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Toronto’s housing market booms in September, but condo prices slip

Cranes erecting condos dot Toronto's skyline. Canadian Press

Homes continue to trade hands at a faster clip in the Toronto real estate market, pushing prices up another 6.5 per cent in September to an average of $533,800 across the biggest market in the country.

A total of 7,411 homes were sold through the Toronto MLS system in September – a 30 per cent increase from last year when tighter mortgage lending rules were still hampering sales activity.

The spike in sales helped push the average price of a house in the Greater Toronto Area to $533,797, the Toronto Real Estate Board said in a release on Thursday.

Low-rise homes such as detached and semi-detached houses as well as townhouses led demand, with prices improving in three housing types. The condo market meanwhile – the source of some concern for industry watchers – cooled in September with prices slipping 3.7 per cent in the metro centre of the city.

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“The price growth story in September continued to be about strong demand for low-rise home types, coupled with a short supply of listings,” Jason Mercer, senior manager of market analyst at TREB said.

Read more: Big cities see housing boom in August

With interest rates on the rise in recent months, market watchers suggest that demand is being fueled by buyers looking to take advantage of low rates that were approved months ago. Buyers are locking in now before the offers expire.

A detached home in Toronto now fetches an average of $856,169, up 10.2 per cent from a year ago, while the same kind of home in the suburbs cost $608,866, up 7.1 per cent. The average price of semi-detached was $616,049 in the city (up 1.9 per cent) and $405,920 in the greater Toronto area (3.2 per cent).

The average price of condo in the 416 region slipped to $363,149 last month, although sales volumes were up by 31.5 per cent – indicating that developers and sellers are motivated to move units and willing to shave percentage points off the sale price or offer other incentives.

“Even with slower price growth and month-to-month volatility in the condo apartment market, overall annual price growth has been well above the rate of inflation this year. This scenario will continue to play out through the remainder of 2013,” Mercer said.

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Below is the sales volume and price by housing type and region (416 or 905), courtesy of TREB:

Toronto’s housing market booms in September, but condo prices slip - image

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