Toronto home prices plateau despite another sales decline

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 27:  A small park at the corner of Cornell Park Avenue and Country Glen Road in the Cornell subdivision north of Toronto. Smart Growth is anything but smart. That's the message a London School of Economics professor is bringing to Toronto this week. He says Canada has adopted Britain's planning model and the result is home prices are through  the roof and commutes are growing.        (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Greater Toronto home prices might have found a bottom despite another sales drop in October. (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Greater Toronto Area (GTA) home prices appear to be finding some semblance of a bottom even as sales continue to post major declines.

The latest Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) data showed GTA home sales in October were about half, or 49.1 per cent, of what they were compared to last year. Some 4,961 properties changed hands in the month versus 9,743 in October 2021.

All types of properties in the city and surrounding regions posted sales drops of that magnitude. Sales were also down month-over-month.

Despite dampened demand from buyers, home prices have seemingly plateaued in recent months.

"Home prices in the GTA have found support in recent months because price declines in the spring and summer mitigated the impact of higher borrowing costs on average monthly mortgage payments," said Jason Mercer, TRREB's chief market analyst, in a release on Thursday.

The average selling price of a property in October was $1,089,428, down 5.7 per cent compared to last year. However, when looking at the month-over-month changes, prices have flatlined since July.

Greater Toronto average home selling price
Greater Toronto average home selling price

Home prices fell between 9.9 per cent and 11.8 per cent for detached homes in the city and suburbs, while prices for condos were flat or slightly higher in October year-over-year.

New listings continued to decline, falling 11.6 per cent to their lowest level for the month of October since 2010.

Some real estate industry watchers have said would-be sellers are delaying putting their home up for sale as prices plunge.

Canada's largest real estate market has seen significantly diminished activity since earlier this year when the Bank of Canada began hiking its benchmark interest rate.

With the key lending rate currently sitting at 3.75 per cent, the central bank has warned more rate increases lie ahead but that it's likely in the final innings of its tightening campaign.

"The Bank of Canada's most recent messaging suggests that they are reaching the end of their tightening cycle. Bond yields dipped as a result, suggesting that fixed mortgage rates may trend lower moving forward, which would help affordability," Mercer said.

Michelle Zadikian is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @m_zadikian.

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