When it comes to buying a home in Ontario, it’s no surprise that there are huge disparities in average home prices between regions.

From city to city, the shift in home prices can cause potential homebuyers to reconsider where they might choose to live -- especially given that the average sale price for all Greater Toronto Area (GTA) homes officially eclipsed the $1 million mark for the first time in history in February.

The average home price in the region -- including all housing types and condos -- rose 14.9% year-over-year to $1.05 million last month, according to the latest data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB).

The cause? Robust buyer demand and a limited amount of single-family homes have resulted in fierce competition in the province's housing market which continues to push prices skyward.

READ: Average Price of GTA Homes Officially Eclipses $1M Mark

As it stands, there are now 18 cities and townships in the province that TRREB tracks where the average price for a home now sits over $1 million.

Of these areas, King, a township in York Region north of Toronto, recorded the highest average price for all home types at $2,110,214 and detached homes at $2,207,538 -- which is up 59% from February of last year.

According to the board, there were 76 new listings and 106 active listings in King last month, while the sales-to-new-listing-ratio (SNLR) of 57.9%. What's more, King's months of inventory -- the amount of time (or months) it would take for all current MLS listings to sell given that no new listings come onto the market -- sits at 3.6 months.

Of the housing markets tracked by TRREB, only eight had average detached home prices below $1 million last month, with the Township of Brock recording the lowest average detached home price at $659,021. 

While market conditions were tight throughout the GTA region last month, TRREB said the detached, semi-detached, and townhouse market segments in suburban areas were the drivers of average price growth, with annual rates of increase above 20% in all three cases.

“It’s clear that the historic demand for housing experienced in the second half of last year has carried forward into the first quarter of this year with some similar themes, including the continued popularity of suburban low-rise properties,” said TRREB President Lisa Patel. 

Though, Patel also warned that the continued rollout of the vaccine and the inevitable resumption of population growth will likely further increase the demand for housing, which “could present an even larger problem.”

Given the absence of new inventory, Jason Mercer, TRREB's Chief Market Analyst says the current relationship between demand and supply supports
continued double-digit average home price growth this year.

TRREB’s report followed the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) predicting that housing prices in big cities like Toronto will continue to climb through 2021.

However, the national housing agency did warn the sustainability of this trend will depend on the uncertain course of the pandemic and said that there are still underlying issues that could impact the overall housing market in the months to come.