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Rising Toronto home prices, sales lift national real estate forecast

By Tess Kalinowski for The Star

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The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is raising its annual home price and sales forecast for the year, due in part to the rising fortunes of Ontario’s housing markets, including the Toronto region.

The association predicts prices will rise a slight 0.5 per cent in Canada this year — up from its June forecast of a 0.6 per cent decline.

It also expects a 5 per cent increase in home sales from the five-year low last year, to 482,000 transactions compared to CREA’s June prediction of a 1.2 per cent gain or 463,000 sales.

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Toronto region home sales jumped 13 per cent year over year in August with a 4.9 per cent benchmark price increase to $802,400. Condos continued to be the driver in the gain.

CREA reported home sales were up in most of the country’s largest markets, including B.C.’s Lower Mainland, Calgary, Winnipeg, Montreal and the Greater Toronto Area.

“Sales have been recovering all over Ontario, Toronto included and they’ve been stronger than we expected in recent months,” said CREA senior economist Shaun Cathcart, citing strong fundamentals, including lower mortgage rates.

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