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Toronto housing prices on the up amid tightening supply

Demand continues to outpace a dwindling supply of listings

Ottawa

TORONTO'S home prices extended gains in November, and are now accelerating at the fastest annual pace since 2017 as demand continues to outpace a dwindling supply of listings.

Benchmark prices on homes sold in Canada's biggest city rose 0.6 per cent in November from October, bringing the increase from a year earlier to 6.8 per cent, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) said in a report on Wednesday.

The number of transactions also rose, with sales up 14 per cent from November 2018.

Toronto's housing market began bouncing back in recent months - driven by a combination of lower mortgage rates and rising population - after almost two years of adjustment to higher taxes and tighter regulations to tame soaring valuations.

While transactions still remain well below records in 2016, when the market was being driven by speculative demand, prices have fully recouped their declines and realtors are cautioning that values could continue rising, given the dearth of listings and supply.

Active listings fell 27 per cent in November from a year earlier, said TREB.

Jason Mercer, the board's chief market analyst, said in the statement: "Increased competition between buyers has resulted in an acceleration in price growth.

"We expect the rate of price growth to increase further if we see no relief on the listings-supply front."

Condos have been recording the biggest increases over the past year, with benchmark prices for such homes up 9.5 per cent from a year ago, versus 5.1 per cent gains for single-family detached residences.

The average price of a detached home sold in Toronto last month was C$1.04 million (S$1.07 million), versus C$617,658 for condominiums.

The average price of a home in Toronto and its suburbs rose 7.1 per cent from a year earlier to C$843,637 in November.

That's still below the peak of nearly C$921,000 set in April 2017, as activity over the past couple of years has shifted to the less-pricey condo segment of the market. BLOOMBERG