Toronto home sales plunge 40.4% in July as slowdown intensifies

Reuters

He predicts sellers will be more "serious" about completing a deal in the fall, while people who are toying with the idea of selling and holding out for prices above current market levels will leave the market.

The realtors are still pointing to the year-over-year gains, which stand at +4.9%, that's down from 33.4% in April and will soon be in negative territory.

Home prices often see upward pressure when the ratio is above 20 percent for several months, the report said.

Uncertainty about the long-term impact of that intervention has contributed to an increase in the number of properties available for sale; indeed, active listings surged 65.3 per cent in July. Detached homes on average sold for $1 million, up 4.9 per cent. That's a buyer's strike.

The number of properties newly listed for sale increased by just 0.3 percent from previous year, while the sales-to-active listings ratio is 32.2 percent.

The average price of condos throughout the GTA in July was $501,750, an increase of 23.2 per cent from a year ago.

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"Condo prices can only go so high while freehold [house] prices are declining".

The biggest decline in sales continues to be in single-family homes where the number of detached house transactions dropped 47.4 per cent, compared to a 30 per cent year over year reduction in condo sales.

The Ontario government introduced a number of measures in late April, including a foreign buyers' tax, in a bid to cool the housing market in Toronto and the surrounding areas amid fears of a bubble.

But that's down almost $175,000 since April, when the Ontario government introduced more than a dozen measures _ including a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers _ aimed at improving home affordability. "Clearly, the year-over-year decline we experienced in July had more to do with psychology, with would-be home buyers on the sidelines waiting to see how market conditions evolve", said Syrianos in a prepared statement.

TREB President Tim Syrianos stresses that a recent report issued by the Ontario government echoes TREB's conclusion that foreign purchasers only account for a small percentage of home sales in the region, instead attributing the year-over-year changes to a state of mind among potential purchasers.

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