Real estate growth cart
© bluebay / 123RF Stock Photo

The Toronto Real Estate Board says home sales were up 17.4% in December compared with the same month last year, while the average price was up almost 12% in the month from a year earlier.

The December jump caps a surge in activity in the second half of last year, while a slower first half meant that overall 2019 sales were in line with annual medians for the decade.

The increased sales over 2018, even as new listings dropped 2.4% year-over-year, helped push the average selling price for the year up by 4% to $819,319. The average selling price in December was $837,788, up 11.9% from a year earlier.

For the year, condos saw the biggest price gains, up 6.4% to an average of $587,959 compared with 2018, while detached home prices were up 0.9% to an average of $1.02 million compared with the previous year. Condo sales activity was up only 3% overall last year, while detached home sales were up 18.8%.

For December, detached homes actually recorded higher price gains, up 11.6% in the month to $1.05 million as sales were up 26.2% from a year earlier. The average condo price was up 10.4% to $612,464, while sales were up 6.9%.

The increase in activity in the second half of the year came as mortgage rates declined, while the economy remained healthy and the population continued to grow.