Toronto's house prices stabilizing, forecast shows sustainability for 2010

- Royal LePage's Market Survey Forecast predicts five per cent average price growth -

TORONTO, Jan. 7 /CNW/ - The three types of properties surveyed in Toronto's real estate markets made modest gains in the fourth quarter after soaring prices in the previous quarter, signaling to real estate brokers that house prices are stabilizing, according to the latest Royal LePage Market Survey Forecast and House Price Survey. House prices in Toronto are expected to grow another five per cent in 2010.

In comparison to the fourth quarter of 2008, the average price of standard condominium increased 2.9 per cent to $309,316 and standard two-storey homes increased 3.5 per cent to $564,175. Detached bungalows made the largest year-over-year gains at 9.9 per cent to $446,214, although it is a less common housing type in the region.

Royal LePage's Market Survey Forecast predicts prices will be up by five per cent in 2010 as greater numbers of more affluent buyers re-enter the market. First time buyers have been active in taking advantage of low interest rates.

"There is a lot of optimism in Toronto's real estate market," said Gino Romanese, Senior Vice President, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd. "Last year, we saw a surge of first-time-buyers, which depleted entry level listings. Now we are seeing activity in all other sectors - move-up, executive and luxury buyers. This will help Toronto's real estate market become more balanced." A surge of new condos being completed in 2010 will also stimulate the resale market as the new residents sell their existing properties.

Canada's residential real estate market is forecast to remain unusually strong through the first half of 2010 as economic conditions across the country improve and the stimulus impact of low interest rates continues to stoke demand, according to today's Royal LePage Market Survey Forecast and House Price Survey.

"The Canadian real estate market enters 2010 with considerable momentum from an unusually strong finish to the previous year," said Phil Soper, president and chief executive, Royal LePage Real Estate Services. "The stimulus effect of low borrowing costs has contributed to a sharp rise in demand that has driven activity levels to new highs. This demand, coupled with a typical seasonal undersupply of homes for sale, should cause home prices to continue to appreciate significantly during the early months of the year. Improving supply as the year unfolds and easing demand as the cost of home ownership rises should moderate home price increases in the second half of 2010."

Regions that saw the strongest declines during the recession are now showing marked gains. Those regions include Toronto and the Lower Mainland, B.C. Vancouver in particular experienced a robust quarter, with home prices rising across all housing types surveyed.

About the House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast

The Royal LePage Survey of Canadian House Prices 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 Current figures will be updated following the complete tabulation of the data for the fourth quarter. A printable version of the fourth quarter 2009 survey will be available online on February 5th, 2010.

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 over 13,000 brokers and sales representatives in 600 locations across Canada. 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."

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SOURCE Royal LePage Real Estate Services

For further information: For further information: Tammy Gilmer, Director, Public Relations and National Communications, Royal LePage Real Estate Services, (416) 510-5783

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