The average price for a detached home in Canada's largest metropolitan area jumped to C$1.21 million ($905,950) in February, up a third from a year earlier, amid a dearth of properties for sale.


Home-price increases in North America's fourth-largest city and its suburbs have outpaced growth in places including Manhattan, Vancouver, Seattle and San Francisco, leading local officials to search for ways to control price gains and spurring concerns a correction may be coming. The frothy market, buoyed by low interest rates, is resulting in frenzied bidding wars, causing many shoppers to leave once-standard clauses such as a professional home inspection and financing contingencies out of their purchase offers.

... removing conditions such an inspection aren't due to voluntary risk-taking, but are "100 percent" a byproduct of multiple offers on the same property, he said.

"When you are the only offer on the table, you can submit a conditional offer," said Lorand Sebestyen, an agent with iPro Realty Ltd. in Toronto, adding that he counsels clients on the risks of skipping an inspection. "But when competing with several other offers, you don't have that luxury.''


The same is true in hot U.S. markets. Mark Attarha, president of Bay Sotheby's International Realty, which has seven offices in the in San Francisco Bay area, said he's seeing a spate of offers without contingencies, along with a raft of "overbidding." Attarha estimates that 75 percent of prospective buyers he works with are accepting a home-inspection report from the seller rather than ordering their own or including an inspection clause in their purchase offers.

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