Saint John home prices stabilize in the second quarter

After a weak first quarter, home prices recover and show early signs of growth

SAINT JOHN, July 9, 2013 /CNW/ - The Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast released today showed home prices recovering from first quarter decreases to remain relatively flat year-over-year across all housing types surveyed in Saint John.

Detached bungalows posted a slight year-over-year increase of 1.6 per cent to $177,828 and standard two-storey homes increased by 0.1 per cent to $279,922.  Condominium prices remained unchanged from the same period last year, sitting at an average price of $158,068.

"The market remained sluggish in the first half of the year, with wet weather discouraging buyers from looking," said Scott Darling, managing partner of Royal LePage Atlantic.  "Buyers are just now beginning to emerge and we're starting to see signs of increasing activity, which bodes well for the third quarter."

Darling also predicted a steady market for the balance of 2013, noting that both prices and unit sales are expected to stabilize.

Nationally, in the second quarter, standard two-storey homes and detached bungalows both showed a year-over-year average price increase of 2.7 per cent to $419,614 and $386,547, respectively. Average prices for standard condominiums showed a more modest increase during the same period, rising 1.2 per cent to $248,750. Royal LePage forecasts that house prices will see modest gains throughout the remainder of 2013, projecting a 3.0 per cent increase for the full year when compared to 2012.

Dialogue concerning the direction of Canada's housing market has remained front and centre in recent months. Changes to Canada's mortgage lending rules in mid-2012 coupled with concerns about consumer debt levels, housing affordability in cities like Toronto and Vancouver and continued international economic uncertainty have prompted a number of analysts to forecast large downward price adjustments.

"As we have stated consistently since the current market downturn began late in the second quarter of 2012, this is a normal cyclical correction which brings fewer home sales and softer prices. Those hoping their predictions of a bursting bubble and cataclysmic drops in home values will come true are out of luck again," said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage. "Price appreciation in most markets across the country has been well below the long-term average for Canada and will remain so through to the end of the year. We expect to see the number of homes trading hands to begin to rise slightly on a year-over-year basis in the second half of 2013, with price softness continuing until mid-2014, at which point we'll see an emergence from the current cycle."

About the Royal LePage House Price Survey

The Royal LePage House Price Survey is the largest, most comprehensive study of its kind in Canada, with information on seven types of housing in over 250 neighbourhoods from coast to coast. This release references an abbreviated version of the survey which highlights house price trends for the three most common types of housing in Canada in 90 communities across the country. A complete database of past and present surveys is available on the Royal LePage website at www.royallepage.ca. Current figures will be updated following the complete tabulation of the data for the second quarter of 2013. A printable version of the second quarter 2013 survey will be available online on August 6, 2013. Housing values in the Royal LePage House Price Survey are Royal LePage opinions of fair market value in each location, based on local data and market knowledge provided by Royal LePage residential real estate experts. 

About Royal LePage

Serving Canadians since 1913, Royal LePage is the country's leading provider of services to real estate brokerages, with a network of 14,500 real estate professionals in over 600 locations nationwide. Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charitable foundation, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, dedicated to supporting women's and children's shelters and educational programs aimed at ending domestic violence. Royal LePage is a Brookfield Real Estate Services Inc. company, a TSX-listed corporation trading under the symbol TSX:BRE.

For more information, visit www.royallepage.ca.

SOURCE: Royal LePage Real Estate Services

For further information:

Gwen McGuire
Kaiser Lachance Communications
416-725-2520
gwen.mcguire@kaiserlachance.com

Tammy Gilmer
Director, Global Communications & Public Relations
Royal LePage Real Estate Services
416-510-5783
tgilmer@royallepage.ca


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