Property prices and sales set new records in Canada as experts predict good 2010 ahead

Residential property prices and sales in Canada are soaring with the latest data recording record figures for October and projections pointing to continued increases in 2010.

Canada’s average home price climbed to $341,079 last month, a record high for the month of October. Nationally, 42,288 units changed hands through the Multiple Listing Service in October, up 41.5% compared with October 2008, when the global economic crisis hit consumer confidence and real estate sales dropped.

When that figure is seasonally adjusted, it moves to 45,818 for October, putting it 2% higher than the previous monthly record set in May 2007, the Canadian Real Estate Association said in a new report. It predicts that overall this year prices will have risen and continue to climb in 2010.

In Greater Victoria, the capital region, the number of sales last month was the highest since 1991, with 742 homes and other properties selling, the Victoria Real Estate Board said. The average single-family house price was $590,567, and the median, or midway price, was $536,000.

Chris Markham, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board, said that he was not surprised by the CREA’s forecast, saying that the local market has rebounded as quickly as it dropped. ‘Here we have one of the strongest real estate markets in the country. Inventory is down, sales are up. It’s all fantastic news. It’s all great,’ he added.

Sales have rebounded not only in the $500,000 starter home range but in the higher end as well, Markham said.

Sales numbers across Canada also set records in September and July. As a result, CREA has strengthened its forecast from flat sale numbers year over year. It predicts a total of 460,200 properties will sell throughout 2009, an increase of 6.6% from 2008. Sales numbers are expected to climb to 492,300 next year.

‘Pent-up demand built in late 2008 and early 2009 as many buyers moved to the sidelines pending an improved economic outlook,’ said CREA president Dale Ripplinger. ‘Low interest rates and improving consumer confidence will continue to fire up the market this year and next,’ he added.


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