08/06/2015 10:34 EDT | Updated 08/06/2016 05:59 EDT

Toronto home sales on pace for record year

Toronto's real estate board has reported a record number of house and condo sales in July and says the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is on pace to set a new record for home sales this year.

Almost 9,900 homes changed hands in the GTA last month, up eight per cent from the same month last year. Condo sales led the increase, up 14.4 per cent.

The average MLS selling price in the GTA was $609,236 in July — up 10.6 per cent year over year. The MLS Home Price Index for the Toronto area rose 9.4 per cent.

Average condo prices in the GTA, however, rose a more modest 4.1 per cent to $372,363.

In the city of Toronto, the average selling price of a detached home slipped below $1 million for the first time in several months, to $996,770.  But that still represents a 7.1 per cent increase from the year-ago average.

"With the level of inventory in the GTA trending below two months, many listings continued to generate a lot of interest from buyers," said Jason Mercer, the Toronto Real Estate Board's director of market analysis, in a statement. "Not surprisingly, this supported further price increases well above the rate of inflation."

As hot as Toronto's real estate market is, Vancouver's is on fire. Vancouver's real estate board reported Wednesday that sales in July were up 30 per cent from last year, and the benchmark price for a detached property in Metro Vancouver increased 16.2 per cent to $1,141,800. 

The real estate picture in the rest of Canada is much more subdued. Last month, the Canadian Real Estate Association reported that if Toronto and Vancouver are excluded from national selling price calculations, the average selling price shows a much more modest year-over-year increase of 3.1 per cent.

Consider Montreal, for instance, where the city's real estate board reported Thursday that sales last month were up two per cent from a year earlier, while median prices were 1 to 4 per cent higher, depending on the type of housing.