The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has released its figures for October. With 7,118 sales being reported, sales were down 26.7% compared to last year. The average sale price of homes was up a modest 2.3% from last October, while new listings were up 11.8% and total active listings rose 78.5% year-over-year. Though the year-over-year comparisons suggest this is a buyer’s market, we are seeing increased stability when compared to the previous five months.
The average sales price of homes was virtually identical to September, making it the second straight month without a price decrease, and total sales volume was up 11.6% month-over-month. This would suggest that buyers view prices as having reached a low point and are re-entering the housing market. Although there has been a rise in activity, single detached homes continue to present affordability challenges for many. Sales of detached homes were down 25% year-over-year in the 416 and 31.4% in the 905. Further, the average sales price of detached homes was down 2.5% year-over-year and down 0.7% month-over-month, making it the only major housing category with an annual decline or a monthly decline in average price.
With affordability hampering the low-rise sector, demand for condo apartments grows. Though sales of condos were down nearly 25% compared to last year, they rose 8.9% over September, with average sales prices rising 21.8% year-over-year. In the months ahead, this segment of the market will become more important in meeting the housing needs of the population and there is no expectation for price relief.
Despite modest declines in detached homes, prices appear to have stabilized, however, tighter mortgage conditions coming in the New Year may create further uncertainty and impact affordability.