The number of homes sold in Toronto and Vancouver and the surrounding areas fell in 2018, as homebuyers and sellers grappled with higher interest rates and stricter mortgage rules.
The Toronto Real Estate Board says there were 77,426 residential transactions recorded through its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system last year, down 16.1% from 92,263 sales in 2017.
The board says the total number of new listings was also lower, pulling back 12.7% to 155,823 in 2018.
Meanwhile, the average selling price for all property types in the Greater Toronto Area fell by 4.3% to $787,300.
TREB, which represents more than 52,000 real estate agents across the region, says the number of sales in December fell 22.5% to 3,781, down from 4,876 in the same month a year earlier.
The average sale price in December rose slightly by 2.1% to $750,180 from $734,847 when compared to December 2017.
Sales in Vancouver drop to two-decade low
Home sales in Metro Vancouver plummeted to their lowest level in nearly two decades last year, and the average home price moved lower in the once red-hot real estate market.
The total number of homes sold in Metro Vancouver last year fell to 24,619, marking the lowest total since 2000, according to data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. That’s down 31.6% from nearly 36,000 in 2017 and 25% below the region’s 10-year average.
The composite benchmark price for a home, which includes detached properties, townhomes and condominiums, dropped 2.7% from December 2017 to finish the year at $1,032,400.
Detached homes led the fall as their benchmark price fell 7.8% from December 2017 to $1,479,000.
Townhome and condominium prices saw small gains over the year. The benchmark price of a townhouse rose 1.3% year-over-year to $809,700, while the benchmark price of a condominium advanced 0.6% to $664,100.
“As the total supply of homes for sale began to accumulate in the spring, we began to see downward pressure on prices across all home types throughout the latter half of the year,” said REBGV president Phil Moore.
Condo prices were down 0.6% from November 2018, while townhome prices fell 1.1% month-over-month.
Moore called 2018 “a transition period” for the region’s housing market, which moved away from sellers’ market conditions.
“High home prices, rising interest rates and new mortgage requirements and taxes all contributed to the market conditions we saw in 2018,” he said.