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Toronto, Vancouver house prices soar amid spring rush

The mad rush to buy a home continued in the Toronto and Vancouver housing markets in May, despite a shortage of listings and housing prices that have risen sharply in the past year.

Average detached home costs more than $1.1M, and there's no end in sight to sales boom

A water taxi decorated with a Canadian flag travels on False Creek as boats are moored in a marina near Yaletown condo towers in Vancouver. Apartment sales soared in the hot May housing market. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

The mad rush to buy a home continued in the Toronto and Vancouver housing markets in May, despite a shortage of listings and housing prices that have risen sharply in the past year.

In the Greater Toronto Area, the average selling price for all home types rose by 11 per cent in May, compared with the same month the year before, to $649,599. In Greater Vancouver, the composite benchmark price for all residential properties was $684,400, a 9.4 per cent increase.

In Toronto, a record 11,706 homes changed hands, a 6.3 per cent increase since last year, while in Vancouver, 4,056 homes were sold, a 23 per cent increase. Both cities saw a five per cent drop in listings.

The average or composite price masks the intense competition for detached homes in both markets.

Detached homes over $1M

In Vancouver, the average price of a detached home is now $1,104,900, a 14 per cent increase from last year. In Toronto, the average for the same type of home is even more expensive, at $1,115,120, up 18 per cent from last year.

The proportion of high-end homes sold in Toronto is greater than in past years, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board, skewing the average price for homes higher.

In Vancouver, there also has been a boom in apartment sales as people seek more affordable alternatives to detached houses. Apartment sales rose 24 per cent in the year to May and the benchmark price was up 4.6 per cent to $396,900. 

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