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February challenges record

TORONTO, February 17, 2006 -- The 3,301 resale home transactions through the first half of the month put February 2006 slightly ahead of record-setting first half of February 2002, when 3,286 transactions were recorded, Toronto Real Estate Board President John Meehan announced today. He also noted that the current month is up almost 13 per cent over last year's mid-month figure of 2,924.

“The market is off to a solid start, though it's obviously still very early in the season. The mild winter has likely contributed to higher activity, but nevertheless a strong performance like this is evidence of the overall health of the market,” Mr. Meehan said.

The average price of a home in mid-February was $348,804, up 12 per cent from the $311,065 recorded at the same point in January, and up four per cent over the $334,968 recorded a year ago.

According to Jason Mercer, Senior Market Analyst for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, strong results through the first half of the month reflect the strong fundamentals that continue to underlie the Toronto area housing market.

“While rising slightly over the past few months, mortgage rates have remained very low by historical standards. Low borrowing costs coupled with respectable job growth have kept home purchases near record levels,” Mr. Mercer said.

At mid-month, some of the most active areas compared to mid-February 2005 were found in the west end of the city of Toronto, outside the downtown core:

One large area east of the Humber river, stretching from High Park in the south up to Downsview, showed an average of 68 per cent more overall transactions compared to mid-February of last year. Detached homes are the most common housing type in this area.
In the east, the Guildwood / Scarborough Village area of Toronto saw 44 per cent more overall transactions than a year ago, led by sales of detached homes.

Outside Toronto, sales activity to mid-month in the town of Whitby was 43 per cent higher than during the same time frame a year ago.

Mr. Meehan added that a strong start to the year is good for consumer confidence.
“Consumers see the strong foundations that are in place and it reassures them that it is a good time to get into the market for the first time or make a lifestyle change by switching homes.”

Toronto REALTORS are passionate about their work. They adhere to a strict code of ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service designed exclusively for REALTORS. Serving more than 23,000 Members in the Greater Toronto Area, the Toronto Real Estate Board is Canada's largest real estate board.


* Please note that TREB counts by business or sales days. In a 30 day month, there will usually be about 20 sales days, depending on when the weekends fall, holidays,
and so on.

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