Average Saint John condo prices up 20.5 per cent over last year according to
Royal LePage Q3 house price survey

- Low interest rates and government incentives attracting first time

buyers, detached homes see steep price drops -

SAINT JOHN, NB, Oct. 8 /CNW/ - The Royal LePage House Price Survey released today showed average prices for condominiums in Saint John increased by an astounding 20.5 per cent to $126,000.

First-time buyers drove the condo market, taking advantage of increased affordability due to low interest rates and government incentives. These same factors also lured many renters into purchasing homes.

With the exception of the strong condo market, the Saint John resale market did not follow the traditional, seasonal cycle of declines through the winter months only to ramp up in Spring. Aside from condos, Saint John witnessed some of Canada's largest year-over-year price decreases for other housing types. Bungalows saw their prices decrease 12.3 per cent to $177,980 while standard two-storey homes dropped 18.5 per cent to $237,905.

John McAloney of Royal LePage Atlantic attributes this to inventory levels that are up 24 per cent over last year. "Aside from condos, it has shifted from a seller's to a buyer's market because of the high inventory levels," said Mr. McAloney. "Right across the board inventory is up."

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.

"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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