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Real Estate Sales Bring Happy Holiday!

TORONTO, December 19, 2006 -- The 2006 resale home market is closing the year strongly, with 2,585 sales to the 15th of December, TREB President Mason announced today. “Sales are six per cent ahead of mid-December 2005 and close to the pace of 2001, the best December ever.”

Meanwhile, 2006 has already broken 81,000 sales, and sits within one per cent of last-years’ record-setting pace.

The average price to mid-December stands at $343,048, a four per cent increase over the same period in December 2005. The year-to-date average is $352,515, up five per cent over the same timeframe last year.

Strong sales in all housing categories, especially link homes, drove Whitby (E15) to a 51% increase in overall sales compared to the same timeframe last year.

A jump in detached home sales powered Brampton East (W24) to a 45 per cent overall sales increase compared to the first half of December 2005.

Toronto’s downtown / Harbourfront area (C01) saw a 28 per cent overall increase in home sales, largely due to a 30 per cent increase in the sales of condominium apartments.

Overall sales in Markham West (N01) nearly tripled compared to mid-December last year, due to exceptionally strong condominium apartment sales.

Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC’s Ontario Regional Economist, noted that low interest rates and warm temperatures have kept the December market strong:

“If the mid-month sales pace is sustained, December activity will bring GTA home sales for the year just shy of last year’s record pace,” Mr. Tsiakopoulos said. “Confidence in Toronto’s real estate market remains high; low interest rates, steady job growth and an abundance of housing choices are ingredients for a healthy market. Milder than normal weather has also contributed to healthy activity so far in December.”

Active listings to mid-month stood at 20,230, down 16 per cent from mid-November, as some home sellers pulled their properties from the TorontoMLS® system in advance of the holiday season. The average time-on-market was 41 days.

“The market is coming into balance,” Mrs. Mason commented.

“Housing prices are rising above the rate of inflation, but not so quickly as to drive potential first-time buyers out of the market.”

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* 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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