Toronto home sales shot to a record in May and prices surged amid fierce competition for single-family homes, figures showed Friday.

There were 12,870 homes sold in May, 11 percent higher than last year, according to the real estate board in Canada’s biggest city. With listings falling 6.4 percent from last year, average prices rose 16 percent to C$751,908 ($581,207). Detached homes in the suburbs led gains with a 21 percent rise while detached homes in the city center rose 15 percent to C$1.3 million.

"While the record number of home sales through the first five months of 2016 is not necessarily surprising, it does sometimes mask the larger story in the GTA: the shortage of listings, which has resulted in strong upward pressure on home prices,” the real estate board president Mark McLean said in a statement.

Toronto joins Vancouver in a record month for sales, as that western city’s real estate board said yesterday 4,769 homes traded hands, an 18 percent gain from the prior year. The hot markets in the two cities prompted the heads of National Bank of Canada and Bank of Nova Scotia to suggest tighter mortgage rules to cool the market.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE