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Toronto Sales Down, Prices Questionable

7 December 2012

Toronto continues to see a decline in its home sales last month. Not so surprising given that we’re still seeing the effects of this summer’s mortgage rules, and that we’re headed into the winter months, right? Right. But while we’ve been seeing number of sales go down while prices climb steadily over the past few months, November brings us a different story. While the number of sales has gone down, the average price has actually gone down. In most areas, anyway.

According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, home sales in Toronto dropped by 16 per cent in November 2012 when compared with the year before. Condos were hit especially hard throughout the GTA, with resale transactions down 25.5 per cent, and prices dropping by 2.3 per cent, on average. When you get to condos that are right in the heart of the city, these units saw a 4 per cent drop in year-over-year prices.

Resale condos saw one of the biggest drops in the City of Toronto, with the amount of sales dropping 25.1 per cent and sinking to $350,540. In the 905 regions just outside of Toronto, the number of resale condos sunk even lower, falling to 26.5 per cent. However, prices here actually went up slightly to $279,483.

Resales prices on detached homes were fairly level with November 2011, increasing in price by 1.6 per cent, up to $485,328. But if you’re a homeowner trying to sell, or will be soon, don’t think that this slight increase bodes good news. As opposed to this past summer, when a home wouldn’t be on the market for two hours before it had eight offers, it’s now taking resale homes 30 days in Toronto just to sell. Typically with only one offer on them.

But year over year, detached homes did much better in November 2011 than they did last month. According to TREB, detached home sales fell 13 per cent across the GTA; and this number can be broken down further to show a drop of 18.5 per cent, and in the 905 area, they dropped 10.6 per cent.

Prices for those detached homes also dropped in the heart of Toronto by 4 per cent, going down to $741,480. In the 905 area, prices on detached homes were actually up, increasing 3.5 per cent to $556,745.

But there may be no sadder story on the Toronto skyline than that of townhomes. Townhome sales were down 13.6 per cent across the GTA, with the City of Toronto seeing a drop of 28 per cent in the amount of sales last month. Despite the drop though in the amount of sales, prices here still went up – by 5.3 per cent to $440,930 in the 416 region, and up 1.3 per cent in 905 areas to $347,461.

And should it be any surprise to find out that the the number of sales on semi-detached homes also dropped by 11 per cent? Maybe not. But perhaps what is shocking is that prices on semi-detached homes actually increased, rising by 3.8 per cent in the City of Toronto to an average price of $583,117; and increasing by 5.8 per cent in the 905 regions to $392,067.

“Transactions have been down on a year-over-year basis since June, after being up substantially in the last half of 2011 and the first half of 2012,” Toronto Real Estate Board’s president, Ann Hannah, said on Wednesday when the stats were released. “Some buyers pulled forward their decision to buy, which has impacted sales levels in the second half of 2012.”

But that’s not deterring Toronto homeowners from putting their home on the market. New listings on MLS were up year-over-year, with 9,838 homes being listed for sale in the GTA.

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