TORONTO — The Toronto Real Estate Board says property sales tanked 40.4 per cent last month compared with July 2016.

The drop was led by the detached home market both in City of Toronto and the surrounding areas.

The board says the Multiple Listing Service composite benchmark price was up 18 per cent on a year-over-year basis. However, the benchmark was down 4.6 per cent compared with June.

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The latest data follows moves by the Ontario government earlier this year to rein in the real estate market.

Home prices have been on a decline since April, when the province introduced more than a dozen changes —including a 15 per cent tax on foreigners purchasing property — aimed at cooling the Greater Toronto Area’s real estate market.

The board says foreign buyers represent a small part of the real estate market and the decline has more to do with potential homebuyers waiting to see how market conditions evolve.