Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership

Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership

April 12, 2007 08:00 ET

CENTURY 21 Canada International House Price Survey: First-Time Home Buyers Who Work Downtown Pay Less, Commute Less

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - April 12, 2007) -

- Canadians have 6 of the 10 least expensive housing markets surveyed

- Least expensive markets St. John's and Quebec City compare with Istanbul, Turkey and Sydney, Australia

- Hottest markets Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton compare with New York, London and Paris

First-time home buyers who work in the downtown business districts of Canada's largest cities generally pay less per-square-foot for their homes and enjoy shorter daily commutes than their peers in cities around the world, according to a survey by CENTURY 21 Canada in 31 international cities.

Don Lawby, President of CENTURY 21 Canada, says the survey's price-per-square-foot comparisons showed that Canada has six of the 10 least expensive and only three of the 10 most expensive housing markets surveyed for entry-level home buyers working in the downtown business districts.

For example, St. John's and Quebec City had the lowest and second-lowest per-square-foot prices of all 31 cities surveyed, at $55 and $93 respectively. The two lowest per-square-foot prices for international cities were Istanbul, Turkey and Sydney, Australia, at $94 and $105 respectively. Daily commutes were 10 minutes and 20 minutes for St. John's and Quebec City, while daily commutes for Istanbul and Sydney were 15 minutes and 75 minutes.

At the other end of the price scale, Vancouver was fourth most expensive at $577 per square foot (five-minute commute), Calgary was sixth most expensive at $500 (20-minute commute) and Edmonton was 10th most expensive at $322 (20-minute commute). Paris was the most expensive at $1,051 per square foot (five-minute commute), London was fifth most expensive at $532 (17-minute commute) and New York was eighth most expensive at $375 (45-minute commute).

"Generally, major cities in Canada offer incredible values with great home prices and reasonable commute times available to entry-level buyers who are working in the downtown business districts," Lawby says.

The homes selected are representative of the typical entry-level homes chosen by first-time buyers who work in the downtown core in each of the cities. Price per-square-foot comparisons provide a basic measure of price-to-size value. This survey of typical entry level homes was done in conjunction with a survey on typical executive homes around the world. The homes selected for inclusion in the survey are based on the knowledge and experience of CENTURY 21 brokers in each of the 31 cities.

When comparing prices to sizes of the homes, the CENTURY 21 survey found that the 10 least expensive housing markets as ranked per-square-foot for first-time buyers are St. John's, $55; Quebec City, $93; Istanbul, $94; Halifax, $97; Charlottetown, $104; Sydney, Australia, $105; Bogota, $114; Mexico City, $119; Moncton, $127; and London, Ontario, $132.

The 10 most expensive housing markets per square foot in the world for entry-level home buyers working in the downtown business districts are Paris, $1,051; Moscow, $688; Seoul, $630; Vancouver, $577; London, England, $532; Calgary, $500; Athens, $375; New York City, $375; Tokyo, $325; and Edmonton, $322.

Canada's two largest cities ranked near the middle of the 31 cities: Montreal, at $276 per square foot is ranked 13th and Toronto, at $209 per square foot, is ranked 16th.

Canada

In Vancouver, a typical choice for a first-time buyer would be a 475-square-foot studio condominium with one bath in trendy Yaletown priced at $274,000 ($577 per square foot) and a 10-minute walk to the downtown core, Canucks' or BC Lions' games, or the Seawall on False Creek.

In Calgary, a typical first-time buyer would choose a one-bedroom, one-bath 500-square-foot apartment in Mission or Connaught priced at $250,000 ($500 per square foot) and a 10-minute drive or 20-minute walk to the downtown business core and the Calgary Tower.

In Montreal, a typical choice for a first-time buyer would be a three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath 780-square-foot condominium in the heart of the downtown priced at $215,000 ($276 per square foot) and 10 minutes from the business core and Canadiens' games at Bell Centre.

In Toronto, a typical choice for a first-time buyer would be a three-bedroom, two-bath 1,100-square-foot townhouse on a 2,500 square-foot lot in Mississauga priced at $230,000 ($209 per square foot) and 60 minutes west of the Bay Street financial district and the CN Tower.

A typical Winnipeg first-time buyer would choose a three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,200-square-foot home on a 6,000-square-foot treed lot in River Heights, Fort Rouge, priced at $180,000 ($150 per square foot) and 12 minutes by car from Portage Avenue and Main Street, the downtown focal point.

In Halifax, a typical first-time buyer would choose a three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath 1,500-square-foot home on a 4,500-square-foot lot in Timberlea priced at $145,000 ($97 per square foot) and a 25-minute drive to the downtown or to Citadel Hill overlooking the harbour.

In St. John's, a typical first-time buyer would choose a three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath 3,300-square-foot home on a 5,000-square-foot lot in the community of Paradise priced at $180,000 ($55 per square foot) and a 10-minute drive to the downtown and two kilometres from Signal Hall overlooking the city.

World financial centres(1)

In Paris, a typical first-time buyer would choose a one-bedroom, one-bath, 258-square-foot apartment near the Etienne Marcel subway station in the centre of the city priced at $271,136 ($1,051 per square foot) and a five-minute walk to Palais Royal and the Centre Beaubourg museum.

In Seoul, a typical first-time buyer choice would be a three-bedroom, two-bath, 890-square-foot view apartment in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, priced at $560,357 ($630 per square foot) and a 60-minute commute to the business core.

In Moscow, a typical first-time buyer choice would be a one-bedroom, one-bath, 323-square-foot apartment priced at $222,000 ($688 per square foot) and a 30-minute commute to the business core.

In London, a typical first-time buyer choice would be a three-bedroom, one-bath, 860-square-foot townhouse in the community of Croydon priced at $457,862 ($532 per square foot) and a 17-minute commute to the business core.
A typical New York City first-time buyer would choose a four-bedroom, two-bath, 1,400-square-foot home on a 5,562-square-foot lot priced at $525,397 ($375 per square foot) in Nassau County and 45 minutes from the Wall Street financial district by subway or car.

For a Tokyo first-time buyer, a typical choice would be a three-bedroom, one-bath, 1,076-square-foot home on a 1,184-square-foot lot at Tsudanuma in Chiba prefecture priced at $349,000 ($326 per square foot) and 50 minutes by train to downtown Tokyo.

In Sydney, a typical first-time buyer choice would be a three-bedroom, two-bath, 3,660-square-foot home in Kellyville priced at $384,669 ($105 per square foot), 75 minutes from the downtown and 30 minutes from the Sydney Opera House.

In Shanghai, a typical first-time buyer would choose a two-bedroom, one-bath, 1,076-square-foot apartment in the Pu tuo District, near middle ring road priced at $150,170 ($140 per square foot) and 60 minutes to the downtown core.

Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership is a real estate franchisor with exclusive rights to the CENTURY 21 brand in Canada and is part of the world's largest residential real estate sales organization. CENTURY 21 provides comprehensive training, management, administrative and marketing support for the CENTURY 21 System, which is comprised of more than 8,400 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices in 46 countries and territories, with more than 146,000 sales associates worldwide. CENTURY 21 Canada is the only organization to offer customers AIR MILES® reward miles on real estate transactions. For more information visit the award-winning CENTURY 21 Canada website at www.century21.ca.

Note to editors:

Photos of the homes described and a table of all survey findings are available.

(1) Home prices are in Canadian currency and based on a 1 CAD equals 0.8522 USD exchange rate.

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