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Toronto housing market continues surge Add to ...

When you're hot, you're hot.

It was the second best May for Toronto real estate sales since the Toronto Real Estate Board began compiling data, according to statistics released Friday.

Sales increased 6 per cent from May 2010, while prices gained 9 per cent to an average $485,520. The number of listings to hit the market decreased by 15 per cent from last year, meaning more competition through the summer as buyers compete for fewer houses. Houses were on the market an average of 23 days in May.

The real estate board breaks out sales by median prices, with detached homes hitting $505,000. Other categories include semi-detached at $395,000, condo townhouses at $305,00 and condo apartments at $303,000.

The Canadian Real Estate Association compiles data on the 15th of each month, but the country's 101 real estate boards often release regional data earlier. Vancouver reported Thursday, saying sales were up 7 per cent compared with last May while prices were up 6 per cent.

Sales are showing signs of slowing in Vancouver, however, slipping 8.1 per cent below the 10-year average in May.

The market has caused concern because of the high prices; the board said its index price for a detached house was $805,000 in May, up 10 per cent from a year ago. The index "represents the price of a typical property within a market, taking into consideration what averages and medians do not - items such a lots size, age, number of rooms, etc."

The board said there have a been a lot of high-price sales in Vancouver this spring, which makes big headline numbers deceptive. "Of all residential properties sold on the MLS in Greater Vancouver in 2011 to date 21 per cent sold for $1-million or higher and 20 per cent sold for $350,000 or lower," the board stated.

"While 77 per cent of the properties that sold for over $1-million were located in West Vancouver, the Westside of Vancouver or Richmond, the properties that sold for $350,000 or lower were located throughout the entire board area."

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