The Toronto Real Estate Board reported 2,565 transactions in the first half of March 2009, a 19% drop from the 3,173 transactions reported during the same period last year. The mid-month March MLS sales increased compared to the 2,044 sales experienced in the first half of February – and the year-over-year rate of decline decreased.

The average price for MLS sales was $355,499 compared to $385,405 last year – a decline of 5%.

“As we move into the spring market, it appears that we are seeing stronger demand for ownership housing in the Greater Toronto Area,” said TREB president Maureen O’Neill. “Buyers are reacting to the market’s strong foundation of affordability.”

“Affordability has improved over the past few months due to a combination of lower home prices, near record lows for mortgage rates and rising earnings,” according to Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

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