Average Housing prices for St. John’s (Oct 2014)

November 25, 2014 · Filed Under Monthly MLS Stats · Comments Off 

House Graph

St. John’s Real Estate Average House Prices for October 2014

Total # of MLS Listings = 994
Total # of Sales [Oct] = 432

Number of Active Listings for Sale in Newfoundland = 5384
Numbers are based on both residential and commercial listings/sales


Here is a break down by area for October:
St. John’s: Listings = 240 Sales = 67
Sales/Listings Ratio = 28%
Average sale price for a home in St. John’s: $358,225 for the month of October and the 12 month average $346,513

Mount Pearl: Listings = 38 Sales = 16
Sales/Listings Ratio = 42%
Average Sale Price (12 month average): $300,476

Paradise: Listings = 63 Sales = 25
Sales/Listings Ratio = 40%
Average Sale Price (12 month average): $350,679

East Extern: Listings = 64 Sales = 20
Sales/Listings Ratio = 31%
Average Sale Price (12 month average): $404,049

Conception Bay South: Listings = 48 Sales = 35
Sales/Listings Ratio = 73%
Average Sale Price (12 month average): $303,353

RE/MAX First Time Buyer Report 2011 for St. John’s

April 6, 2011 · Filed Under First Time Buyers, Market Trends, Remax Newfoundland, Remax Reports · Comments Off 

Demand for housing in St. John’s remains healthy, particularly among first time buyers, despite a decline in year-to-date sales.  Buyer’s market conditions and the best choice of product in years have buoyed the entry-level segment, along with wage gains, economic growth and rising consumer confidence levels. Affordability continues to be  favourable, with increased earnings offsetting the more moderate price growth of late.  Most young home buyers are now active from $200,000 to $250,000.  Those buying new construction will have to ante up more—typically between $230,000 and $280,000 to start—as the  price of new construction has risen at a greater rate.  Those on a tight budget will find that homes listed below $200,000 are few and far between and tend to sell for close to full price, if listed at fair market value.  Some even generate a rare multiple offer.

To illustrate the supply issue, only 34 homes have sold year-to-date under $175,000, accounting for just 10 per cent of all sales, and only 39 listings under that price point are currently available. Given that, buyers at the lowest end of the price spectrum will have to act more quickly.  The housing mix in St. John’s continues to favour the single detached home, particularly in the first-time buyer segment.

Of the 34 homes sold under $175,000, only three were condominiums. Entry-level condominium product remains limited in St. John’s, as builders continue to focus on the mid-range—units priced between $250,000 and $350,000. While condominiums are gaining traction with younger buyers, they remain only a small portion of entry-level sales. Condominiums now start from $165,000 to $175,000 for an  older, 650 to 750 sq. ft. walk-up unit on Thorburn Rd., Dalton Ave., and in Pleasantville.

With the current oversupply of homes listed for sale in St. John’s, buyers remain in the driver’s seat. That, along with historically low interest rates, continues to serve as a significant  impetus.

Detached homes can be found from $169,000 for an older bungalow requiring work, located on the peripherals. Older homes are most popular. Most sought-after are properties priced between $210,000 and $250,000 in established neighbourhoods such as Cowan Heights, Mount Pearl and Paradise. Most buyers are realizing their choice location, with little need to compromise.  Those that must choose are opting to spend a little more, if necessary.

Solid demand among first-time purchasers is expected to carry over in to the spring market, with new financing criteria expected to have little impact. In fact, look to sales in the entry-level segment to prompt greater activity in the move-up range in the months ahead. February year-to-date sales were 11 per cent off year-ago levels, with 359 sales recorded, while average price continued its ascent at $255,512, up just over five per cent.

Full RE/MAX Media Release for the First Time Buyers Report 2011

First-time buyers entering home ownership throughout Canada ahead of higher interest rates, says RE/MAX

April 5, 2011 · Filed Under First Time Buyers, Remax Reports · Comments Off 

Driven by the threat of higher interest rates down the road, first-time buyers are contributing to strong upward momentum in residential housing markets across the country, according to a report released by RE/MAX.

The RE/MAX First-Time Buyers Report, highlighting trends and  developments in nineteen major Canadian centres, found that low interest rates and balanced market conditions have provided significant impetus in 2011, particularly at lower price points.  Just over 30 per cent of markets are reporting sales in excess of 2010 levels as a result, while almost 70 per cent have experienced an upswing in average price.  Leading the country in terms of percentage increases in the number of homes sold are Western Canadian markets, including Saskatoon (up close to 15 per cent), Greater Vancouver (up close to 12 per cent), and Winnipeg (up just over 11 per cent).  With an average price hike of close to 20 per cent year-to-date (February), Greater Vancouver continues to show unprecedented strength, followed by Hamilton-Burlington (eight per cent), Quebec City (seven per cent), Winnipeg (close to seven per cent), Greater Toronto (five per cent), and Greater Montreal (five per cent).

Despite homeownership rates approaching 70 per cent, there is clearly room for growth as entry-level buyers make their moves from coast-to-coast, undeterred by higher housing values and changes to lending criteria.  Many purchasers intent on realizing homeownership are scaling back on expectations or are willing to sacrifice location, quality and/or size to make their dream a reality – not unlike generations before them.

Inventory levels, while tight in several larger centres, are more balanced overall, giving first-time buyers a good selection of housing product from which to choose.  Not surprisingly, condominium apartments and town homes have become the first step for many entry-level purchasers, especially in Greater Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary, London-St. Thomas, Hamilton-Burlington, Greater Toronto, the Island of Montreal, and Halifax-Dartmouth where average prices have risen unabated in recent years.

With the Canadian economy on firmer footing overall, residential real estate is well-positioned moving into the traditionally busy spring market.  Consumer confidence is climbing in conjunction with economic performance, and concerns over a secondary recession fade with each passing day.  The mood is cautiously optimistic, as first-time buyers enter the market.

Changes to recent financing criteria have not created the anticipated run up in activity in most markets.  From a financial standpoint, most rookie home buyers remain quite prudent.  Those making the leap are not doing it lightly, buying within their means.  While this most recent round of policy tightening will likely have a negligible effect on demand, the message is getting across.

Affordability remains a growing concern in most markets, and—aside from first-time purchasers—no one is more in tune with that than housing planners and developers.  In fact, the growing demand for reasonably-priced product is creating a shift in the country’s housing mix.  That trend is expected to gain traction in coming years, as builders look to create greater options for those seeking to realize homeownership.    In recent years, builders have helped ease the move to homeownership by concentrating on intensification—condominium buildings with smaller suites and small-lot subdivisions offering detached, compact homes at a fraction of the cost of a traditional single-family home.   On the flip side, the affordability factor is also breathing new life into tired older neighbourhoods, and that, in turn, is contributing to rising values.

As prices escalate, first-time buyers are indeed spending more—some out of necessity, but others are simply in a position to do so.  Unlike in years past—a greater percentage of today’s first-time buyer pool is comprised of dual-income, college or university-educated couples with solid earnings.  They’re spending close to average price or slightly more to secure—in most cases—a better location or a home that will grow with them.   Yet, the fact remains that those on a tighter budget can get in for considerably less, with reasonable choices in every major market across the country.   While some may feel discouraged by eroding affordability levels, the underlying confidence in the concept of homeownership is rising.

While market conditions are one thing that influences first-time buyers, few things trump the fundamental belief in homeownership.  Today’s entry-level buyers are steadfast in their mindset.  They know they have to live somewhere, but they simply don’t want to pay someone else’s mortgage.  Savvy or practical, they remain a driving force.  The bottom line is that the demand for entry-level product will remain steady.  The role of starter homes in the marketplace is becoming ever more vital.

Full RE/MAX Media Release can be viewed here.

Tax Credit for First Time Buyers

September 18, 2008 · Filed Under First Time Buyers, St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

I’m not one for talking politics.  Nor am I one for pushing a certain poltical party on anyone, but this caught my interest….more so for me to write about.

In Stephen Harpers campaign, he is offering a tax credit to first time home buyers if re-elected.  Up to a $5000 tax credit to help with closing costs.  Note this is a tax credit and NOT $5000 cash in hand. According to the article on CBC, it would result in a maximum return rebate of $750 per family.

The average selling price of a home in this country will rise by 3.3 per cent this year to $317,450, and by a further three in 2009 to $327,000, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation predicted last month.

The average closing costs on a house ranges from 1% to 2% the cost of the house.

Remax Atlantic Canada Market Trends

May 27, 2008 · Filed Under First Time Buyers, Market Trends, Remax Reports, St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

An economic engine firing on all cylinders has driven residential real estate activity in Newfoundland and Labrador to new heights. Home sales in the first quarter of 2008 climbed just over 14 per cent, rising from 624 units—and a buyer’s market—one year ago, to 713 units, and a seller’s market. Average price followed suit, with year-to-date values rising close to 14 per cent to $156,953, up from $138,167 in 2007. The momentum is even greater in St. John’s, where average price now approaches $190,000. Not since a very short-lived period in 2004 has the city seen the level of consumer confidence that exists in the marketplace today.

Fueled by export growth—in the form of crude oil—Newfoundland-Labrador’s GDP growth led the country in 2007 at a substantial 13.4 per cent. Newfoundland- Labrador has reported the largest single-decade turnaround in GDP per capita in one decade—a first in Canadian history. Out-migration has been stemmed and population growth is expected for the first time in 15 years. Premier Danny Williams has promised that the province will be a “have” within the next 11 months.

Prosperity has fueled a spending spree that includes housing, retail, and auto sales. Inventory levels are tight and multiple offers are commonplace on homes across the board.

First-time buyers are entering the market en masse, taking advantage of zero and low down payment plans and longer amortization periods. Equity gains have also played a role, prompting serious move-up activity. Home sales priced in excess of $350,000 are brisk.

Investment is a growing segment of the real estate market, spurred by purchasers from Western Canada. Lower interest rates are expected to stimulate even greater activity in the marketplace.

There are $10 billion in capital works projects on the table and the pressure is only starting to build. Natural resources are the key to success and the future has never looked brighter for St. John’s. Real estate will following lock-step, with sales and prices exceeding 2007 levels by double-digits at year-end 2008.

Read the full Remax Atlantic Canada Martket Trends Report 2008

Rising housing values and lack of inventory challenge first-time buyers

April 23, 2008 · Filed Under Monthly MLS Stats, St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

While higher housing values and tight inventory levels have hampered home-buying activity so far this year, longer amortization periods and alternative housing types have offset the impact on most major markets across the country, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.

Despite a higher degree of frustration in the marketplace than in previous years, the RE/MAX Affordability Report found that first-time buyers, in particular, remain steadfast in their determination to purchase a home. In fact, entry-level purchasers are adjusting their expectations by sacrificing size, location, and even long-term financial freedom, to overcome challenges such as rising prices and serious supply issues. Innovative financing has become key to homeownership in today’s environment, with longer amortization periods gaining favour in 62 per cent of the major centres surveyed. Low or no down payments were popular with first-time buyers in 38 per cent of markets.

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