Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership

Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership

April 30, 2008 08:00 ET

CENTURY 21 Canada Spring 2008 National House Price Survey:

House prices hold value for Canadians during uncertain year - Survey finds increases in 167 neighbourhoods, decreases in 21 - Booming Saskatchewan posts largest price increases - Canada's solid housing fundamentals contrast with boom-bust U.S.

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 30, 2008) - House prices have remained a bedrock of value for Canadians over the past year, despite a steady flood of gloomy media headlines about the slowing Canadian economy, the volatility of the world's stock markets, and the United States' housing crash and credit crisis, according to a national survey by CENTURY 21 Canada brokers.

The CENTURY 21 Canada 2008 Spring National House Price Survey of typical homes in 198 neighbourhoods within 66 cities across Canada shows that prices over the past year have increased in 167 neighbourhoods, remained flat in nine neighbourhoods and declined in 21 neighbourhoods.

Don Lawby, President of CENTURY 21 Canada, says the survey results reflect the solid foundations of Canada's housing markets versus the boom-bust excesses of the U.S. housing market.

"The Canadian housing market is based on conservative lending practices and regulations, strong banks and Canadians' pride of ownership and diligence at building equity in their homes. These characteristics will sustain our housing market as Canada's economic growth rate slows this year," says Lawby.

"The price collapse in the U.S. housing market, which happened 18 months ago, was based on lending practices and mortgage interest deductibility tax regulations that lured new buyers into mortgages they couldn't sustain. Many existing homeowners took equity out of their homes and spent it on vacations, new cars and flat-screen televisions."

"Over the past several weeks, I've visited every region of Canada and spoken with hundreds of realtors. Housing sales volumes are easing in most communities as the economic growth rate slows, but prices in the spring of 2008 are strong and stable nearly everywhere across the country," says Lawby.

The CENTURY 21 Canada 2008 Spring National House Price Survey reflects the price of a typical home in communities across Canada. A "typical home" is the type of home that occurs most frequently in any given neighbourhood. The homes selected for inclusion in the survey are based on the knowledge and experience of CENTURY 21 brokers in each of the communities.

The CENTURY 21 Canada 2008 Spring National House Price Survey found that the largest price increases over the past year occurred in Saskatchewan, where jobs in the booming oil and gas, grain and potash industries are attracting record numbers of new residents. Prices for typical homes have increased over the past year as much as:

- 57 per cent to $330,000 for a modest 1,192-square-foot bungalow with three bedrooms and one bathroom in the Whitmore Park neighbourhood of Regina;

- 49 per cent to $379,000 for a 1,440-square-foot split-level with three bedrooms and two bathrooms in the Avalon neighbourhood of Saskatoon; and

- 48 per cent to $219,900 for a small 974-square-foot bungalow with three bedrooms and two bathrooms on a large lot in remote Prince Albert, a small city 140 kilometres north of Saskatoon known as "the Gateway to the North".

Other strong markets across the country include:

- Winnipeg, where prices in the River Park South, West End and Charleswood neighbourhoods increased 19 per cent, 24 per cent and 34 per cent respectively;

- Lethbridge, where prices in Southgate, Riverstone and Uplands neighbourhoods increased 21 per cent, 21 per cent and 23 per cent;

- Castlegar, where prices in the south, north and rural areas of the city increased 16 per cent, 18 per cent and 18 per cent;

- St. John's, where prices in the east and west parts of the city increased between nine per cent and 19 per cent; and

- Vancouver, where prices in the east, Yaletown, Kitsilano and Marpole increased between five per cent and 19 per cent.

In many communities, local conditions have produced strong, but variable price increases, including;

- Toronto, where a typical bungalow in North York increased six per cent, while a typical condo in North York increased 20 per cent. In Liberty Village, a condo increased 14 per cent, while a bungalow in Scarborough Bluffs increased 11 per cent.

- Montreal, where 11 neighbourhoods surveyed had increases ranging from three per cent for a split-level in Cote St. Luc and 11 per cent for a two-storey in Riviere-des-Prairies.

- Halifax and Dartmouth, where 12 neighbourhoods surveyed had increases ranging from five per cent for a split-level in Dartmouth Eastern Passage and 14 per cent for a two-storey in Halifax West.

- Abbotsford, where prices for similar sized bi-level homes in the central, western and eastern parts of the city increased two per cent, seven per cent and eight per cent respectively.

Softening markets across the country include:

- Edmonton, where prices in the south, west and south west parts of the city declined between 12 per cent and 14 per cent;

- Calgary, where four neighbourhoods had declines ranging from four per cent to 13 per cent and three other neighbourhoods had zero, three per cent and nine per cent increases;

- High River, located just south of Calgary, where prices in three neighbourhoods for a two-storey, a townhouse and a bungalow declined four per cent, five per cent and nine per cent respectively; and

- Mont Tremblant, where an alpine condo and a waterfront cottage declined 11 per cent and 14 per cent respectively, while a bungalow in the city increased six per cent.

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 Canada provides comprehensive training, management, administrative and marketing support for the CENTURY 21 System, which is comprised of more than 8,300 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices in 58 countries and territories, with more than 140,000 sales representatives worldwide. CENTURY 21 Canada is the only organization to offer customers AIR MILES® reward miles on real estate transactions. For all regional releases and data tables please visit www.century21.ca/media.

Note to Editor: A full data table and photos of select properties in each region are available upon request.

For more information, photos or to arrange an interview, please see contact information below.

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