Suburbs drive Toronto housing market growth

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Toronto’s housing market continues to surge with sales, listings and prices all above last year’s totals, with a large share of that growth coming from the ‘905’ region, according the city’s real estate association.

The Toronto Real Estate Board reported 10,850 transactions in May 2012 - an 11 per cent increase over May 2011. Sales growth was strongest in the ‘905’ regions surrounding the City of Toronto, due in part to Toronto’s land transfer tax, said TREB’s president Richard Silver.

"While lower average prices are certainly one factor that has contributed to this trend, recent polling also suggests that the City of Toronto's land transfer tax has also prompted many households to look outside of the City for their ownership housing needs,” he said.

New listings were up substantially on a year-over-year basis in May – rising by more than 20 per. The average price for May 2012 sales was $516,787, representing an annual increase of 6.5 per cent compared to $485,362 in May 2011. Price growth continued to be driven by the low-rise market segment.
 

While competition between buyers seeking to purchase drove price growth, a sustained rise in the number of listings may help to moderate further price increase, said TREB’s senior manager of market analysis Jason Mercer.

“If new listings continue to grow at the pace they did in May for the remainder of 2012, the annual rate of price growth should begin to moderate on a sustained basis,” he said.

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