A new report on the Toronto real estate market suggests it is once again moving at full steam, with high-end homes selling at record rates.
May was the strongest month ever for sales of luxury homes in the Greater Toronto Area, according to RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada.
In that month, 273 homes were sold for more than $1 million each, compared to 258 sold in the same month one year earlier -- a difference of 6 per cent.
"What we are seeing is confidence is returning to the marketplace, and there are some market dynamics that are in place with consumers returning to this level of the marketplace," said Christine Martysiewicz, of RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic.
"There is a shortage of inventory and there is pent-up demand, so that is all a sign of the current market conditions out there."
The previous record for luxury home sales in the GTA was set in May 2007, when 266 homes were sold for over $1 million.
The new record marks the highest number of luxury home sales in the history of the Toronto Real Estate Board.
One of the homes sold last month was located on the city's prestigious Bridle Path and was priced at over $13 million. It was the first sale of a home for over $10 million in more than a year, in the GTA.
Martysiewicz said the sales record is just one indicator that the housing market is bouncing back and consumer confidence is returning at all price points.
Contributing factors, she said, are recent gains in the stock market, the rising Canadian dollar, the rising price of crude oil and an overall increase in economic stability.
"And it's spring and we're in a very good spring market. People are buying and selling homes. April, May and June have been phenomenal and sales are up across the board," Martysiewicz said.
The RE/MAX report said the demand for homes priced at more tham $1 million has been on the rise since January -- a trend that is indicative of what's happening in the broader housing market.
In total in the GTA roughly 700 homes have been sold so far this year, compared to 944 in the same period in 2008.
However, with sales now increasing, Martysiewicz said the agency predicts total sales in 2009 will meet or exceed those of 2008.
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Alexandre Malkhassiants, Sales Representative and Mortgage Specialist,
Right at Home Realty, Centum Mortgage Decision
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