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Victoria house prices post decreases in fourth quarter of 2012


New mortgage regulations impact first-time buyer activity

VICTORIA, BC, Jan. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - The Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast released today showed year-over-year price decreases among all housing types surveyed in Victoria.

Standard two-storey homes posted a slight price decrease of 1.0 per cent year-over-year to $475,000, while detached bungalows declined 3.3 per cent year-over-year to an average price of $470,000. Prices for standard condominiums saw the largest year-over-year decrease dipping 8.5 per cent to $258,000.

"Fourth quarter market activity has slowed down slightly causing prices in our market to soften," said Carol Geurts, Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty. "We expect this slowdown to carry on throughout 2013 as we continue to feel the tightening of lending regulations, which have impacted the purchasing power of first-time buyers."

Geurts also explained that year-over-year inventory levels in Victoria have decreased slightly across all housing types.

"Although inventory levels have declined slightly in recent months, there is still a good amount of inventory on hand to meet the needs of buyers," said Geurts.

Nationally, the average price of a home increased year-over-year between 2.0 and 4.0 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012. In the fourth quarter, standard two-storey homes rose 4.0 per cent year-over-year to $390,444, while detached bungalows increased 3.6 per cent to $356,790. National average prices for standard condominiums increased 2.0 per cent to $239,374.

As home sales volumes slowed in the second half of 2012, the average Canadian house price, for the most part, held firm. Some consumers delayed their entry into the market during 2012, faced with economic uncertainty as governments in both the U.S. and Europe struggled with debt management plans and as homes in some regions became less affordable. Compared to 2012, fewer homes are expected to trade hands in the first half of 2013, which should slow the pace at which home prices are rising.

Phil Soper, president and chief executive, Royal LePage, noted that the housing market is well into a cyclical correction and that fears of a sharp or drawn out collapse are unwarranted. Home prices have risen faster than salaries and wages for three years and the market requires time to adjust. By the end of 2013, Royal LePage expects the average national home price to be 1.0 per cent higher compared to 2012.

"A helpful comparison is to reflect on the beginning of 2009 when the country was in the grips of a very grim global recession," said Soper. "It was a bleak time, with plunging consumer confidence driven by rapidly spreading unemployment. The meltdown of the American banking and finance sector had sent their housing market into a downward spiral and our own real estate market saw home sale transactions fall dramatically. Price appreciation in Canada ground to a halt, but home values dropped only slightly. With economic fundamentals such as employment levels improving, we expect this cyclical correction to be short-lived."

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 fourth quarter 2012. A printable version of the fourth quarter 2012 survey will be available online on February 6, 2013.

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 symbol TSX: BRE.

For more information, visit www.royallepage.ca.

Perry Ge Fleishman-Hillard Canada 416-645-3298 perry.ge@fleishman.ca

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

SOURCE: Royal LePage Real Estate Services

To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/January2013/08/c4461.html

CO: Royal LePage Real Estate Services ST: British Columbia NI: REL ECOSURV ECO

-0- Jan/08/2013 11:00 GMT

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