In the first half of February, the Toronto-area resale housing market posted a nearly 13 percent increase in sales over the same period a year ago, the Toronto Real Estate Board reported.

Realtors documented 3,301 sales during the first half of this month, up from 2,924 posted at mid-month in February 2005.

This month’s to-date sales were 119 percent higher than just one month ago and were slightly ahead of the record-setting first half of February 2002, when 3,286 transactions were recorded, the board reported.

“The market is off to a solid start, though it’s obviously still very early in the season,” said TREB President John Meehan. “The mild winter has likely contributed to higher activity, but nevertheless a strong performance like this is evidence of the overall health of the market.”

At mid-month, some of the most active areas compared to mid-February 2005 were found in the west end of the city of Toronto, outside the downtown core:

  • One large area east of the Humber River, stretching from High Park in the south up to Downsview, showed an average of 68 percent more overall transactions compared to mid-February of last year. Detached homes are the most common housing type in this area.

  • In the east, the Guildwood/Scarborough Village area of Toronto saw 44 percent more overall transactions than a year ago, led by sales of detached homes.

  • Outside Toronto, sales activity to mid-month in the town of Whitby was 43 percent higher than during the same time frame a year ago.

The average price of a home in mid-February was $348,804, up 12 percent from the $311,065 recorded at the same point in January, and up 4 percent over the $334,968 recorded a year ago.

The Toronto Real Estate Board serves more than 23,000 Realtors throughout the Greater Toronto area.

***

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