREB ChiefMarket Analyst Jason Mercer. "However, we did experience [a] more balanced market in the summer and early fall, with listings increasing noticeably relative to sales. This suggests that some buyers may benefit from more negotiating power, at least in the short term. This could help offset the impact of high borrowing costs."
Looking forward, TRREB President Paul Baron notes that "the short and medium-term outlooks for the GTA housing market are very different."
“In the short term, the consensus view is that borrowing costs will remain elevated until mid-2024, after which they will start to trend lower," he says. "This suggests that we should start to see a marked uptick in demand for ownership housing in the second half of next year, as lower rates and record population growth spur an increase in buyers."