REGINA HOUSE PRICES SHOW STRONG YEAR-OVER-YEAR GAINS IN FOURTH QUARTER OF 2010

Single family homes perform best, while high inventory puts downward pressure on Regina South condos

REGINA, Jan. 6 /CNW/ - House prices in Regina showed year-over-year appreciation in all categories surveyed, according to the Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast released today. The only exception was condominiums in Regina South.

Standard two-storey homes led the way with price gains of 9.1 per cent over the same period last year, selling for a fourth-quarter average of $282,500. Detached bungalows followed close behind with year-over-year gains of 8.4 per cent, selling for a fourth-quarter average of $296,000. Standard condominiums sold for an average price of $189,500 showing an overall gain of 2.4 percent.

Multiple offers in the fourth quarter were uncommon, inventory was at seasonal norms, and houses typically took 30 to 60 days to sell.

"It's a balanced market," says Mike Duggleby, broker and owner of Royal LePage Regina Realty. "Buyers have a good selection to choose from, and sellers are seeing reasonable demand for their homes."

Standard condominiums are the exception. "There's a fair amount of product for entry level condos, so that puts downward pressure on prices," added Duggleby. "People in Regina love their bungalows, and the 7.6 per cent bungalow price gain in Regina South is typical for our city. Standard two-storey homes are performing reasonably well."

The rental market is typically a significant factor affecting house prices in Regina, and the fourth quarter of 2010 was no exception. A lack of rental vacancies put upward pressure on house prices.

"If there's not much to rent, people look to buy, and landlords start buying properties to rent them out," added Duggleby.

Regina house prices are forecast to increase 5 per cent in 2011, and unit sales are expected to increase 3.5 per cent. According to Duggleby, supply and demand will stay balanced.

"Thanks to expansion of the local oil and gas refinery - plus construction of the global transportation hub - employment in Saskatchewan will continue to rise. That trend will put more pressure on the rental market, which in turn will bolster house prices," added Duggleby.

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:

Jeremy Twigg
Fleishman-Hillard Canada
604-688-2505

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


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