Toronto area home prices soar in March, average price in GTA hits $916,567

The cost of Toronto area real estate soared again in March, with the average price jumping 33.2 per cent from the same month last year and nearly five per cent from February.

The Toronto Real Estate Board reported Wednesday that the average price in the area rose to $916,567 last month, up from $688,011 in March 2016 and up 4.6 per cent from $875,983 in February 2017.

TREB said that demand for housing in Canada's most populated area continues to exceed supply, one of the underlying causes of the huge price increases.

The real estate board reported that the number of properties listed for sale was up by 15.2 per cent from the same time last year _ but the number of sales rose by 17.7 per cent.

Jason Mercer, TREB's director of market analysis, said that rate of price increases accelerated in March because demand continued to grow faster than supply. He also suggested the trend will likely continue.

'A substantial period of months in which listings growth is greater than sales growth will be required to bring the GTA housing market back into balance,'' Mercer said in a statement.

TREB has argued against government intervention, such as a tax on foreign home buyers that Ontario's finance minister said last month is under consideration, and repeated in Wednesday's report that politicians need to tread cautiously.

'Policy makers must remember that it is the interplay between the demand for and supply of listings that influences price growth,'' TREB president Larry Cerqua said.

At the high end of the range provided by TREB, the average price for detached houses in the Greater Toronto Area was $1.2 million in March _ up 33.4 per cent from last year but about the same as in February.

The average price for semi-detached homes in the GTA was up 34.4 per cent at $858,202, the average townhouse price was up 32.9 per cent at $705.078 and the average condo apartment price was up 33.1 per cent at $518,879.

For each type of housing, average prices were higher in the 416 area code area covering the City of Toronto itself than in the surrounding 905 area code.

The MLS home price index, which adjusts for the various types of properties sold, was up 28.6 per cent from a year ago.

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Until next time,
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