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Toronto Real Estate Home FinanceThe numbers are in for the first half of October from the Toronto Real Estate Board, and it looks like the heat of the market isn't just a flash in the pan: it's a continuing trend.

In a repeat of the numbers from August, this period also saw a sales increase of 21% over the same period last year. Granted, last year's October numbers were part of the six-month decline that the market experienced in late 2012 and early 2013 - but these numbers are also up by 13% over the 10-year sales average, which suggests that the market's strength is genuine and not a fluke. Prices are also up by 7.3% year over year, a further indicator of growth.

Why these numbers? It's the same pattern we've discussed before. Low-rise homes are a huge driver of growth, especially since, as TREB President Dianne Usher says, "the supply of ground-oriented listings remains constrained." This is "due in part to the additional land transfer tax and stricter lending guidelines" - she suggests, in fact, that sales growth could be even greater if the Toronto Land Transfer Tax were repealed, a position with which we agree.

Broader factors also influence the market's strength. There are lots of people with the means and the inclination to buy a home, due in part to the strong Canadian economy.Toronto's real estate is also popular with international buyers, who see it as a safe investment due to its strong showing andCanada's stability. 

Overall, TREB Senior Manager of Market Analysis Jason Mercer paints a happy picture for the market's immediate future: ""Price growth has been stronger in the second half of 2013, as sales growth has outstripped growth in listings.  There have been more buyers competing for available properties compared to the first half of the year, which has led to increased upward pressure on average selling prices."

The full TREB report is available here.

Nick Thompson

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