Existing home sales in the GTA rose 27 per cent in August, helping boost Ontario sales to 15.9 per cent compared to the same time last year, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.
The group reported that 18,067 homes traded hands. Average prices were also up by 7.5 per cent to $313,512.
"Low interest rates and affordability continue to attract homebuyers to the housing market. Consumer confidence continues to rise, which bodes well for activity in the coming months," said CREA president Dale Ripplinger.
Seasonally adjusted sales were also up slightly from July by 0.5 per cent, thanks to the strong Toronto market.
"The balance of sentiment making big ticket purchases pushed into positive territory in August for the first time since early last year," said CREA chief economist Gregory Klump.
Nationally, Canadian existing home sales increased 18.5 per cent in August compared to the same time last year.
Prices also rose by 11.3 per cent from year ago levels to $324,779. This represents the highest average price for the month of August.
CREA said the high prices were the result of demand in the more expensive housing markets skewing figures upward.
Improved demand combined with fewer listings is drawing down inventory in the market. Listings were down by 13.3 per cent in August from a year earlier.
The number of months of inventory was up slightly in August to five months, from 4.4 months in July. That is well below the recessionary peak of 12.8 months in January of this year.
SOURCE: THE TORONTO STAR