House prices soar across Canada in fourth quarter

CanWest News Service
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OTTAWA - Housing prices rose significantly in 2007's fourth quarter, showing little sign of the type of slowdown that is typical for that time of the year, Royal LePage Real Estate Services said in a report Tuesday.

OTTAWA - Housing prices rose significantly in 2007's fourth quarter, showing little sign of the type of slowdown that is typical for that time of the year, Royal LePage Real Estate Services said in a report Tuesday.

The firm said the average price for a detached bungalow was $337,555, up 11.6 per cent from a year earlier. The average for a standard two-storey house rose 11.3 per cent to $399,738, and a standard condominium was up 11.7 per cent to $240,395.

"The fourth quarter 2007 was surprisingly strong with unseasonably high price increases and unwavering demand," Phil Soper, CEOof Royal LePage Real Estate Services, said in a statement.

Soper attributed the strong market to "positive economic fundamentals," such the export market for natural resources and the high level of employment.

As was typical for the year, the strongest gains were found in the Prairies, Royal LePage said. Saskatchewan saw the strongest market, with Saskatoon and Regina having year-to-year gains on average bungalow prices of more than 50 per cent.

Other robust Western markets noted were Winnipeg and Vancouver.

Royal LePage said Alberta's pace of growth had slowed since the early part of 2007 as more homes went on the market and buyers sought "more reasonably priced properties."

Ontario and Quebec had gains in property values that trailed the national average as the high Canadian dollar impacted the manufacturing industry there.

There were mixed results in Atlantic Canada. Saint John, N.B., stood out with an average price gain of more than 40 per cent from a year earlier. Royal LePage cited the energy industry, which accounts for half of New Brunswick's exports, for the strong housing market in Saint John.

Organizations: Royal LePage, CEOof Royal LePage Real Estate Services

Geographic location: Atlantic Canada, OTTAWA, Saint John Saskatchewan Saskatoon Regina Winnipeg Vancouver Alberta Ontario Quebec New Brunswick

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