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Toronto condo sales plummet


Evidence of a slowdown in Canada's real estate market is continuing, with Toronto condo sales slipping more than 20 percent in the third quarter, compared to one year earlier.

Condo sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) plunged 20.5 percent in the third quarter compared to the same time last year, the Toronto Real Estate Board said on Tuesday. A total of 4,541 condos were sold in the GTA in the third quarter, down from 5,719 in 2011.

Meanwhile, the number of new listings rose 6.5 percent to 11,456 over the same period.

But the average price of a condo is flat year-over-year, coming in at $334,204 up slightly from $332,969 at the end of the third quarter in 2011.

“With more listings to choose from and fewer sales, condo buyers have not been as aggressive with regard to offers, and sellers have had to price their units competitively," Jason Mercer, TREB’s senior manager of market analysis, said in a statement. "Given the supply of listings currently in the market place, the average rate of price growth for condo apartments should continue to lag price growth for low-rise home types over the next year."

Canada's housing market has been showing signs of a slowdown, while consumer debt levels are now at similar levels to those of the U.S. and UK before the financial crisis took hold.

Home sales in September were 15.1 percent below levels of last year, with more than half of the country's local markets posting 10-percent or greater declines, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said Monday. Adjusting for seasonal fluctuations, CREA says home sales were 2.5 percent higher in September from August.

Vancouver -- once the epicenter of soaring home prices and surging sales -- is showing the strongest symptoms of a housing pullback. In September, Vancouver home sales plunged 32.5 percent from the same time last year.

Consumer debt levels, meanwhile, continue to hit record highs. Revised figures from Statistics Canada show the household debt-to-disposable income ratio increased 1.8 percent in the second quarter to a record high 163.4 percent.

Worse still, the revised method of measuring household net worth by Statscan added an additional 11 percentage points to the debt-to-disposable income level for 2011 -- bringing it to 161.7 percent from its previous level of 150.6 percent. CTV Two CTV News CTV News Channel BNN - Business News Network CP24