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Canada's real estate market is cooling. Here's what to expect this fall


TORONTO — After fuelling Canada's economy through the COVID-19 pandemic, the real estate market is showing signs of weakness as home prices fall and bidding wars dissipate.


It's welcome news for prospective buyers hoping for a better price. But as the busy fall season nears, realtors and economists are at odds over how long the pricing slide will last and how low it will go.


"The fall is going to be interesting because we're going to see probably more buyers jumping into the market and you don't need a ton more buyers to provide a little bit more stability to prices," said John Pasalis, president of Realosophy Realty Inc. in Toronto.


"Just a little bit of a bump in demand could be the difference between homes selling in three, four weeks versus selling in two weeks or selling a lot faster."


The average home price is still above pre-pandemic levels, but increasing mortgage rates and inflationary pressures are weighing on the market.


When pandemic lockdowns began in March 2020, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board said the average home price in the area -- one of Canada's hottest -- sat at $902,680. Last month, it was $1,074,754, a one per cent hike from July 2021, but a six per cent drop from June 2022.


The latest data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) showed prices hit $629,971 in July, down five per cent from $662,924 last July. On a seasonally adjusted basis, it amounted to $650,760, a three per cent drop from June. When pandemic lockdowns began in March 2020, the average national price was $543,920.


The association forecast the national average home price will rise by 10.8 per cent on an annual basis to $762,386 by the end of 2022 and hit $786,252 in 2023.

But some economists are anticipating an even greater price reduction.


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