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Toronto home prices rise with room to run

The Toronto Real Estate Board says supply can't keep up with demand (Getty Images)

A growing population and lack of supply are once again pushing Toronto home prices higher.

New data from the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) show sales jumped 14 per cent to 8,491 in October, compared to 7,448 in October 2018.

Even as sales rise, there are fewer listings. As a result, the average price of all types of homes in the city is up 5.5 per cent from a year ago to $852,142. That’s the largest monthly increase since December 2017.

Condos led the way, with a 10 per cent increase in the 905 area code, and a 9.6 per cent rise in the more central 416.

“A strong regional economy obviously fuels population growth. All of these new households need a place to live and many have the goal of purchasing a home,” said TREB president Michael Collins in a release.

“The problem is that the supply of available listings is actually dropping, resulting in tighter market conditions and accelerating price growth.”

Collins says he hopes a minority government can come together on measures floated during the campaign to help buyers get a foot in the door.

“During the recent federal election, some parties committed to more flexibility on the mortgage lending front, including the reintroduction of a 30-year amortization period for insured mortgages and more flexibility in the application of the OSFI mortgage stress test,” he said.

“These and other housing-related policy options should be brought forth in the new minority parliament.”

TREB expects the trend towards higher prices to continue.

“As market conditions in the GTA have steadily tightened throughout 2019, we have seen an acceleration in the annual rate of price growth,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s chief market analyst, in a release”

“While the current pace of price growth remains moderate, we will likely see stronger price growth moving forward if sales growth continues to outpace listings growth, leading to more competition between home buyers.”

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

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