October sales this year on the Toronto Real Estate Board were down 7% from October of 2011. New listings for the month were up 6% over October of last year and the current inventory of 'active listings' at just over 20,000 properties is 16% higher than a year ago. This represents about a three month's supply of listings at current sale rates. In comparison, the U.S. the norm is about six to eight months.
Turning to the condo apartment market, October sales were down by 16% from October of last year. While the condo market is weaker than the house or freehold market, there is a slight improvement from the summer. Downtown, condo sales were 20% lower in October versus 30% declines for September and August. Is that good news? Downtown, 'active' condo listings are just over 1600 and that's a 35% increase over last year at this time. This represents a 4.4 month's supply.
For the first two weeks of November, overall sales on TREB declined by 17% versus the same period in 2011. It now appears that the rest of the market is catching up to the slowdown first evidenced in the downtown condo market over the summer. For November, the downtown condo market recorded a decrease of 21% in sales versus the same period of 2011.
But the number one question is: what about prices? And where have prices moved this year? Unfortunately most experts can only reference average prices. Our views are well documented: average prices are not accurate because the mix of sales is always changing over time and you end up comparing apples to oranges. Our approach has always been to take an individual unit and track the sale of this same unit over time