Toronto housing prices fall again as sales drop

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Toronto housing prices fell for a fourth month in September as sales remained sluggish, particularly in the detached-home segment that has borne the brunt of the correction in Canada's biggest city.

Benchmark prices fell 0.6% from a month earlier, bringing declines since May to 8%, according to data released by the Toronto Real Estate Board Wednesday. Realtors sold 6,379 homes, down 35% from September 2016.

Toronto's housing market, which UBS Group AG called the world's most overvalued, began its slump after policy makers introduced legislation in April to cool runaway prices. While the four-month decline is the biggest in records back to 2000, home values are still up 12% from a year earlier and have more than doubled since the 2009 recession.

"Consumer polling undertaken for TREB in the spring suggested that buying intentions over the next year remain strong," Tim Syrianos, the board's president, said in the statement.

The September drop was the smallest since the slump began. New listings were up 9.4% from a year earlier to 16,469, leaving the sales-to-new listings ratio at 39%, a level economists consider to be between a balanced and a buyers' market.

The correction is primarily in Toronto's detached market, where average prices exceed C$1 million ($802,000). Single-family detached homes are down 0.6% in September and 11% since May. Condominium prices have fallen just 1.5% from their peak, and were little changed in September.

The average price for all property types rose 2.6% from a year earlier to C$775,546. That's up 6% from the August average of C$732,292.

Bloomberg News
Home prices Real estate Housing market Canada