Real estate prices climb to record level

Staff ~ The Truro Daily News
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TRURO - The average price for residential real estate in Nova Scotia climbed to its highest level on record last month.
According to statistics provided by the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors, the average price for Nova Scotia homes sold through the Multiple Listing Service - a system which offers housing listings nationwide - was $206,668, a 5.4 per cent increase over April 2008. The national average price, however, was down 3.2 per cent year-over-year.
Sandi Lockhart, a broker at Royal LePage Truro Real Estate, said the news is not that drastic.
"People need to understand that is a provincial average and it's not that bad in Truro," said Lockhart.
She said the average selling price ranges between $140,000 and $150,000 locally.
"That is about a five per cent increase on average ... but the market here is stable and balanced between buyers and sellers," said Lockhart.
"There are a record number of listings in Truro, interest rates are good and it's a good time to buy now because of the impending deed transfer tax increase in the fall."
The increase in average price was greatest in the Annapolis Valley region at 15 per cent, followed by the South Shore at 11 per cent.
The news release also indicates the overall value of provincial sales were down compared to a year ago April.
"There's a trend to downsizing," said Lockhart. "The value decreased only slightly locally ... mostly higher-end properties because people are more cautious with their money," considering current economic turmoil.
Despite the increase in selling price, the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors indicates active listings continue to rise in Nova Scotia. The number of active residential listings increased by nine per cent, which is the smallest year-over-year increase in 11 months.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Association of Realtors, Multiple Listing Service, Royal LePage Truro Real Estate

Geographic location: TRURO, Nova Scotia, Annapolis Valley South Shore

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