Home sales in Toronto, Canada, grew 9 percent in February from a year ago, marking the second-best February ever, the Toronto Real Estate Board reported today.

The 6,756 closed home sales last month came within 2 percent of the record set in February 2002, according to TREB, and gained 47 percent from January 2006 when 4,587 homes were sold.

“The performance of the Toronto area market early in the year has been very encouraging,” said TREB President John Meehan. “We are not yet at the peak of the spring season, but consumers are showing confidence in what is consistently proving to be a solid, healthy real estate market.”

TREB statistics showed that during February, two of the most expensive areas within the city of Toronto also ranked amongst the most active in terms of sales, compared to February 2005:

  • In the Lawrence Manor/Bedford Park area, sales of detached homes jumped 40 percent compared to February 2005.

  • In the most expensive of TREB’s 86 districts, the York Mills/Bridle Path area, 38 percent more homes changed hands than in February 2005.

Meanwhile, further west an increase in the number of condominium transactions contributed to the Weston/Keelesdale area seeing an overall increase in activity of 77 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

Outside the city, Ajax saw overall transactions increase by 27 percent compared to last February, fueled largely by sales of detached homes.

The median home price in the Greater Toronto area was $298,000 in February, up 6 percent from the year-ago price of $281,000.

Jason Mercer, senior market analyst for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., noted that strong demand for home ownership in the Toronto area will likely continue because the economy as a whole is strong.

“Steady job creation and low borrowing costs will keep demand near record levels this year. As the level of existing-home purchases remains very high, the average selling price will continue to increase above the rate of inflation,” Mercer said.

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