/C O R R E C T I O N From Source - Royal LePage Real Estate Services/



    
    Please note that in c3272 sent at 6:30 ET today, Oct. 6, the Year-over
    year Bungalow Change % for Saint John should be 7.4% and not 54.4% as
    originally issued. Correct copy follows.

    Canadian average house prices inch up in Q3; Regional variances more
    pronounced than ever

    - House prices continue to rise in most regions, but rate of appreciation
    dropping -
    

    TORONTO, Oct. 6 /CNW/ - Home prices in Canada's resale real estate market
continued to grow modestly through the third quarter in most major cities,
according to a House Price Survey report released today by Royal LePage Real
Estate Services. This dissimilar Canadian trend is in stark contrast to the
housing market woes that continue to plague the U.S. Boasting still-affordable
homes, resource-rich Regina and St. John's posted significant double-digit
gains, while home prices in Alberta corrected downwards slightly after
experiencing a period of unprecedented growth.
    2007 marked the peak of Canada's longest sustained residential real
estate market expansion. It was a period characterized by higher than normal
annual unit sales, constrained listings supply, and in many cases, sharp price
increases. It is not surprising that the regions that had experienced the
largest and quickest rise in home value are now experiencing easing price
appreciation trends as their markets return to more balanced conditions.
    Of the housing types surveyed across Canada, on average, standard
condominiums rose by 0.2 per cent to $243,529, while standard two-storey
properties increased by 0.1 per cent to $408,927, year-over-year. The average
price of detached bungalows remained stable at $240,000, year-over-year.
Regina's housing market posted the highest year-over-year price appreciations
with gains as high as 49.0 per cent among standard condominiums; St. John's
condominium market followed closely behind rising by 26.9 per cent.
    From coast-to-coast, strong fundamentals such as favourable rates of
employment, solid local economies and the continuing availability of
affordable mortgage financing have positioned Canada's housing market to
weather the storm south of the border, and allow the country to continue to
chart its own course.
    "Canada's housing market is holding up well, with resilient buyer demand
supporting house prices that continue to inch upwards. While rate of price
appreciation is obviously tempering across the entire country, it's important
to underscore the fact that Canada's housing market is supported by markedly
different, and stronger economic fundamentals than those that American
homeowners are wrestling with," said Phil Soper, president and chief
executive, Royal LePage Real Estate Services. "For the most part, Canadian
home buyers have been able to shrug off the gloomy stories of economic woe
from south of the border, and are taking advantage of reasonable financing
options and healthy levels of housing supply. Average house price appreciation
curves are beginning to flatten, but this is a completely natural reaction to
the explosive gains that characterized the market earlier this decade."
    Added Soper: "The Canadian housing market is on a very different path
than that experienced by our American neighbours. Credit-worthy Canadians
continue to have wide access to fairly priced mortgages. While we are not
immune to the serious problems facing global credit markets, our financial
institutions are in much better shape than mortgage providers in the U.S. In
Canada, subprime or high-risk mortgages account for a small portion of our
banks' portfolios and the mortgage approval process has many more checks and
balances in place. As such, we should expect stability in Canada's real estate
market."
    Further supporting Canada's steady housing market is a growing population
and reliable buyer demand. Among the G7 countries, Canada continues to report
the highest level of population growth. First-time buyers were also active
during the third quarter as many took advantage of increased inventory levels
and affordable mortgage rates.
    Nowhere in the country is burgeoning buyer demand more apparent than in
cities undergoing explosive growth due to the resource boom. Winnipeg, Regina,
Saskatoon and St. John's are all experiencing a surge in both in-migration and
immigration as people flock to these cities in search of employment
opportunities.
    In Atlantic Canada, the revitalized oil sector remained a bright spot for
St. John's and continued to fuel buyer demand. Although prices are continuing
to rise in much of the east coast, house prices there remain well below the
national average.
    Among central Canadian cities including Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto,
average house prices inched upwards during the third quarter. While the
manufacturing sectors in Toronto and Montreal tightened in the third quarter,
the drop in value of our Canadian dollar offset some negative impact by
improving trading channels with other countries.
    While house prices in Toronto are holding steady, and showing moderate
increases, the market has definitely cooled from the blazing conditions
experienced in 2007.
    Despite dropping year-over-year house prices in Alberta, the province
remains poised for growth. Alberta's underlying resource-rich economy is
strong and regional unemployment figures are amongst the lowest in the
country. As such, the recent price decline is merely a correction to the
dramatic run-up in prices that both Edmonton and Calgary experienced in the
past few years. What Alberta is experiencing now is merely a consequence that
inevitably comes from an unsustainable period of dramatic growth.
    "The most important factor to note right now is that Canada's real estate
market is stable, and continues to show modest price appreciation in almost
all regions of the country. While homeowners will not be experiencing the
double-digit price increases that characterized the past few years, their real
estate assets remain safe. And of course, buyers entering the market today
have much better choice and negotiating ability than those who bought during
the supply-constrained years of the past decade," said Soper.

    

       THIRD QUARTER 2008 AVERAGE YEAR-OVER-YEAR HOUSE PRICES - BY CITY

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Detached Bungalow             Standard 2-Storey
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Year-over                     Year-over
                 Q3 2008    Q3 2007    -year     Q3 2008   Q3 2007   -year
                 Average    Average  Bungalow %  Average   Average  2 Storey
    Market         ($)        ($)      Change      ($)       ($)    % Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Halifax       211,667    198,000      6.9%    255,333    238,333    7.1%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Charlottetown 156,000    150,000      4.0%    185,000    177,000    4.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Moncton       156,500    157,000     -0.3%    131,500    135,000   -2.6%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Fredericton   162,000    155,000      4.5%    210,000    197,000    6.6%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saint John    202,933    189,000      7.4%    291,788    240,000   21.6%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    St. John's    190,050    153,667     23.7%    261,800    213,333   22.7%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Atlantic      179,858    167,111      7.6%    222,570    200,111   11.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montreal      236,045    225,214      4.8%    336,381    334,813    0.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa        318,833    305,750      4.3%    317,500    302,917    4.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Toronto       433,540    411,736      5.3%    555,950    547,253    1.6%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Winnipeg      228,188    204,950     11.3%    253,388    231,833    9.3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Regina        278,850    208,000     34.1%    259,000    185,500   39.6%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saskatoon     321,500    293,750      9.4%    358,250    323,750   10.7%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Calgary       443,156    472,522     -6.2%    435,211    476,711   -8.7%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Edmonton      326,429    370,000    -11.8%    342,857    397,857  -13.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Vancouver     817,500    787,500      3.8%    926,250    879,000    5.4%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Victoria      439,000    400,000      9.8%    465,000    440,000    5.7%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    National      240,000    240,000      0.0%    408,927    408,447    0.1%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    --------------------------------------------
                      Standard Condominium
    --------------------------------------------
                                      Year-over
                   Q3 2008   Q3 2007    -year
                   Average    Average   Condo %
    Market          ($)         ($)     Change
    --------------------------------------------
    Halifax        165,500    150,000    10.3%
    --------------------------------------------
    Charlottetown  120,000    100,000    20.0%
    --------------------------------------------
    Moncton
    --------------------------------------------
    Fredericton    128,000    130,000    -1.5%
    --------------------------------------------
    Saint John     104,575    129,000   -18.9%
    --------------------------------------------
    St. John's     203,000    160,000    26.9%
    --------------------------------------------
    Atlantic       144,215    133,800     7.8%
    --------------------------------------------
    Montreal       204,336    195,786     4.4%
    --------------------------------------------
    Ottawa         206,417    193,750     6.5%
    --------------------------------------------
    Toronto        309,711    302,938     2.2%
    --------------------------------------------
    Winnipeg       134,533    120,032    12.1%
    --------------------------------------------
    Regina         196,000    131,500    49.0%
    --------------------------------------------
    Saskatoon      211,250    207,500     1.8%
    --------------------------------------------
    Calgary        269,156    293,167    -8.2%
    --------------------------------------------
    Edmonton       216,667    266,667   -18.8%
    --------------------------------------------
    Vancouver      442,250    419,750     5.4%
    --------------------------------------------
    Victoria       282,000    270,000     4.4%
    --------------------------------------------
    National       243,529    243,011     0.2%
    --------------------------------------------

    Average house prices are based on an average of all sub-markets examined
    in the area, except for the smaller markets of Charlottetown, Moncton,
    Fredericton, Saint John and Victoria.
    





For further information:

For further information: For the regional market highlights or to
contact a spokesperson, please contact: Tiffany Fisher or Priya Sen, Whetstone
Communications, Phone: (416) 595-9776, E-mail: tiffany@whetsonepr.com or
Priya@whetsonepr.com


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