November 2, 2017 / 11:02 AM / a year ago

Toronto home sales fall year-on year, prices down 15.1 pct from peak

Nov 2 (Reuters) - Toronto home sales tumbled in October from a year earlier and prices were down 15.1 percent from their April peak, but sales rose sharply from September, suggesting the housing market in Canada’s largest city may be steadying, data showed on Thursday.

Sales fell 26.7 percent from October 2016, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) said in a report. It was the seventh straight month of declining year-on-year sales after a years-long boom that sparked fears of a bubble.

The average selling price was up 2.3 percent from a year earlier, while new listings and days on the market both rose, TREB said.

Sales volumes from September to October rose nearly 12 percent, an above-average increase that points to stronger autumn market conditions, TREB President Tim Syrianos said in a statement.

“While the number of transactions was still down relative to last year’s record pace, it certainly does appear that sales momentum is picking up,” he said.

The average selling price for all home types combined was C$780,104 ($606,330), up slightly from C$775,546 in September, but still down 15.1 percent from a peak of C$918,285 in April of this year.

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

New listings rose 11.8 percent from a year earlier, while active listings were up 78.5 percent as properties sat on the market longer.

The Bank of Canada has begun what most analysts believe will be a gradual process of raising interest rates from near historic lows, which has in turn boosted mortgage rates and other borrowing costs.

The central bank raised its key rate by a total of 50 basis points to 1.00 percent in two back-to-back moves in July and September, although its more dovish tone in recent weeks has tempered bets it will hike again in December. ($1 = 1.2866 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Julie Gordon in Vancouver; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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