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GTA home sales fall nearly 15% in November, sale prices up 3.5%

Last Updated Dec 5, 2018 at 6:54 am EDT

A "for sale" sign is shown in Toronto with homes in the background on April 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

Home sales across the Greater Toronto Area fell nearly 15 per cent in November, compared with a year ago, as sale prices continued to see moderate growth, a suggestion that Canada’s largest city still remains a seller’s market.

The Toronto Real Estate Board says there were 6,251 residential transactions recorded last month through its multiple listing service (MLS) system, down 14.7 per cent versus a year ago. On a seasonally adjusted basis, sales were down by 3.4 per cent compared with October 2018.

The average sale price was up by 3.5 per cent year-over-year to $788,345. Adjusted seasonally, the average sale price was nearly flat, down by 0.8 per cent compared to October 2018.

The MLS HPI composite benchmark price jumped by 2.7 per cent last month, compared with last year.

TREB, which represents more than 52,000 real estate agents across the region, blamed the decline in sales to a “temporary upward shift in demand” in November 2017 prior to the new stress-test rules coming into effect.

The board says the number of new listings hitting the market also fell in November, down 26.1 per cent to 10,534 from 14,260 when compared with the same month last year.

“This suggests that, in many neighbourhoods, competition between buyers may have increased,” said TREB president Garry Bhaura in a release. “Relatively tight market conditions over the past few months have provided the foundation for renewed price growth.”

Meanwhile, it says sale prices for lower-priced housing such as condos and semi-detached properties continued to show steady increases due to the stress tests and higher borrowing costs.