YEAR-OVER-YEAR EDMONTON HOUSE PRICES FLATTEN IN FIRST QUARTER OF 2011

Slow start to spring delaying market activity

EDMONTON, April 12 /CNW/ - The Royal LePage House Price Survey released today showed flattening house prices in Edmonton. Detached bungalows were the exception making modest gains.

Standard condominiums in Edmonton saw a decline of 1.8 per cent to $205,667 while standard two-storey homes declined by a slight 0.1 per cent to $343,143. Detached bungalows were the exception, increasing 2.3 per cent to $309,857.

"Inventory levels are up year-over-year creating a buyer's market," said Ken Shearer, broker, Royal LePage Noralta Real Estate Inc. "However, we are seeing some multiple offers on first-time buyer properties around the $300,000 price point."

"Generally, prices have decreased slightly from where they were a year ago," Shearer added. "This year's winter weather was among the worst we have had in Edmonton and northern Alberta in a very long time and this impacted activity in the first quarter."

Nationally, low interest rates and a recovering economy continued to fuel activity in Canada's housing markets over the past year, which has led to country-wide increases in average home prices. In the first quarter of 2011, the national average price of a detached bungalow rose 4.3 per cent year-over-year to $341,355, while standard two-storey homes rose 3.5 per cent to $379,388 and standard condominiums rose 4 per cent to $237,919.

"The rate at which Canadian homes are appreciating may well have peaked for the next year or so," said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage Real Estate Services. "We expect house prices will continue to creep up, but most of the excess demand created by the initial drop in interest rates has been satisfied, and affordability continues to erode slowly, allowing the listings supply to catch up.  In most markets, lower single digit percentage increases are more likely for the balance of the year."

"Canada's real estate market has maintained momentum coming out of 2010, indicating that the post-recession recovery is continuing," Soper added. "While low interest rates continue to drive demand, the tepid pace at which employment levels are improving is tempering the rate of home price appreciation in many Canadian cities."

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 Web site at www.royallepage.ca.  Current figures will be updated following the complete tabulation of the data for the first quarter 2011. A printable version of the first quarter 2011 survey will be available online on May 6th, 2011.

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 14,000 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 & 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 or www.brookfieldresinc.com.

SOURCE Royal LePage Real Estate Services

For further information:

Jacque Benson
Fleishman-Hillard Canada
(403) 266-4710 ext. 227
jacque.benson@fleishman.ca

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


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