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The CANADIAN PRESS
Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) says the market kicked off the fall selling season with an 18 per cent year-over-year decrease in homes sold in September and a 34 per cent drop in new listings.
A total of 9,046 homes changed hands in the region last month, a drop from 11,033 last September.
However, the number of sales was higher than the market saw in August, when 8,596 properties were sold.
The month-over-month uptick is typical when autumn arrives, but the board said this year’s spike was the third-highest on record for September and signals that the market is still facing tightened conditions.
“There’s a lot of buyers that are approved, interest rates are low and they want to get back in the market or they want to get into the market, whether for the first time or to upsize, but there’s just not enough inventory,” said Amy Youngren of the Keller Williams Real Estate Associates North Group.
Brokers and prospective buyers and sellers have long been eyeing the fall, after the summer saw sales slow and supply dwindle.
Realtors said in August that many of their clients were taking a break or delaying their search for a home or buyer until children returned to school, border restrictions were loosened and people began listing properties once more.
Active listings, TRREB said, experienced a steep fall, dropping almost 50 per cent to 9,191 from 18,167 in September 2020. In August 2021, they totalled 8,201.
New listings for the month reached 13,483, down from 20,441 last September and 10,609 in August 2021.
“Because listing inventory is historically low right now, it’s just creating a really competitive space for buyers,” said Youngren.
But she has noticed that competition is nothing like what the market saw earlier in the year.
“It’s less. It’s not the same that we saw with the frenzy of the spring market,” she said.
“Although we’re seeing multiple offers, it’s maybe three to 10 offers as opposed to 10 to 30 per property.”
Those who do manage to purchase a home are also forking out more on average than they did before.
Average prices increased by 18.3 per cent to more than $1.1 million last month from $960,613 last September, TRREB said.
Condo apartments averaged $708,521, townhouses reached $909,226, semi-detached homes were $1,114,696 and detached properties hit $1,526,465.
“Price growth in September continued to be driven by the low-rise market segments, including detached and semi-detached houses and townhouses,” said Jason Mercer, TRREB’s chief market analyst, in a release.
“However, competition between buyers for condo apartments has picked up markedly over the past year, which has led to an acceleration in price growth over the past few months as first-time buyers re-entered the ownership market. Look for this trend to continue.”
The board predicted in February that by the year’s end, the average selling price in the region will have reached $1.025 million, up from an average $929,692 last year.
The Canadian Real Estate Association forecast in May that average home prices across the country would soar to as much as $649,400 by the end of 2021 and reach as high as $704,900 in 2023.