In the first half of March, the Toronto-area resale housing market saw a modest gain in sales over the same period a year ago, the Toronto Real Estate Board reported.

Realtors documented 3,755 sales during the first half of this month, up 1 percent from mid-March of last year, and up 14 percent from mid-February’s sales total of 3,301.

“Unlike last year, which started slowly but ended as the best year on record, 2006 has started with a bang,” said TREB President John Meehan. “The market is showing a lot of positive signs as it gears up for the peak spring months, and mild temperatures so far this year have helped set the pace.”

Among the areas that demonstrated particularly high activity in the first half of the month compared to the same timeframe a year ago was the neighborhood of Riverdale. Semidetached homes were the most common type sold in Riverdale, as the area saw 24 percent more overall transactions compared to mid-March 2005.

Very strong activity was once again seen in West Toronto, as the Junction/High Park area saw overall transactions increase by 77 percent compared to the first half of last March, led by an increase in sales of detached homes.

A 77 percent jump in overall transactions compared to mid-March a year ago was also seen further north in the Weston/Keelesdale area of Toronto, fueled by a significant increase in condominium transactions.

Outside the city, the north end of Richmond Hill experienced 28 percent more overall transactions compared to mid-March of 2005.

Prices continued to trend upward in March, as the average price of a home in the Toronto area reached $360,285 at mid-month, up 7 percent from a year ago, and up 3 percent from the previous month’s average of $348,804.

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

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