Toronto housing sees fewest new listings for September since 2002

The Greater Toronto Area housing market took another hit in September as sales fell 44.1% REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
Greater Toronto area housing activity took another hit in September as buyers continued to sit on the sidelines.
Sales for the month fell 44.1 percent from the same period last year, with 5,038 properties changing hands, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) said on Wednesday.
All types of properties in both the city and suburbs saw sales decline between 35.4 percent and 53 percent.
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“September numbers show that the market has leveled off after peaking earlier in the year. We've all adjusted to the factors -- elevated interest rates, risk of recession -- that have affected the market, and this is now the new norm," said Cailey Heaps, president and chief executive officer of the Toronto-based Heaps Estrin team, via email.
Fewer homeowners chose to put their properties up for sale. New listings in September fell 16.7 percent year-on-year to 11,237, the lowest number of new listings reported this month since 2002, the data showed.
“Sellers definitely need to be realistic about real estate prices at the moment. If they hold prices from the first quarter of 2022, they may be disappointed," Heaps said.
“Inventory isn't being moved in the way homeowners have become accustomed to during the pandemic, so sellers aren't rushing to list their homes, particularly in the city's central core. And with the lack of strong inventory coming into the market, it emerges as a bit of a catch-22 because there are buyers who want to trade but still can't find what they're looking for."
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The average selling price in September rose to $1,086,762 from August, TRREB said, indicating early signs that selling prices may have found a bottom, although prices are still down 4.3 percent on a yearly basis.
The Greater Toronto Area housing market, like many markets across the country, has faltered since the Bank of Canada began aggressively raising interest rates. Since March, the bank's benchmark interest rate has risen by three percentage points, increasing variable mortgage rates and some other debt.
As home sales activity continues to decline, TRREB President Kevin Crigger said it is important for policymakers not to lose sight of the housing stock shortage.
"We must ensure that the temporary drop in housing demand does not obscure the critical shortage of homes for sale in the GTA. Candidates running in Ontario's upcoming municipal elections must ensure that homebuyers and renters have adequate housing options for years to come," Crigger said in a press release.
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"Local council decisions have a direct impact on housing affordability, in terms of lengthy building permit processes, high building fees and other related policies that prevent timely housing development."
Michelle Zadikian is Senior Reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @m_zadikian.
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