House prices on healthy rise: Royal LePage

OTTAWA — Canada’s housing market continues its stable, yet strong, ways despite worries in some quarters earlier in the year of a housing bubble, according to a new report from Royal Lepage.

A report Tuesday from the real estate service firm seems to put a lid on such fears. It says home prices in the year’s third quarter saw growth of just under five per cent, year over year, “which is historically typical of balanced real estate markets.”

The average price of a Canadian bungalow in the three-month period ending in September was $324,531, up 4.6 per cent from a year earlier, Royal LePage said. The average two-storey was up 4.4 per cent to $360,329, and the going rate for a condominium rose 3.9 per cent to $226,481.

“House-price growth now sits just below the long-term annual average of approximately five per cent, but once this is adjusted for inflation, which is very low and expected to continue to be that way for some time, appreciation is right on track,” said Phil Soper, chief executive of Royal LePage Real Estate Services.

There were stronger-than-average price gains in some local markets, according to the report. For example, the average price of bungalows were up 14 per cent in St. John’s, 9.2 per cent in Winnipeg, 9.1 per cent in Montreal and 8.8 per cent in Vancouver.

Vancouver was easily the highest-price housing market in the country, with an average bungalow price of $873,500.

There were few examples of price declines in the 16 local markets covered by Royal LePage. There was, however, a 4.4 per cent drop in the price of bungalows in Moncton, N.B., a one per cent decline for two-storey homes in Calgary, and Calgary, Edmonton and Regina all saw condo prices dip.

The Royal LePage report is the latest showing the Canadian housing market in stable territory. The Canadian Real Estate Association recently reported home sales rising in September for the second straight month. Prices of homes sold through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) were flat with a year earlier and ahead 1.9 per cent from August.

As well, Statistics Canada recently said new-home prices in August were up 0.1 per cent, even as most economists expected a decline by as much.

Source: The Vancouver Sun

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