Calgary house prices increasing

- Improving economic conditions and low interest rates create balanced market for the beginning of 2010 -

CALGARY, April 8 /CNW/ - Calgary's real estate market continues to recover as 2010 begins, according to the latest Royal LePage House Price Survey. The survey, released today, showed encouraging price appreciation across all housing types surveyed in Calgary in year-over-year analysis for the first quarter of 2010.

Standard two-storey homes posted the largest year-over-year price increases climbing 10.6 per cent to $432,178. Prices for standard condominiums rose 7.2 per cent (to $263,533) while detached bungalows were up 7 per cent year-over-year to $419,411.

"We can definitely see an improvement compared to this time last year," said Rob Blaker, Broker, Royal LePage Foothills Realty. "Buyers are becoming more active as they begin to regain their confidence in the market and take advantage of low interest rates."

Housing types, such as detached bungalows, standard two-storey homes and standard condominiums all saw year-over-year price increases from as small as only a few per cent to over 25 per cent in some Calgary areas. Detached bungalows increased from 1.9 per cent in the South East, rising from $381,700 to $389,100, to increases as large as 15.9 per cent in the North, rising from $323,400 to $374,700.

Standard two-storey homes increased from 4.2 per cent in North Inner City, rising from $492,500 to $513,400, to 26.6 per cent in the South West, rising from $337,900 to $427,900. While standard condominiums saw increases from 1.2 per cent, rising from $291,400 to $295,000 in North Inner City to 18 per cent in the West, rising from $247,200 to $291,600.

Compared to last quarter, house prices also increased in most areas of Calgary as well. Specific areas that did see decreases from last quarter only reflected slight decreases. Standard two-storey homes decreased from $391,500 to $386,100 in the North, $537,500 to $513,400 in North Inner City, and $378,600 to $372,200 in the South East. Detached bungalows decreased slightly from $371,500 to $363,900 in the South, $403,600 to $385,100 in the South West, and $578,900 to $560,900 in the West; and standard condominiums decreased from $225,200 to $188,500 in the North East, $308,800 to $295,000 in North Inner City and $246,600 to $243,900 in the South East respectively.

"We need to remember that we are in a balanced market," said Blaker. "Even though our inventory decreased year-over-year to 2,900 units by the end of 2009, it has increased again to 3,800 units this quarter. However, because buyers are becoming more active in the market, our ratio of listings to sales has not increased; resulting in a more stable market."

Blaker predicts that home prices in Calgary will remain balanced through the second quarter of 2010 for most housing types, as long as interest rates remain reasonable and first time home buyers continue to remain active.

In comparison, the national average price of a detached bungalow in Canada rose 11 per cent to $329,209 in the first quarter year-over-year, while standard two-storey homes rose 10.3 per cent to $365,141 and standard condominiums increased 10.9 per cent to $228,963.

"National averages from our first quarter report are not particularly useful in painting a picture of the country's neighbourhood real estate stories. House sale data from the past two year period shows tremendous variances in terms of how different cities reacted to the recession," said Phil Soper, president and chief executive, Royal LePage Real Estate Services. "In Vancouver and Toronto, for instance, the dramatic unit sales fluctuations exhibit a significant degree of market irrationality: inordinately fearful when faced with poorer markets; and overly enthusiastic when the tables turned. Montreal is an example of a city where the market has been much more stable and homeowners there seem quite happy with the relatively slow pace of change."

In addition to strong price appreciation in the first quarter of 2010, the volume of sales in Canada also increased year-over-year as pent-up demand from constrained supply of homes for sale in 2009, coupled with unseasonably warm weather, prompted a spike in home sales in the country's largest housing markets from January through March

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 80 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. A printable version of the first quarter 2010 survey will be available online on May 7th, 2010.

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. Historical data is available for some areas back to the early 1970s.

About Royal LePage

Royal LePage is Canada's leading provider of franchise services to residential real estate brokerages, with a network of nearly 14,000 real estate professionals in over 600 locations across Canada. Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charitable foundation; the Shelter Foundation which is dedicated exclusively to funding women's shelters and violence prevention and education programs. Royal LePage is managed by Brookfield Real Estate Services, and is part of a brand family that includes Royal LePage, Real Living, Johnston and Daniel, and La Capitale Real Estate Network. An affiliated company, Brookfield Real Estate Services Fund, is a TSX listed income trust, trading under the symbol "BRE.UN."

For more information visit www.royallepage.ca.

SOURCE Royal LePage Real Estate Services

For further information: For further information: Jacquelynn Benson, Senior Consultant, Fleishman-Hillard Calgary, (403) 266-4710 ext: 227; Tammy Gilmer, Director, Public Relations and National Communications, Royal LePage Real Estate Services, (416) 510-5783


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