Home sales in Atlantic Canada 'roar back to life' in the first quarter of 2007, says RE/MAX



    MISSISSAUGA, ON, April 24 /CNW/ - Residential housing markets in Atlantic
Canada are giving their Western counterparts a run for their money as sales
surge across the region, according to a report released today by RE/MAX
Ontario-Atlantic Canada.
    The RE/MAX Atlantic Canada Market Trends Report, which examined real
estate activity in 16 centres, found that an estimated 75 per cent of markets
reported increases in unit sales in the first quarter of 2007. Of those
markets, 50 per cent posted double-digit gains ranging from 11 per cent in
Halifax-Dartmouth to 47 per cent in Miramichi. Average prices were also up in
the vast majority of markets, yet percentage increases were relatively
moderate given the existing shortage of homes listed for sale. Low inventory
levels were a reality in just over 70 per cent of markets surveyed, with
supply of entry-level product tightest.
    "Housing markets across the region roared back to life during the first
quarter of 2007," says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President and Regional
Director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. "Economic prosperity and consumer
confidence were major factors influencing real estate activity in virtually
all centres, while unseasonably warm weather served to further bolster sales
in key markets. The stage is now set for a robust Spring market, characterized
by strong sales and rising prices."
    The greatest percentage increases in unit sales were experienced in
Atlantic Canada's most affordable markets. Miramichi, with an average price of
$120,000, led the region with a 47 per cent increase, followed by Saint John
($155,000) at 29 per cent, Prince Edward Island ($128,000(*)) at 23 per cent,
Fredericton ($143,677) at 21 per cent, Bathurst ($93,000(xx)) at 20 per cent,
Moncton ($138,000) at 19 per cent, St. John's ($138,000) at 14 per cent, and
Halifax-Dartmouth at 11 per cent ($207,800).
    Despite heated activity, only four housing markets saw average price
escalate more than 10 per cent in the first quarter. Bathurst (25.8 per
cent(*)), Truro (18 per cent) Saint John (15 per cent), and Bridgetown, Digby,
Annapolis Royal (14 per cent) were the top performers in terms of price
appreciation.
    "First-time buyers continue to enter the market en masse, fueling demand
for entry-level product across the board," says Polzler. "Homeownership is
first and foremost with this segment of the market. Baby boomers, retirees,
and international purchasers were also a force, driving sales of luxury homes
and waterfront properties in the upper-end of the market. There were also
quite a number of purchasers with Maritime roots who are returning home flush
with equity gains realized in other provinces."
    Although bungalows, town homes, and semi-detached properties were most
coveted by purchasers, condominiums are gaining momentum throughout the
region. Demand for this affordable, entry-level product was on the rise in
Saint John, Fredericton, Moncton, Kentville, Halifax-Dartmouth, Truro,
Charlottetown and Summerside in the first quarter.

    RE/MAX is Canada's leading real estate organization with over
16,690 sales associates situated throughout its more than 625 independently
owned and operated offices across the country. The RE/MAX franchise network,
now in its 34th year of consecutive growth, is a global real estate system
operating in over 67 countries. More than 6,890 independently owned offices
engage 120,520 member sales associates who lead the industry in professional
designations, experience and production while providing real estate services
in residential, commercial, referral, relocation and asset management. For
more information, visit: www.remax.ca

    To view the entire 2007 RE/MAX Atlantic Canada Market Trends Report,
    click here: http://files.newswire.ca/348/AtlanticMktTrends07.pdf

    
    (*)  Prince Edward Island statistics are February year-to-date, as
         reported by CREA.
    (xx) Average Price for Bathurst is based on March 2007 local board
         statistics.
         Bathurst price appreciation is based on March 2007 vs. March 2006
         local board statistics.
         All other market statistics reflect March year-to-date, as reported
         by CREA or local real estate boards.
    





For further information:

For further information: Christine Martysiewicz, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic
Canada, (905) 542-2400; Eva Blay, Charlene McAdam, Kim Kofman, Point Blank
Communications, (416) 781-3911


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