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Toronto home prices surge as sales far outpace new listings

Broker Paul Siksna puts up a ‘for sale’ sign before an open house in downtown Toronto.

Darren Calabrese/The Globe and Mail

The record-shattering pace of Toronto's housing market shows no sign of ending as sales far outpace new listings.

Sales in the Toronto area climbed more than 21 per cent in February from a year earlier. Even factoring in the extra leap year day, sales topped the previous February, 2010, record, the Toronto Real Estate Board said Thursday.

The average home price in the Toronto area climbed almost 15 per cent to $685,278, while the MLS home price index, deemed a better measure, showed a gain of 11.3 per cent.

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In Toronto's 416 area, the average price of a detached home is now above $1.2-million. In the surrounding 905 area, it's now $816,705, according to TREB statistics.

The marked jump in sales came even though new federal mortgage restrictions were brought into force.

"The number of new listings entered into TREB's MLS system was also up on a year-over-year basis, but by a lesser 8.2 per cent," the group said. "The fact that the annual rate of sales growth outstripped the annual rate of new listings growth shows a tightening of market conditions compared to last year."

The group cited a recent poll, which was done for TREB, that suggests the pace isn't about to slow in any marked way.

"Early sales results for January and February certainly support this view," said Jason Mercer, the group's market analysis director. "With strong sales up against a constrained supply of listings, home prices continued to trend strongly upward."

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