St. John’s MLS prices surged 27% in Q4 2008

January 21, 2009 · Filed Under CMHC Reports, Market Trends, St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

st. john's sellers market weakenedThe St. John’s Newfoundland MLS listings numbers where  down for the 4th quarter of 2008.  However there was a noticeable increase in price. MLS sales fell 9% to 1,203 units compared to 2007’s record fourth quarter sales of 1,326 units.  The average St. John’s MLS price surged 27% to $193,529 compared to $152,160 during the fourth quarter of 2007, representing the only growth market in Canada.  October, November and December MLS  sales were 549, 373 and 281, respectively.

st. john's fourth quarter average price

The Sellers market we saw for most of 2008 weakened during the 4th quarter, bringing us back into a balanced real estate market.  Sales to active listings ratio fell to 21% in December, but averaged 26% during Q4 versus 21% the fourth quarter of 2007.  New MLS listings increased 11% in the fourth quarter and when combined with the 9% decline in sales, total active listings began to stabilize. There were 1,463 new residential listings during the fourth quarter compared to 1,320 during Q4 of 2007, an increase of 11%. Active listings averaged 1,528 from October to December 2008 versus 2,067 during the fourth quarter of last year.

St. John’s Real Estate outlook for 2009

January 5, 2009 · Filed Under First Time Buyers, Market Trends, St. John's Investments, St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

The first week of business for 2009,for me anyways, and already people are asking the million dollar question….where will the housing prices be in 2009?

As in most years, it’s difficult to predict.  Last year CMHC predicted 6% and RE/MAX stated at least 12%.  I remember saying after the first quarter we’ll see much higher then 12%.  The final tally for 2008 is not yet in but should be close to 23% in my opinion.

Now….where do I see the St. John’s real estate market for 2009.  Currently my mind is set at a 5% increase from 2008.

How can I say this with the US housing market expecting to drop even more, Canadian markets are predicted to lower in some areas, and the UK, no real direct relation, but the world housing market seems to be taking a hit right now.  It all boils down to consumer confidence, the provincial economy and a balanced market.  All three we are seeing in Newfoundland currently.

There are still a lot of sale pendings left over from 2008 that will help keep the numbers up for unit sales in 2009, but there is clear evidence that it’s no longer a seller’s market.  With mortgage rates still at VERY low levels, as well as increased inventory in new construction and pre-existing homes, this will leave more choices for buyers.

Personally I do not see the market going into the negative numbers, but I do see houses sitting longer on the market and “price reduced” signs being more familiar then “sold signs”.

St. John’s Resale Market remains as Sellers Market

July 18, 2008 · Filed Under Market Trends, Real Estate Articles, St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

MLS® sales advanced 9.3 percent to 1,084 units compared to last year’s second quarter sales of 992 units.

April, May and June MLS® sales were 308, 346 and 430, respectively

Second quarter average MLS® residential house price surged 16 percent to $169,734 compared to $146,509 during the second quarter of 2007, with additional price growth expected throughout the remainder of 2008.

There were 2,243 new residential listings during the second quarter compared to 2,344 during the same period last year

With sellers conditions, active listings averaged just 1,540 from April to June versus 2,750 during the second quarter of 2007.

Sales to active listings ratio hit 26.3 percent in June and averaged 23.5 per cent during the second quarter, nearly double the 12 percent level recorded a year ago.

Sellers Market Keeps Active Listings Down

High demand for housing has driven active residential listings much lower since mid 2007, making it increasingly difficult for some REALTORS® to obtain listings

Active listings for April, May and June were 1,411, 1,573 and 1,633, respectively

New listings decreased 4.3 percent during the second quarter and are down 4.1 percent so far this year as some sellers hold out for further price appreciation.

Bank of Canada has cut rates 150 basis points (1.50 percent) since December 2007 and will remain on hold for most of 2008

Bank rate currently sits at 3.00 percent with the prime lending rate at 4.75 percent.

One and five-year fixed mortgage rates are forecast to remain within the 6.70-7.25 and 7.00-7.50 per cent range, respectively, in 2008 and 2009, while some variable rate mortgages will remain as low as 4.10 percent

Newfoundland Housing Starts Soar in May

June 9, 2008 · Filed Under Market Trends, St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

Newfoundland urban housing starts soared during the month of May, according to preliminary data released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). May’s total housing starts soared 49 per cent, with 230 posted within Newfoundland compared to 154 a year ago. A total of 224 of the 230 starts were within St. John’s metro versus 124 last May, a record increase of 81 per cent.

Year-todate, there have been 471 new homes started across the province versus last year’s total of 395 homes during the same period. A total of 456 of these starts occurred within St. John’s metro, for a year-to-date increase of 33 per cent.

“With pent-up demand for newly built homes within the local housing market, May’s notable increase in housing starts is an example of the impact that a limited supply of current listings available for sale can have on residential construction activity,” said Chris Janes, Senior Market Analyst with CMHC in Newfoundland and Labrador. “With a buoyant sellers market, the current supply of active listings is approximately 50 per cent lower than a year ago, so buyers are shifting to new homes, simply because they cannot find a suitable existing home in the resale market,” added Janes.

MLS Trends St. John’s First Quarter

MLS Residential Sales Post Solid First Quarter

  • MLS® residential sales increased 14.3 per cent to 713 units compared to last year’s first quarter sales of 624 units
  • January, February and March MLS® sales were 236, 238 and 239, respectively and were held back by a lack of active listings
  • Driven by low inventory, the first quarter average MLS® house price jumped 13.6 per cent to a record $156,953 compared to $138,167 during the first quarter of 2007

Resale Market Classified as Sellers

  • The resale market headed quickly to a sellers classification last Fall and remained there throughout the first quarter of 2008
  • Average time-on-market trended lower during the quarter, strong price growth continued and many choice properties enjoyed multiple purchase offers
  • Current trends indicate the market will favor sellers once again during the second quarter, but an expected improvement in active listings may provide some relief for buyers

Active Listings Remained Low

  • After falling nearly a half by January, active listings rebounded slightly during February and March, but remained low, restricting unit sales growth accordingly
  • The supply of active residential listings averaged approximately 1,150 during the first quarter compared to almost double that number at 2,100 a year ago
  • First quarter new listings were near last year’s first quarter level of 1,600, while active listings retreated 45 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2007

Mortgage Rates to Remain Low

  • With U.S. recessionary pressures continuing, the Bank of Canada is widely expected to cut rates 50 basis points by June 10th
  • Accordingly, mortgage interest rates are expected to remain low in 2008 and start to creep higher in 2009 as investors gain more confidence in financial markets
  • One and five-year mortgage rates are forecast to be in the 6.25-7.25 and 6.50-7.50 per cent range, respectively, in 2008 and beyond

House Price Survey report

April 4, 2008 · Filed Under Market Trends, St. John's Real Estate · 1 Comment 

Canada’s real estate market stands on stable footing. On average, healthy year-over-year house price gains were recorded during the first three months of 2008. While more modest price increases were observed when compared to previous quarters, the solid appreciations noted in the first quarter are largely due to the shared effects of resilient local economies, high immigration levels, and relatively low interest rates – all leading to enduring buyer demand, according to a House Price Survey report released yesterday by Royal LePage Real Estate Services.

We know now that the Canadian real estate market has followed a markedly different path from that of the United States. Our tiny subprime mortgage market has exposed us to very few of the pitfalls that have created the unfortunate chaos south of the border. While Canada will not escape the negative impact of a troubled American economy, Canadians’ home equity should remain safe.

Thriving Saskatoon saw appreciation as high as 66 per cent, while areas in Newfoundland posted increases above 20 per cent for the first time since they started tracking house prices.

In St. John’s, the prospect of becoming a “have” province by 2009, as well as the provincial government’s announcement of an $881 million surplus triggered a rise in average house prices during the first quarter. Further expansion of Husky Oil’s White Rose project and potential development of a nickel deposit in Southern Head led to a rise in consumer confidence and double-digit house price increases, as the shift towards a sellers market continued throughout the city. Winter – which is typically a slower period for home sales in the St. John’s real estate – did little to decrease market activity in the first quarter. A shortage of desirable property listings, immigration and new listings lasting no more than two days on the market continue to characterize a market that is building on momentum created in 2007.

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