Average Charlottetown home prices flatten as new construction dampens resale

- Prices hit a plateau in Q3 but remain higher than 2008 -

CHARLOTTETOWN, Oct. 8 /CNW/ - The Royal LePage House Price Survey released today showed that prices for detached bungalows, standard condominiums and standard two-storey homes in Charlottetown are up slightly over a year ago.

Standard bungalows and two-storey homes followed a typical sales cycle with a drop-off during the winter months only to ramp up though the spring. Prices hit a plateau in Q3 but remain higher than 2008 levels with bungalows posting a 2.6 per cent year-over-year increase, to $160,000, while standard two-storey homes increased 2.7 per cent to $190,000.

"The resale market for bungalows and detached homes remains strong," said Ken Peters, Broker/Owner, Royal LePage Peters & Lank Realty Inc. "Unit sales are down overall from last year at this time because there is still a lot of building going on in the city. The activity is there."

Charlottetown's resale condominium market remained slower both in comparison to last quarter and in year-over-year comparisons, largely due to recent new-build projects that have kept overall demand low.

In keeping with the national trend, which saw buyers of lower-priced homes driving much of the market activity across Canada in early in 2009, Charlottetown is now seeing buyers of high-end properties returning to the market, causing some of the city's largest year-over-year price increases.

Overall Canada's housing market is on the road to recovery, but despite the strength of the market in the third quarter, giving the appearance of a surge in real estate activity, Royal LePage cautioned that sales are normal and simply lagging approximately one month behind the typical seasonal pattern in year-to-date analysis.

"The economic recession interrupted the flow of the real estate cycle but it is essentially back on track," said Phil Soper, president and chief executive officer, Royal LePage Real Estate Services. "There is the illusion of a boom in the market, but in fact what we are experiencing is the end of a normal, short-term correction. Once housing supply returns to normal levels, we believe the economy will support low pricing growth into 2010."

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 third quarter. A printable version of the third quarter 2009 survey will be available online on November 6th, 2009.

Housing values in the Royal LePage 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 believes in the importance of giving back to the community and is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charitable foundation. The Shelter Foundation 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, 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: Jessica Culp, Fleishman-Hillard Canada, (416) 645-3664; Tammy Gilmer, Director, Public Relations and National Communications, Royal LePage Real Estate Services, (416) 510-5783

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