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GTA home sales down 35% from year ago: real estate board

Last Updated Oct 4, 2017 at 9:04 am EDT

A sold sign is shown in front of west-end Toronto homes on April 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

Home sales in the Greater Toronto Area fell 35 per cent in September compared with the same month last year, although the average selling price rose.

The Toronto Real Estate Board said Wednesday sales of all major types of residential property fell, but the biggest move was a 40.4 per cent drop in sales of detached homes.

The average selling price for all types of property sold in September climbed 2.6 per cent from a year ago, rising to $775,546.

The average price was also up 5.9 per cent from $732,039 in August – the first month-over-month increase since April, when the average hit a record high of $918,285.

“With more balanced market conditions, the pace of year-over-year price growth was more moderate in September compared to a year ago,” said Jason Mercer, the board’s director of market analysis.

He added there was an exception in the condominium apartment market segment, where average and benchmark sales prices were up by more than 20 per cent compared to last year.

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The Toronto-area sales and price report comes a day after the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported strong demand for condos and townhouses in September.

The number of new listings in the Toronto on the Multiple Listing Service increased to 16,469 in September, up 9.4 per cent from a year earlier, and the number of active listings increased by 69 per cent from last year to 19,021.

“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,” board president Tim Syrianos said in a statement.

A spike in Toronto-area home prices early this year resulted in the provincial government’s imposition of a number of measures to cool the overheated market after a shortage of detached home listings helped push up prices.

There have also been a number of warnings about the economic risk to Canada posed by high consumer debt, mostly due to mortgages.

The Toronto board said high-priced detached homes accounted for a smaller share of sales than in September 2016 The region’s average price for that category was flat at $1,015,067.

Meanwhile the average price for condos was up 23.2 per cent to $520,411 and the average price for semi-detached houses was up 7.4 per cent at $752,379.