A real estate agent puts up a “sold” sign in front of a house in Toronto. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Vancouver, Toronto see home sale gains in October, but prices diverge

Greater Vancouver home sales were up by 45.4 per cent compared with a year earlier

Home sales in Canada’s two most valuable real estate regions rose in October as a rebound in the market continued due in part to falling interest rates.

Greater Vancouver home sales were up by 45.4 per cent in the month compared with a year earlier, while Greater Toronto Area home sales were up by 14 per cent.

Gains for the Vancouver area followed a similar jump in September and mark the fourth month in a row of rising sales after significant declines at the start of the year.

Toronto-area home sales were also rebounding from declines at the start of the year, though they were much more moderate than what Vancouver went through.

Toronto Real Estate Board president Michael Collins said home sales have been helped along by the economy and population gains.

“A strong regional economy obviously fuels population growth. All of these new households need a place to live and many have the goal of purchasing a home,” he said in a statement.

For Toronto, the strong demand and economy have pushed home prices higher. The composite benchmark price rose by 5.8 per cent in October for the strongest annual growth rate since December 2017, while the average selling price was up 5.5 per cent to $852,142.

In Vancouver, sales have been boosted in part by price declines.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said the composite benchmark price was down by 6.4 per cent from a year ago to $992,900, and down 1.7 per cent over the past six months.

Buyers are returning to the market with more confidence than the first half of the year, said Ashley Smith, president of the Vancouver area board.

“With prices edging down over the last year and interest rates remaining low, hopeful home buyers are becoming more active this fall.”

The Vancouver-area market has seen a steeper correction in recent years after the provincial government introduced numerous measures including a foreign buyer tax meant to cool the market. Ontario also imposed a foreign buyer tax but has not imposed the vacant home and other speculation taxes imposed in B.C.

KEEP READING: Canadian Real Estate Association upgrades 2019 sales forecast to show 1.2% improvement

RBC senior economist Robert Hogue said Vancouver home prices, while still down from a year earlier, are up month-to-month for a third straight time and could turn positive for year-over-year growth by late spring next year to also be noticed by policy-makers.

The federal Liberals also promised during the election campaign to impose a one-per-cent speculation and vacancy tax for properties owned by non-resident, non-Canadians.

Real estate markets have seen a boost this year as fixed mortgage rates have fallen for much of the year after climbing for much of the past two years.

Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs call for end of police patrols

Temporary closure of field office not enough to meet demands

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

CGL must revise impact assessment on Unist’ot’en Healing Center

Environmental Assessment Office not satisfied with report’s shortcomings

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

Confusion surrounds terms of RCMP withdrawal from pipeline construction area

B.C. Deputy Commissioner clarifies terms of agreement following minister’s statements

Trout ‘doing quite well’ at Kootenay hatchery after otters, who ate 150 fish, relocated

River otters had been pillaging a moat outside the facility for months, gobbling up about 150 trout

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

Trudeau revisits blackface embarrassment during Black History Month

Photos and a video of Trudeau wearing makeup to darken his skin surfaced during last fall’s election campaign

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Most Read