Winnipeg House Prices Post Strong Year-over-Year Increases

Consumer confidence and low interest rates attract first-time buyers

WINNIPEG, July 10, 2012 /CNW/ - The Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast released today showed strong year-over-year price increases for all housing types surveyed in Winnipeg.

Standard condominiums continued to witness the largest year-over-year average price gains climbing 9.2 per cent to $190,857. Prices for standard two-storey homes saw an increase of 4.7 per cent year-over-year to $321,875, while detached bungalows rose 8.2 per cent to $304,250.

"Standard condominiums and detached bungalows are at more accessible price points. The large price gains in these housing types represent the lower end appreciating as a result of first-time buyer demand," said John Froese, broker, Royal LePage Prime Real Estate. "Half of all sales were a result of multiple offers and most of those sales were in the lower end of the market."

Froese noted that recent regulatory changes to mortgage lending will make it more difficult for first-time buyers to get into the market.

"It will be difficult to predict the extent of the impact these changes will have on Winnipeg's housing market when first-time buyer activity represents such a large portion of sales," added Froese. "It could be significant."

Despite the recent mortgage rule changes, Winnipeg's housing market is expected to remain strong throughout 2012. Royal LePage is predicting an average house price increase of 5.4 per cent in 2012 compared to 2011.

Nationally, in the second quarter, standard two-storey homes rose 4.7 per cent year-over-year to $408,423, while detached bungalows increased 5.5 per cent to $376,311. Average prices for standard condominiums increased 3.3 per cent to $245,825. During this period, signs from across the country clearly indicated that the national housing market was at a turning point, with some major regions continuing to grow unabated while others peaked and began to pull back for the first time in three years.

"We have had three years of solid house price appreciation in almost all regions of the country," said Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage Real Estate Services. "Confidence in Canada's real estate market is sound, but home prices cannot grow faster than salaries and the underlying economy indefinitely. Some regions have reached or perhaps even exceeded the current upper level of price resistance as buyers have embraced an era of historically low mortgage rates."

The first-time buyer segment of the population, which represents up to half or all transactions and where activity strongly correlates to low interest rates, is expected to be slowed by recent regulatory changes that will reduce access to insured mortgages.

"The most recent set of mortgage changes, the fourth in four years, is also the most aggressive. The cumulative impact of these new regulations has created a significantly higher hurdle for young buyers seeking their first home and comes at a time when the market was slowing of its own accord. The timing of this intervention was unfortunate," added Soper.

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 second quarter 2012. A printable version of the second quarter 2012 survey will be available online on August 9, 2012.

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.

SOURCE Royal LePage Real Estate Services

For further information:

Jean-Francois Thibault
Fleishman-Hillard Canada
(416) 645-3666
Jeanfrancois.thibault@fleishman.ca

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


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