St. John’s Newfoundland MLS Stats for November 2011

December 7, 2011 · Filed Under Monthly MLS Stats, Mount Pearl Real Estate, Paradise Real Estate, St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

The number of home sales in St. John’s increased in November to 477.  This is up 30% from November 2010.  There was a fair amount of activity this month compared to the previous months.   Listings were up only 2% and expired listings dropped back to 10%, but it was the 30% gain in sales for November made a huge difference to our market place.  It’s good to see expired listings  slowly dropping to normal levels.   With lots of buyers in the market place we should see a fairly active beginning to 2012 in St. John’s.

RE/MAX released their Canadian Housing Market Estimates for 2012 and prices for a house in St. John’s and surrounding area is estimated to increase by 5% in 2012.

Don’t forget to contact us for a free market evaluation on your home.

Total # of MLS Listings [November] = 754 (based on residential stats)

Total # of Sales [November] = 477

Number of Active Listings in the NLAR MLS System (ALL of Newfoundland) = 3600

Here is a break down by area for the month of November

St. John’s Real Estate: Listings = 144   Sales = 114 Sales/Listings Ratio = 79%

Average sale price for a home in St. John’s: $292,747 for the month of November and the 12 month average $290,428

Mount Pearl Real Estate: Listings = 18 Sales = 23  Sales/Listings Ratio = 128%

Average Sale Price (12 month average): $260,357

Paradise Real Estate: Listings =38 Sales = 45 Sales/Listings Ratio =118%

Average Sale Price (12 month average): 325,088

East Extern Real Estate: Listings = 33 Sales = 20  Sales/Listings Ratio = 61%

Average Sale Price (12 month average): $313,363

Conception Bay South Real Estate: Listings = 37   Sales = 32  Sales/Listings Ratio = 65%

Average Sale Price (12 month average): $273,702


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.

CMHC’s January Housing Starts for the St. John’s Area

February 8, 2011 · Filed Under CMHC Reports · Comments Off 

CMHC’s Housing Now publications was just released for Newfoundland and Labrador outlining January’s housing starts for the St. John’s real estate market.  Below is the outline of the press release.  For the full PDF file click here.

ST. JOHN’S, February 8, 2011 – Housing starts in the St. John’s region were flat during the month of January, according to preliminary released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).  January’s housing starts totaled 105 units throughout the St. John’s area compared to 104 units in January of 2010.  There were four additional starts  recorded outside the St. John’s area, for a total of 109 provincial urban housing starts compared to 113 last January.

“An 18 per cent increase in single-detached housing construction was offset by lower multiple unit starts activity  during January,” said Chris Janes, senior market analyst with CMHC in Newfoundland and Labrador. “While starts activity is expected to come off record highs, continued growth in employment, income and population will remain supportive of the local housing market this year,” added Janes.

In urban centres across Canada, total housing starts recorded in January were down six per cent to 9,773 units compared to last year’s total of 10,438. Single-detached starts declined 28 per cent to 3,463 units, while multiple starts increased 13 per cent to 6,310 units in January. In the Atlantic region, 480 new units were started in January compared to 441 units during the same period in 2010.

Housing performance expected to accelerate in 2010, as economic stability returns to Canadian markets, says RE/MAX

December 4, 2009 · Filed Under Real Estate Canada, Remax Reports · Comments Off 

Mississauga, ON (December 3, 2009) – In the midst of one of the most tumultuous economic periods in recent history, residential real estate has proven to be a safe harbour, with sales and average price expected to post gains in most major Canadian cities in 2009, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.

The RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook for 2010 examined residential real estate trends in 23 markets. The report found that sales are forecast to recover in almost all major centres by year-end 2009, led by an anticipated 45 per cent increase in Greater Vancouver. Two markets — Ottawa and Quebec City — are expected to hit historic highs in the number of homes sold. Average price should post new records in 65 per cent of markets surveyed this year. As economic performance ramps up across the country, so too will residential real estate. Eighty-three per cent of markets (19/23) are expecting sales to increase over 2009 levels while housing values are forecast to escalate in 91 per cent (21/23) of Canadian centres in 2010. The remaining markets will match 2009 levels.

Approximately 465,000 homes are expected to change hands nationally in 2009, a seven per cent increase over one year ago. Canadian housing values are forecast to close the year at $318,000, up five per cent from $303,594 in 2008. By year-end 2010, the number of homes sold is predicted to climb another two per cent to 475,000 units. The average price of a home is also expected to experience an uptick, rising two per cent to $325,000 – the highest level in Canadian history.

“2009 was without question the year of the house,” says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Real estate not only defied industry and analysts’ predictions in 2009 — it’s performance went well beyond the realm of expectation by boosting consumer confidence levels and ultimately kick starting the national economic engine. While low interest rates were a principle factor driving home buying activity, no one can discount the value that Canadians place in owning a home.”

Download the complete press release

Canadian housing markets buck recession and trend upwards – RE/MAX Bricks and Mortar Report

September 24, 2009 · Filed Under Market Trends, Real Estate Canada, Remax Reports · Comments Off 

With the worst of the recession over, residential real estate markets in major Canadian centres are poised for growth in the final quarter of 2009, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.

The RE/MAX Bricks and Mortar Report found the bounce back that began in early Spring has made this recession one of the shortest on record for real estate. Low interest rates, pent-up demand, and improved affordability levels have all played a role in the recovery now well underway. Percentage increases in sales from January to August 2009 were led by Vancouver, (up a substantial 14 per cent to 23,158), Victoria (up 7.4 per cent to 5,266), Edmonton (up 6.2 per cent to 13,691), Regina (up five per cent to 2,597), Ottawa (up 2.4 per cent to 10,830) and Toronto (up 1.8 per cent to 58,421).

Housing values are already ahead of record-breaking 2008 levels in seven of the 11 markets surveyed, including Newfoundland-Labrador (18.1 per cent year to $203,584), Regina (6.4 per cent to $244,088), Halifax-Dartmouth (3.5 per cent to $239,633), Winnipeg (3.5 per cent to $207,006), Ottawa (3.3 per cent to $301,684), and Toronto (up 0.3 per cent to $385,978). Nationally, average price hovers at $312,585, up 0.5 per cent over one year ago.

“Markets are heating up across the country,” says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Purchasers are clearly taking advantage of affordable prices and rock bottom interest rates. Those who missed the boat in years past have found that sitting on the sidelines can be a costly move. Prices are on the upswing and inventory levels are tightening, so the push toward home ownership is expected to continue throughout the Fall and possibly into early 2010.”

The recovery of Canada’s resale housing markets speaks to the tremendous value Canadians place on the importance of owning a home. The number of Canadians overall who own a home has increased since 1981 from 62.1 per cent to 68.4 per cent, with some markets posting even higher homeownership rates — Calgary (74.1), St. John’s (71.5), Regina (70.1), and Edmonton (69.2). Significant gains have also been made over the same period in markets such as Ottawa — where homeownership levels rose from 51.4 per cent to 66.7 per cent — and Toronto, where levels rose fro m 57.3 to 67.6 per cent.

Newfoundland & Labrador – One billion barrels and counting says Royal Bank’s Provincal Outlook

Here is a snippet straight from Royal Bank’s March Provincial Outlook outlining where Newfoundland & Labrador stand during this harsh global economic times.

“The Newfoundland & Labrador offshore oil industry celebrated a milestone in January with the production of its one billionth barrel of oil. This was yet another reminder of the long road traveled by energy developments off the province’s coast and their tremendous contribution to the transformation of Newfoundland & Labrador into a dynamic economy. Nonetheless, the nosedive in energy prices since last summer and declining production at the province’s maturing production wells have cut any festivities short. The real cheers might have to wait until late this year or early next when the White Rose project expansion enters into operation, giving the industry — and the provincial economy — a shot in the arm. In the meantime, decreasing oil output and lower-than expected crude prices will be a substantial drag on economic activity in the  province, and the main reason for our projected decline in real GDP in 2009 (down 1.2% following estimated growth of 1.3% last year). Further contributing  to the weakness will be an expected drop in mineral production (partly the result  of market-related downtime), as well as the recent closure of the Abitibi Bowater  newsprint mill in Grand Falls.

Despite the challenges, the mood in the province remains relatively upbeat.  Huge investment projects — including the C$2-billion hydromet nickel processing  facility in Long Harbour — are still going ahead and the provincial government recently announced a significant increase  in spending on infrastructures.

According to Statistics Canada’s P&PI survey, non-residential capital expenditures in Newfoundland & Labrador are set to increase the fastest among all provinces in 2009 (up by almost 13%). Residents who had departed the province earlier are flocking back . This stimulates demand for housing and consumer goods and services. Housing markets have been very tight until recently, and prices continue to show among the strongest year-over-year increases in the country. Home building is expected to remain relatively steady this year, with housing starts forecast to move a touch above last year’s 19-year high of 3,200 units. Such relatively robust domestic activity is expected to persist next year and be the dominant factor returning the provincial economy back into positive growth once oil production is stabilized by White Rose’s expansion.”

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