January 4, 2018 / 1:54 PM / 8 months ago

Toronto home sales fall 18.3 percent in 2017 from record level

TORONTO, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Home sales in Toronto fell 18.3 percent in 2017 from the previous year’s record as provincial government measures to cool the housing market restrained demand, but tight supply early in the year boosted the average price.

Sales of detached homes, which fell 23 percent, accounted for much of the 2017 drop, while condo sales pulled back a more muted 9.6 percent, according to a report from the Toronto Real Estate Board.

Declines in the second and third quarters followed a record high in the first quarter, but the pace picked up again in the year’s last three months as some buyers may have accelerated home purchases to beat new mortgage stress test requirements that started on Jan. 1, the real estate board said.

The Ontario government implemented multiple measures, including a foreign buyers tax, in late April to try to ease the Toronto region’s surging housing markets.

The impact of those measures and two recent interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada will be compounded by the new mortgage rules aimed at safeguarding lenders and borrowers.

Even as sales fell, the average selling price for the year jumped 12.7 percent from 2016 to C$822,681 ($657,145.94), the real estate board said.

Average prices rose 13 percent for detached homes and jumped 23 percent for condos.

$1 = 1.2519 Canadian dollars Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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