12/05/2017 11:21 EST | Updated 12/05/2017 11:21 EST

Toronto Housing Market Stumbles As Vancouver Home Sales Soar

Toronto house prices are lower than they were a year ago.

Orchidpoet via Getty Images
Condo towers in Vancouver's West End. The city has seen a bounce-back in its real estate market, led by condos and townhomes, the city's real estate board says.

Canada's two priciest housing markets are both showing signs of recovery following the introduction of foreign buyers' taxes in Toronto and Vancouver. But the markets went off in separate directions in November, data from the cities' real estate boards shows.

In Toronto, home sales were down 13.3 per cent in November, compared to the same month a year earlier. The average house price of $761,757 was 2 per cent lower than the same month a year earlier.

All the same, sales bucked the seasonal trend and rose slightly from October, to 7,374 transactions.

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Board president Tim Syrianos suggested the sales bump may have to do with the upcoming new mortgage rules.

"It is ... possible that the upcoming changes to mortgage lending guidelines, which come into effect in January, have prompted some households to speed up their home buying decisions," Syrianos said in a statement.

He added that "similar to the Greater Vancouver experience, the impact of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan and particularly the foreign buyer tax may be starting to wane."

Vancouver sales soar 26 per cent

Residential home sales in Greater Vancouver jumped by about 26 per cent in November compared with the same month a year ago.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says the number of sales, which saw 2,795 homes sold, is 17 per cent above the 10-year average for the region in November.

Sales dropped by 7.5 per cent in November compared with October, when just over 3,000 homes sold.

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Board president Jill Oudil says there is a steady demand in the market, with the townhome and condominium markets being particularly strong.

The benchmark price for detached properties was about $1.6 million, about a six per cent increase from November 2016.

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Oudil says there are more listings entering the market this year compared with the same time last year, but inventories are still below typical levels.

The benchmark price of an apartment property was about $648,000 in November, an almost 24 per cent increase from November 2016.

— HuffPost Canada, with files from The Canadian Press

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