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The number of homes sold in Toronto and Vancouver and the surrounding areas fell in 2018 as homebuyers and sellers grappled with higher interest rates and stricter mortgage rules.

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) reports that there were 77,426 residential transactions recorded through its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system last year, down by 16.1% from 92,263 sales in 2017.

TREB reports that the total number of new listings was also lower, pulling back by 12.7% to 155,823 in 2018.

Meanwhile, the average selling price for all property types in the Greater Toronto Area fell by 4.3% to $787,300.

TREB, which represents more than 52,000 real estate agents across the region, says the number of sales in December fell by 22.5% to 3,781, down from 4,876 in the same month a year earlier.

The average sale price in December rose slightly by 2.1% to $750,180 from $734,847 when compared to December 2017.

Meanwhile, home sales in Metro Vancouver plummeted to their lowest level in almost two decades last year as the average  price of a home moved lower in the once red-hot real estate market.

The total number of homes sold in Metro Vancouver last year fell to 24,619, marking the lowest total since 2000, according to data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). That’s down by 31.6% from almost 36,000 in 2017 and 25% below the region’s 10-year average.

The composite benchmark price for a home, which includes detached properties, townhomes and condominiums, dropped by 2.7% from December 2017 to finish the year at $1,032,400.

Detached homes led the fall as their benchmark price fell by 7.8% from December 2017 to $1,479,000.

Townhome and condominium prices saw small gains over the year. The benchmark price of a townhouse rose by 1.3% year-over-year to $809,700 while the benchmark price of a condominium advanced by 0.6% to $664,100.

“As the total supply of homes for sale began to accumulate in the spring, we began to see downward pressure on prices across all home types throughout the latter half of the year,” said Phil Moore, president of the REBGV.

Condo prices were down by 0.6% from November 2018, while townhome prices fell by 1.1% month-over-month.

Moore called 2018 “a transition period” for the region’s housing market, which moved away from sellers’ market conditions.

“High home prices, rising interest rates and new mortgage requirements and taxes all contributed to the market conditions we saw in 2018,” he said.