The latter half of 2023 saw home sales and home prices dropping in Toronto, and a similar effect was reported across Canada. But a new report by Zoocasa found that home price drops have hit regions in Ontario the hardest — including in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
The analysis of benchmark prices in 21 regions across Canada saw seven Ontario markets topping the list for the largest price drops since June 2023. Kitchener-Waterloo took the lead with an 8.9 per cent decline, followed closely behind by London and St. Thomas with a 7.8 per cent price drop, the GTA with a 7.7 per cent price drop and Hamilton-Burlington with a 7.7 per cent price drop. Cambridge, reporting a 6.9 per cent decline, Guelph, with a 6.6 per cent decline and Niagara Region with a 4.8 per cent decline also hit the top of the list.
One other Ontario region made the list — Ottawa, in 11th place with a more modest 3.6 per cent decline. Most other large regions in Canada experienced home price drops since June 2023, including Winnipeg and Regina at just over 4 per cent Edmonton and Victoria around 2 per cent, the Greater Vancouver Area at 1.5 per cent and the Montreal CMA (census metropolitan area) with barely a decline at 0.4 per cent.
Only three Canadian regions included in the report managed to squeak by with a barely-there price increase: Saint John, N.B. saw prices increase by 0.1 per cent, St. John’s, N.L. by 1.5 per cent and Calgary by 1.7 per cent.
Price changes year-over-year were less extreme — in the GTA, the November 2023 benchmark home price of $1,081,300 is a 0.1 per cent increase compared to last year.
Single-family homes seemed to show the most change, with the GTA reporting a 7.8 per cent price drop to $1,291,000 since June 2023. Kitchener-Waterloo saw a whopping 9.7 per cent drop and Hamilton-Burlington an 8.5 per cent drop for the same type of homes.
The market had a less significant effect on condo prices, as the GTA only experienced a 4.8 per cent decline to $695,300 — the second-largest price change for condos in the country.
“Demand for more affordable property types remained steady in 2023, especially as many buyers were forced to grapple with higher interest rates,” the report noted.
Since the GTA’s average home price peaked in 2022, a series of interest rate hikes have led to a slow market and — despite a short-lived rebound in 2023 — have seen the city hit an over 20-year record low for home sales last year. Experts are predicting a market recovery to begin mid-2024 and an interest rate that may bottom out by the end of the year.