I have just reviewed the sales numbers that were released by the Toronto Real Estate Board yesterday, and thing in Toronto continue to be stron. Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 7,658 transactions through the TorontoMLS® system in September - a 25 per cent increase over September 2010. Sales during the first three quarters of 2011 amounted to 70,588, representing a 2.6 per cent increase compared to the first nine months of 2010.

"We have experienced strong growth in sales so far this year, with a much more active summer compared to 2010. However, while sales have been strong, we have continued to experience a shortage of listings, resulting in more competition between home buyers," said Toronto Real Estate Board President Richard Silver.

"Over the past few months, the listing situation has started to improve, so we expect home buyers will have more homes to choose from in the months ahead." With annual growth in sales (+25 per cent) outstripping annual growth in new listings (+15 per cent) in September, market conditions became tighter and the average selling price continued to grow by close to 10 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

"Strong price growth through the first nine months of the year was mitigated to a great degree by low interest rates and rising incomes," said the Toronto Real Estate Board's Senior Manager of Market Analysis Jason Mercer. "As buyers continue to take advantage of the affordable home ownership options in the GTA, we remain on pace for the second best year for sales under the current TREB market area."

While the Toronto real estate market continues to grow, it is becoming the envy of Canada. I recently met with Re/Max agents from across the country at the Re/Max Annual Fall Connect convention. Several Vancouver agents expressed a sense that things were flattening in the west, and this was echoed by another agent just outside Edmonton. Closer to home, a Wasaga Beach agent mentioned that listings are taking much longer to sell.

I believe that the Toronto market enjoys a certain amount of insulation. We have enjoyed a strong economy with healthy job prospects. Further, we benefit from ongoing immigration which fuels market growth also. However, I caution investors to be prudent. Recall only 3 years ago--the infamous October 2008 adjustment--we need to make sure not to over extend our borrowing, and buy within our means. In more difficult times, this strategy will ensure a good night sleep, and no drastic change of lifestyle.