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A detached home for sale in Toronto is seen in this file photo

Darren Calabrese/The Globe and Mail

Home prices in the Greater Toronto Area soared nearly 10 per cent in August, a month that saw buyers flocking to more affordable homes and condos in the suburbs.

Sales across the region rose 5.7 per cent last month compared to the same period last year, the Toronto Real Estate Board said, as the average average price for a detached house in Toronto jumped almost 13 per cent to $1,017,652. In the 905 region around Toronto home prices jumped nearly 14 per cent to an average of $733,577.

But with prices for detached houses soaring out of reach of many residents, August also saw buyers shift their preferences toward less expensive properties.

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Detached home sales fell 8.5 per cent in Toronto, while sales of semi-detached properties in the city dropped 5.7 per cent. By contrast condo sales jumped 10 per cent in the city and more than 23 per cent in the 905 region. Townhouse sales were comparatively flat, rising 1.3 per cent in the city and 0.5 per cent in the suburbs.

The benchmark price for a detached house, a measure that compares sales of similar properties over time, rose 11.55 per cent in August. The increase came predominantly from the suburbs, with benchmark home prices jumping more than 14 per cent in York Region and more than 13 per cent in Durham Region compared to 7.5 per cent in the City of Toronto.

The shift toward less expensive properties comes as the price gap between condos and detached houses in Toronto topped more than $611,000 in August. Buyers would have to pay more than 2.5 times the price of a condo in order to afford a detached house in the city. The gap was nearly as large in the 905 region, where the average condo cost $319,764 in August, compared to $733,577 for a detached house.

New listings rose in August faster than sales, pointing to a potential slowdown as the market heads into fall. But new listings remained lower than levels at the same time last year, the real estate board said, meaning the region is still firmly a sellers' market "It was encouraging to see annual growth in new listings outstrip annual growth in sales, but we will need to see this for a number of months before market conditions become more balanced," Jason Mercer, the board's director of market analysis, said in a statement.

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