Toronto-area home prices drop more than 12%

Re-sale home prices in the Toronto region dropped 12.4 per cent, or about $110,000, year over year in February.

The average price fell to $767,818, from $875,983 for all housing categories, including detached, semi-detached, town homes and condos.

The number of sales also plunged nearly 35 per cent last month compared to February 2017 — to 5,175 transactions from last year’s record 7,955, according to the latest statistics from the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) on Tuesday.

But the region-wide averages are actually a mash of two different markets in the Toronto region. As some downtown homes continue to sell over the asking price with multiple offers, including the scorching condo sector, some outlying markets, notably in York Region, are lagging as sellers struggle to adjust their expectations from last year’s now-faded feverish activity.

Last month’s prices were still 12 per cent higher than February 2016 when the average was $685,278. It was also higher than January’s average of $736,783, a 4.1 per cent year-over-year decline.

The sluggish start to 2018 is what the real estate board says it predicted after the extraordinary Toronto-area market peak in the first four months of 2017. Last April, prices topped out at an average $920,791 — 24.5 per cent above the previous year.

Sales have since been declining because that month the Ontario government took cooling action by introducing its Fair Housing Policy, including a foreign buyers tax, said Jason Mercer, TREB director of market analysis.

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