Missing Chinese money? Hardest hit is the priciest segment: detached houses.
Home sales in the Greater Toronto Area plunged 35% in September compared to a year ago, to 6,379 homes. The plunge in volume was spread across all types of homes. Even condos got hit:
- Detached houses -40.4%
- Semi-detached houses -30.2%
- Townhouses -34.4%
- Condos -27.5%.
As total sales plunged, new listings of homes for sale rose 9% year-over-year to 16,469, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). And the total number of active listings of homes for sale soared 69% year-over-year to 19,021.
While Toronto’s housing market is still not drowning in listings, the plunge in sales volume and the surge in listings combined is a major change in market direction. And prices have followed.
The report tried to brim with industry hope: “The improvement in listings in September compared to a year earlier suggests that home owners are anticipating an uptick in sales activity as we move through the fall,” And it grabbed at straws: “Consumer polling undertaken for TREB in the spring suggested that buying intentions over the next year remain strong.”
Alas, “in the spring” – precisely in April – Toronto’s housing bubble peaked with a final and phenomenal melt-up of home prices: The average price had soared 30% year-over-year to C$920,761! And the mood of the housing market was at its most buoyant.
So how did the plunge in volume and the surge in listings impact prices?
The average price of all homes in the Greater Toronto Area, at C$775,546 in September, is down 16% from the crazy peak in April. Year over year, the average price is now up only 2.6%.
That’s a lot of backpedaling from a 30% year-over-year increase in April. To cool the housing market euphoria – and the risk it poses to lenders and homeowners – and to put a lid on ballooning affordability issues, the Ontario government introduced a laundry list of measures on April 20, including a 15% transfer tax on nonresident foreign speculators.
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