OTTAWA HOUSE PRICES POST STRONG YEAR-OVER-YEAR GAINS IN FOURTH QUARTER 2010

Market forecast predicts house prices to continue upward trend in 2011

OTTAWA, Jan. 6 /CNW/ - The Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast released today showed year-over-year price increases for all housing types surveyed in Ottawa with gains higher than the national averages.

Standard condominiums, which rose on average 10 per cent, made the largest gains and sell on average for $240,000. Standard two-storey homes rose 6.7 per cent to $354,083. Detached bungalows made similar gains increasing 6.3 per cent to $353,333

"Ottawa has been very fortunate since the start of the economic uncertainty that has marked the past couple years. Government job security and good wages have always been the cornerstone of our stable market. It has had an insulating effect," said John Rogan, broker and manager of Royal LePage Performance Realty.

However, Ottawa can expect to see more modest gains in 2011 according to Rogan. Royal LePage Real Estate Services is predicting a 4 per cent year-over-year increase by the end of 2011.

"We have been in a seller's market and we are now seeing a shift to a balanced market," said Rogan. "Homes are being sold for just under the asking price and although we are still seeing some multiple offers, they are not as common anymore."

"The first-time buyer will continue to be the market driver in 2011. When first-time buyers purchase homes on the resale market, current homeowners will be able to upgrade creating a ripple effect," said Rogan. "Buyers will also benefit from more choice as inventory climbs modestly from a less active market."

Nationally, the average price of a home increased between 3.9 and 4.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to the previous year, as markets shrugged off a lackluster third quarter and returned to a post-recession growth profile. Home values are forecast to continue a moderate and steady climb in many of the country's key housing markets through 2011 with sales activity skewed to the first half of the year.

"Trends in the housing market continue to be driven by the lingering after-effects of the recession," said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage Real Estate Services. "Canadians realize that interest rates are unsustainably low and that homes will become effectively more expensive when mortgage rates return to normal levels. We will likely see more price appreciation early in 2011 as some buyers complete transactions in advance of anticipated higher borrowing costs."

Across Canada, the average price of a home is forecast to rise 3 per cent over the coming year to $348,600 while the number of transactions is expected to drop 2 per cent.

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 fourth quarter 2010. A printable version of the fourth quarter 2010 survey will be available online on February 4th, 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.  Historical data is available for some areas back to the early 1970s.

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.

SOURCE Royal LePage Real Estate Services

For further information:

Michael Gotzamanis     
Fleishman-Hillard Canada
416-598-5788

Tammy Gilmer
Director, Public Relations and National Communications
Royal LePage Real Estate Services
416-510-5783


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