March 4 (Reuters) - Toronto home prices surged in February by the most in almost three years to a near-record and sales soared, thanks to an unabated housing supply crunch and intensified buyer competition, Toronto Real Estate Board data showed on Wednesday. The average home price in Canada's most-populous city climbed to C$910,290 ($680,387) in February, the Board said in a statement, following the biggest year-on-year increase seen since April 2017, when prices touched a record C$920,791. Meanwhile, home sales climbed 45.6% from a year ago, the biggest rise in at least seven years, while listings increased at a much slower pace. "Sales growth well in excess of listings is once again the norm," said TREB CEO John DiMichele in a release. "All levels of government have acknowledged the supply problem, but we need to very quickly move from policy briefs to shovels in the ground," he added. The Canadian government said last month it would make changes to a mortgage stress test that is expected to lower the minimum qualifying rate for borrowers and further stimulate housing demand. FEBRUARY PREV MONTH FEB 2019 YR/YR PCT CHANGE TOTAL SALES 7,256 4,581 4,982 45.6% AVERAGE PRICE C$910,290 C$839,363 C$779,791 16.7% NEW LISTINGS 10,613 7,836 9,834 7.9% After preliminary seasonal adjustment FEBRUARY MTH/MTH PCT CHANGE SALES 8,914 14.8% AVERAGE PRICE C$902,673 3.1% Sales by type of property MONTH YR/YR PCT CHANGE DETACHED 5,545 44.8% SEMI-DETACHED 995 26.8% TOWNHOUSE 1,921 31.4% CONDO APARTMENT 3,239 17.4% ($1 = 1.3379 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Kelsey Johnson in Ottawa; Additional reporting by Nichola Saminather in Toronto; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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