Local average housing costs maintain growth


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July 17, 2014 10:00 AM

Rates don't match national statistics

Lloydminster has maintained its minimum 10 per cent increase for home prices, despite the country seeing between 3.9 and 5.2 per cent rises in the second quarter.

According to a survey by Royal LePage, prices are expected to increase steadily for the rest of the year.

But, the numbers show big city housing activity is accounting for a large part of the gains in national average home prices, with smaller city markets seeing far more modest increases.

“Chronic supply shortages are driving price spokes in Canada’s major cities, masking otherwise moderate home price appreciation nationally,” said Royal LePage president and chief executive Phil Soper in a press release. “While a widening affordability gap in Canada’s largest urban centres is characterizing the national market Canadians read about daily, year-over-year house prices increases in most regions of the country are presently tracking below the historical average.”

According to the survey, detached bungalows saw average prices increase 5.2 per cent to $406,454, twostorey homes 5.1 per cent to $440,972 and standard condominium posted gains of 3.9 per cent to $258,501. (All of these are year-over-year national averages.)

Local Realtor Keith Weinbender, with Century 21, said it’s hard to put places in Alberta and Saskatchewan in the same category as the rest of the country because of the strength of the economy.

“When things were slow across Canada, we were still busy here,” he said. “When every other place starts soaring, we still continue to grow.”

Since a dip in the market in 2008, local prices have continued to grow by about 10 per cent annually. One thing that contributes to that growth, Weinbender added, is due to the development of condominiums.

He said it would have slowed down if there wasn’t enough firsttime buyers entering the market. But with condos coming on stream at a more affordable rate, the market continued to grow.

“The townhouses and the condos really filled that void, so that fuelled our economy and that kept it affordable for the first-time buyers to come in,” he said.

As for whether a decrease will be seen, Weinbender shrugged you never know.

“There’s always a correction in the marketplace, we just haven’t seen it for some time,” he said. “When it’s going to come, I really don’t know, but I don’t see us getting to the stage where it’s going to be massive.”

According to statistics released by the Canadian Real Estate Association, national home sales activity increased almost one per cent on a month-over-month basis in June.

With national home sales rising 0.8 per cent from May to June, actual activity stood 11.2 per cent above last year’s levels. The year-over-year average sale price rose 6.9 per cent nationally.

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