Average Q3 Saskatoon house price down 5 per cent over same period last year

    - But balanced market has led to price stabilization and increased unit
    sales -

SASKATOON, Oct. 8 /CNW/ - The Royal LePage House Price Survey released today showed the average year-over-year price of homes in Saskatoon is down five per cent over last year. However, a balanced market has put an end to 13 months of consecutive price declines.

"Since bottoming out in April 2009, prices have stabilized," says Norm Fisher, Sales Manager for Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate Ltd. "Average buyer discounts in Q3 ranged from 3.5 to 4.5 per cent, showing buyers and sellers are making reasonable negotiations."

With inventory down 58 per cent over last year, homes are moving quickly. "Unit sales are through the roof," Fisher says. "We're hitting near record unit sales for most housing types. Overall unit sales in Q3 were up 50 per cent over the same period last year." Lower priced condos are moving faster than in Q2, but unit sales for condos in the $300,000 to $350,000 range are down year-over-year.

Although some single family homes priced below $350,000 are generating multiple offers, buyers are typically cautious. "The current Saskatoon market isn't like the boom period of 2007," he says. "We had a rally in the first quarter of 2008, then the market flattened out."

Selling for an average of $291,000 in Q3, west side detached bungalows are the only housing type that showed a year-over-year price increase. Overall, lower priced homes have depreciated less than more expensive homes.

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 actually 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: Jeremy Twigg, Fleishman-Hillard Canada, (604) 688-2505 ext. 232; Tammy Gilmer, Director, Public Relations and National Communications, Royal LePage Real Estate Services, (416) 510-5783

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