Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 6,232 sales through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in August 2010. This represented a 22 per cent decrease compared to the 8,035 sales recorded during the same period in 2009. New listings decreased by one per cent year-over-year to 10,488.
The average price for August transactions was $411,012 - up six per cent compared to the average of $387,921 reported in August 2009. Market conditions have remained tight enough to support higher home prices in comparison to last year.
In August, the median price was $358,000, from the $338,000 recorded during August of 2009. August marked the first year-over-year decline in construction starts of detached single-family homes since June 2009.
"The momentum on new construction experienced earlier in the year has started to slow, given the elevated competition from the resale market and the expectation of rising new home inventories," says Richard Cho, senior market analyst for CMHC in Calgary.
‘Rising interest rates and a projected slowdown in job growth mean that the Canadian housing market is expected to continue to cool. This is overlooked in recent commentary that suggests further changes to mortgage regulations may be needed. A further tightening of regulations could negatively impact Canada's softening housing market and consumer confidence,' said Georges Pahud, president of CREA.
High sales activity late last year and earlier this year borrowed from sales this summer and will continue do so over the coming months, according to Gregory Klump, CREA's chief economist.
‘This makes the return to more normal levels of sales activity look like a steep downward trend. The hangover from accelerated home purchases is likely to persist over the rest of the year. Although economic and job growth are expected to be tepid, they will continue to support housing markets,' he added.