TORONTO Oct 5 Home sales in the greater Toronto
Area (GTA) jumped 21.5 percent in September from a year ago and
prices climbed at a similar pace, data showed on Wednesday,
extending a years-long housing boom in Canada's largest city
that has worried policymakers.
The Toronto Real Estate Board, which represents brokers in
the city, said the average selling price for all homes climbed
20.4 percent to C$755,755 ($572,889). For the greater Toronto
region as a whole, strong annual rates of sales growth were seen
for all major home types, it said.
The numbers come two days after the Canadian government said
it was taking steps to tighten mortgage rules and close a tax
loophole on home sales.
"While these changes are pointed at the demand for ownership
housing, it is important to note that much of the upward
pressure on home prices in the GTA has been based on the
declining inventory of homes available for sale," Jason Mercer,
TREB's director of market analysis, said in a statement.
Soaring prices in Canada's two most expensive markets,
Toronto and Vancouver, have raised concerns about a bubble and
speculation by foreigners, mostly from mainland China.
Home prices in Toronto and Vancouver have more than doubled
in the last 11 years, also boosted by a sharp drop in borrowing
In July, British Columbia initiated a 15 percent tax on
foreign real estate buyers in Vancouver.
In the following two months, home sales in the Vancouver
region have fallen, according to figures from the Real Estate
Board of Greater Vancouver released on Tuesday.
($1 = 1.3192 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by John Tilak; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and