Toronto home sales in March up 7.2% from year ago, prices up nearly 8%: board

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TORONTO – The Toronto Real Estate Board says home sales for March totalled 8,081, up 7.2 per cent from a year ago.

The increase came as the board also reported the average selling price for the month was $557,684, up almost eight per cent compared with March 2013.

“With borrowing costs remaining low, and in fact declining, strong home ownership demand will continue to butt up against a constrained supply of listings,” said Jason Mercer, the board’s senior manager of market analysis.

The number of new listings for the month totalled 14,829 compared with 14,618 a year ago.

The Toronto sales results followed a report Wednesday that sales in Vancouver also picked up in March.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said Wednesday there were 2,641 homes sold, up from 2,347 a year ago.

Worries about the health of the Canadian housing market have persisted in recent months amid concerns it is overvalued and what could happen if interest rates rise.

However, several of Canada’s big banks recently cut mortgage rates as bond yields dipped ahead of the busy spring real estate season.

The Bank of Montreal recently cut a half point from its five-year fixed-rate mortgage offering to 2.99 per cent.

TD Bank (TSX:TD) and Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) also offered rates less than three per cent on certain mortgages.

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