Bidding wars on the rise in the GTA

Home buyers in the GTA know that the asking price is often just a fantasy, and a new study shows the market is only getting worse.

Online real estate brokerage TheRedPin looks at 2016 numbers for detached homes, semi-detached and townhomes.

It found that 16,000 freehold houses, or one-fifth of homes, sold for more than 10 per cent over asking, and that is a 160 per cent increase over 2015.

Not surprisingly, Toronto is at the top of the list with 37 per cent of homes selling at 10 per cent over asking. Next on the list are Markham, Richmond Hill and Oshawa.

At the bottom of the GTA list, Brampton, Burlington and Milton saw the lowest percentage of homes heading into bidding wars.

"The asking price is just one side of the story," said Amit Muthreja, a real estate agent at TheRedPin. "Buyers who are serious should ask their agent to look into the homes that sold in the neighbourhood over the last thirty days and what they sold for versus what they were listed for."

TheRedPin also says that while condo sales are less hectic, bidding wars are on the rise.

In 2016, two per cent of GTA condos sold for 10 per cent over asking, which is a 336 per cent jump over 2015.