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Toronto home sales soar in July amid housing supply crunch

Toronto/Ottawa

TORONTO home sales and prices continued to move higher in July amid tight supply. Sales in Canada's biggest city jumped 24 per cent to 8,595 from the same period last year, the Toronto Real Estate Board said in a report on Tuesday.

On a seasonally-adjusted basis, sales rose 5.1 per cent from June, the most since the end of 2017, before harsher mortgage-lending rules were introduced.

The benchmark price, which accounts for the type of home sold, rose 4.4 per cent to C$800,900 (S$832,825), largely driven by gains in the condo segment.

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Toronto sales have been rebounding all summer from a slump earlier this year amid tighter borrowing conditions that came into play in 2018. Meanwhile, housing supply is still limited, driving prices higher for most segments.

"As more and more households come to terms with the stress test and move back into the market in the coming months and years, they could suffer from a chronically under-supplied marketplace and an acceleration of home price growth to unsustainable levels,"John DiMichele, chief executive officer of the housing board, said in a statement.

New listings rose 3.7 per cent to 14,393 in July compared with last year, while active listings were down by 9.1 per cent. The average price of a home rose 3.2 per cent from last year to C$806,755. The average was down from June's level of C$831,737.

Detached homes saw a sales boost in July but average prices for the segment continued to remain down in various suburban communities, the housing board said. BLOOMBERG