Vacant homes represent a growing fraction of Toronto listings

Recent price declines might have played an important factor

Vacant homes represent a growing fraction of Toronto listings

As of this week, approximately 28% of GTA properties listed for sale through Toronto’s MLS are empty – a fraction that might only grow larger in the future, according to Realosophy Realty Inc. president John Pasalis.

This proportion went up 17% from last year, and Pasalis noted that the actual number of vacant homes is likely higher. He added that many of these properties are in the low-rise category, especially in the 905 region.

The executive attributed the increased vacancy to stubbornness among sellers who are hoping for prices to go back up to the levels they were at in 2017. He is not expecting price growth to pick up pace even during the relatively active fall season, however.

“When house prices fell last year, it caught a lot of owners off guard,” Pasalis told CBC News. “A lot of them are really just trying to hold out for sort of those peak prices.”

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A recent analysis by the Altus Group reported that sales of new homes in the GTA declined by 44% on a year-over-year basis in July, and fell 55% from the 10-year average.

Sales activity in the new single-family home sector – including detached, linked and semi-detached houses and townhouses (apart from stacked) – stood at 77% below the 10-year average, although up by 85% on a year-over-year basis.

Meanwhile, completed deals involving condos (low-, medium-, and high-rises) along with stacked townhouses and loft units declined by 52% from July 2017 and 40% from the 10-year average.