Toronto home sales continue to rise in August as supply shrinks

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Toronto home sales and prices rose in August as demand continues to outstrip supply.

Sales in Toronto jumped 13% to 7,711 from the same period last year, the Toronto Real Estate Board said in a report Thursday. That was largely driven by a boost in detached-home sales, which soared 21% over last year. On a seasonally adjusted basis, total sales rose 0.8% from July.

The benchmark price, which accounts for the type of home sold, rose 4.9% to C$802,400 ($606,600), largely driven by gains in the condo apartment sector.

Toronto home sales have rebounded over the past few months, after adjusting to stricter mortgage-lending rules brought in last year amid higher borrowing costs. Limited housing supply is driving up prices and sales, as the city's population continues to grow.

"Competition between buyers has increased, which has led to stronger annual rates of price growth, most notably during this past spring and summer," Jason Mercer, TREB's chief market analyst, said in a statement.

New listings fell 3% to 11,789 in August, while active listings fell 11% to 15,870 over the same period. The average price of a home rose 3.6% to C$792,611. That average is down from July's level of C$806,862.

"Our housing supply has not kept up with population growth, which has led to pent-up housing demand," John DiMichele, chief executive officer of the housing board, said in the statement. "With the federal election less than two months away, all political parties should be making their housing policy stance clear."

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