Lack of options pushes home prices up in Canada's biggest cities

·2-min read
Condominiums are seen under construction in Toronto, July 10, 2011.  Canada's condominium boom, which has filled the skylines of its biggest cities with cranes and prompted a warning from its central bank, may well avoid the type of crash that has hobbled the industry in the past. Picture taken July 10, 2011. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA - Tags: BUSINESS CITYSCAPE CONSTRUCTION)
Increased condo sales offset a decline in low-rise homes in Toronto and Vancouver (Reuters)

There aren't enough homes for sale in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Metro Vancouver to satisfy demand, and that's helping to push prices even higher.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) says home sales were down 6.9 per cent in October compared to the same month last year. But last October was a record and this October was runner-up. Sales were up 8.1 per cent compared to the previous month.

TRREB says a decline in low-rise home sales was offset by a double-digit increase in condo sales.

Prices, as measured by the MLS Home Price Index, are up 24.2 per cent year over year and 4.2 per cent month over month.

According to TRREB, the number of new listings compared to last year is down by almost one-third, and that's keeping prices elevated.

"The only sustainable way to address housing affordability in the GTA is to deal with the persistent mismatch between demand and supply," said TRREB president Kevin Crigger.

"Demand isn't going away. And that's why all three levels of government need to focus on supply."

Also See: The latest real estate news for housing prices, mortgage rates, markets, luxury properties and more at Yahoo Finance Canada.

Similar story in Vancouver

Sales are down from last year's frenzied pace in Vancouver. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) says 5.2 per cent fewer homes changed hands in October year over year. But sales were up 11 per cent compared to the previous month.

Like Toronto, a double-digit increase in condo sales offset a decline in low-rise sales.

The MLS Home Price Index was up 14.7 per cent year over year in October and 1.1 per cent compared to September 2021.

New listings were down 27.3 per cent year over year. REBGV also blames a lack of supply for persistently high home prices.

"Home sale activity continues to outpace what's typical for this time of year and the pool of homes available for sale is in decline," said REBGV economist Keith Stewart.

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

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