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Average Toronto House Price Jumps to $465,369

Average Toronto House Price Jumps to $465,369
By Susan Pigg
www.moneyville.ca

Realtor Whitney Jorgensen felt the cool winds of change start blowing across Toronto’s hot housing market a few weeks ago.

After months of successfully under listing properties to create bidding wars that had been pushing prices well above market values, Jorgensen noticed more buyers opting to stand on the sidelines instead.

While Toronto continues to lead the country in terms of house sales — sales were up 5.2 per cent in September over August, more than double the 2.7 per cent national average — “the general sentiment is that the market is beginning to slow and prices are stabilizing,” says Jorgensen.

The average price of a house in Toronto hit $465,369 in September, up from $427,269 the same month last year. But when adjusted for seasonal fluctuations, the average price was actually down in September just slightly, 0.6 per cent, from August, according to figures released Monday by the Canadian Real Estate Association.

The numbers indicate that recent changes to mortgage regulations may also be helping ease some of the upward pressure on prices, says Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist.

Agents right across the city have been increasingly seeing bid dates come and go on homes with low or no offers at all.

But the real wake-up call for Jorgensen came in late September on a Beach semi she had listed for $399,999, hoping to spur on a bidding war. Three offers came in, all significantly less than the owners had been expecting.

So Jorgensen took it off the market and relisted it Sept. 29 at a more realistic price — $439,000.

It sold two days later for $427,000.

Other agents say they are also taking more care now to price properties closer to market value, sensing buyer burnout from bidding wars.

Banks have also become more aggressive lately about trying to bring sense back to Toronto’s housing market which has been unusually heated since the spring because of low interest rates and a shortage of inventory, agents say.

In one recent case, a buyer emerged victorious from a bidding war for a loft condo on Carlaw Ave., only to be told by his bank — two days before closing — that the $335,000 property was only worth about $329,000.

The buyer had to scramble to come up with $6,000 to make up the difference between the sale price and what the bank was willing to finance. Otherwise, he would have had less a 20 per cent down payment and had to spend $6,500 just to insure the purchase through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.