2017 Toronto real estate market

Photo: Christine Wagner/Flickr

The results are in for the first month of the fall homebuying season and they are decidedly mixed.

According to September data released today by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), GTA home sales continued their downward trend that began in the summer months. Last month the GTA recorded 6,379 home sales, down 35 per cent compared to the same period in 2016.

Home prices continued to increase, but at a much slower clip compared to the highs experienced in the first four months of the year.

In short, GTA housing’s performance in September wasn’t a formidable return for the once red-hot market, nor was it the major correction some had been predicting.

Here are 9 more key stats and takeaways from the September 2017 TREB report:

1. New GTA listings shot up to 16,469 in September, a 9.4 per cent increase over the same time in 2016.

2. TREB President Tim Syrianos believes homebuyers who remained on the sidelines waiting for more supply to hit the market will spring into action in order to take advantage of the changing marketplace.

3. The average sold price in the GTA was $775,546, up 2.6 per cent from September 2016. Meantime, the MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark — a steadier measure of the market — rose 12.2 per cent year-over-year. For comparison, the composite benchmark increased 31.3 per cent year-over-year in April of this year.

4. Despite the overall market showing signs of price growth moderation, the resale condo market remained hot to the touch. Both average and benchmark sale prices were up 20 per cent compared to 2016 for GTA condos.

5. While prices in the condo segment were up, sales were not immune to the declines observed in other market segments. Condo sales dropped 27.5 per cent year-over-year in September.

6. The largest declines, however, were observed in the detached housing segment, where sales fell 40 per cent year-over-year across the GTA.

7. While the detached home average sale prices fell in the 905, the 416 still posted a 4.4 per cent gain, hitting $1,355,234 in September.

8. In a note published in response to the TREB data, RBC economist Robert Hogue writes that “the period of monthly price declines could be ending soon.” Hogue says that August and September were characterized by “balanced demand-supply conditions” in the GTA and this balance is expected to be maintained over the near term.

9. But Hogue is quick to clarify that he doesn’t expect prices to rebound. “Rising interest rates, poor affordability and the possibility of further policy tightening will generate significant headwinds for local buyers,” he writes. Instead, he is predicting a period of flat or “minimally rising activity and prices.”

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