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

Just Posted

White Rock pier-plank purchasers celebrated

Donors received a certificate Sunday marking their purchase of a pier plank

Plans for new Surrey hospital to be updated Monday

News conference announced by Premier Horgan and health minister Adrian Dix

White Rock looking at 3.9% tax increase

Budget discussions are to take place this week

PHOTOS: White Rock Festival of Lights celebrated with a cheer

Hundreds of people gathered in the city Saturday for a Christmas event

Surrey 37 per cent behind in housing supply projections

Of 18 cities in Metro Vancouver, only City of North Vancouver and Richmond met or exceeded projections

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

Wealth of Canadians divided along racial lines, says report on income inequality

One interesting finding was that racialized men have a higher employment rate than non-racialized men

VIDEO: Giants earn a teddy bear toss victory Sunday at Rogers Arena

G-Men suit up next on Saturday, Dec. 14 when they take on the Everett Silvertips in Washington

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Four men in hospital after early morning Vancouver stabbing

A large group of men was seen fighting in Yaletwon

Most Read