Toronto home prices fall for fifth month as ‘significant’ rate hikes dent sentiment

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FILE PHOTO: A row of houses stand in a newly built subdivision in East Gwillimbury

TORONTO – Home prices in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) fell for the fifth straight month in July, as rapidly rising interest rates further doused the city’s once-red-hot housing market, data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) showed on Thursday.

The average price of a GTA home fell to C$1.07 million ($833,528) in July, down 6.2% from June and 19.5% from February’s peak, according to a TRREB statement, but up 1.2% from a year ago.

Sales nearly halved from a year ago, compared with only a 4.1% decline in listings.

“With the benefit of hindsight, it appears that the Bank of Canada’s rate increases started too late,” TRREB President Kevin Crigger said in the statement. “With significant increases to lending rates in a short period, there has been a shift in consumer sentiment, not market fundamentals.”

($1 = 1.2837 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Sandra Maler)