St. John’s Fall Housing Market

CMHC has released the following report.

Strong fundamentals such as a solid local economy, continued immigration and favorable employment will sustain the demand for housing within the St. John’s region throughout the remainder of this year and in 2009. Accordingly,  the housing market will continue to perform well. The renovation sector will build on its recent strength, exceeding $800 million annually over the forecast period. With home ownership costs increasing, some prospective buyers remain sensitive to prices when considering the purchase of a home. However, personal income growth and a tight labour market will continue to provide support to the overall level of demand for both new and existing homes.  Furthermore, energy related announcements such as Hebron and growth throughout the Newfoundland oil industry continue to fuel the housing market, with unprecedented buyer demand supporting current and future house price appreciation.

Having posted record sales for several years in a row, the St. John’s resale market is expected to continue this trend, eclipsing the 4,000 unit mark this year and in 2009. Accordingly, the forecast calls for MLS® sales of 4,800 units this year, with 4,400 sales expected in 2009. With many new homes selling through the MLS® system, solid numbers for housing starts will have a positive impact on total MLS® sales over the forecast period.

Unprecedented housing market activity this year has been characterized by higher than normal unit sales, constrained listings supply and sharp price increases. In fact, active listings are approximately 40 per cent lower this year versus last year and with demand expected to remain high over the forecast period, unit sales growth will be constrained by fewer listings in 2009. While favorable for sellers, very tight resale market conditions have proved challenging for buyers, resulting in multiple offers and offers above list price on choice listings.

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