Condominiums the exception, as prices remain flat compared to same period last year
VANCOUVER, April 5, 2012 /CNW/ - The Royal LePage House Price Survey released today showed strong year-over-year price appreciation for standard two-storey homes and detached bungalows in Vancouver, while prices for standard condominiums remained flat.
While standard two-storey homes witnessed the largest year-over-year price increases, rising 9.1 per cent to $1,182,250, detached bungalows posted a similar 9.0 per cent year-over-year increase, rising to $1,068,500. Standard condominiums rose a modest 0.5 per cent year-over-year to $510,000.
"Aside from standard condominiums, Vancouver's house prices were up significantly compared to the first quarter of last year," said Bill Binnie, broker and owner of Royal LePage North Shore. "It is important to note, however, that current home prices have remained relatively stable since the second quarter of 2011 and, as a result, we expect year-over-year price appreciation to appear less positive in the coming months."
Binnie noted that demand for homes in Vancouver was strong in the first quarter but that the region felt the effects of reduced levels of foreign investment.
"In the first quarter, we had roughly half the buyers from Asia our market had become accustomed to," he said, noting that recent Chinese government regulations limited foreign investment amounts.
According to Chris Simmons, broker and owner, Royal LePage Sunshine Coast, sales in Vancouver were down compared to the first quarter of last year while inventory was up slightly. Despite this, multiple offer situations were frequent in the first quarter as buyers took advantage of historically low mortgage rates.
"Buyers remain confident in the Vancouver housing market," Simmons said. "Vancouver continues to be a destination city for people both outside of Canada and within. Vancouver is one of the most 'livable' cities and people come for the lifestyle."
Nationally, market activity in the first quarter of 2012 was unusually high resulting in tight inventories and strong price appreciation in most major cities. Buyers were attracted into the market by historically low mortgage rates and sellers brought listing inventory to market earlier than normal, encouraged by unseasonably warm weather.
In the first quarter, Canada's average standard two-storey homes rose 5.0 per cent year-over-year to $398,282, while detached bungalows increased 4.4 per cent to $356,306. Average prices for standard condominiums increased 2.2 per cent to $243,153.
"Our housing market is being pulled in opposite directions by opposing economic forces," said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage Real Estate Services. "On one hand, there is the rapidly strengthening U.S. economy, increasing Canadian consumer confidence and what can only be called a national mortgage sale encouraging activity and bidding up home prices. On the other, we have signs of over-shooting values and strained affordability in our largest cities. We are likely to see much more modest price appreciation as the year unfolds."
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 90 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 first quarter 2012. A printable version of the first quarter 2012 survey will be available online on May 2, 2012.
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.
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 symbolTSX:BRE.
For more information, visit www.royallepage.ca.
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