A home price survey shows relatively level year-over-year prices across all housing types surveyed in Charlottetown, according to the Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast released this week.
Prices of detached bungalows rose by 0.6 per cent to $173,000, and standard condominiums increased by 0.8 per cent to $128,000. Standard two-storey homes showed no change and stayed at an average price of $205,000.
“The market leveled off at the end of 2013,” said Ken Peters, broker and owner, Royal LePage Peters and Lank Realty.
“There is a fair amount of inventory available for all housing types, in part because unit sales in the spring and summer buying seasons were lower than usual. With these extra homes still on the market there is more choice for buyers, which keeps prices from rising too much.”
According to Peters, unit sales were down approximately nine per cent across the Island in 2013 and Charlottetown was no exception. He said the market was up and down this year, with sales coming in bunches followed by long lulls.
Peters forecasts that prices and unit sales in the Charlottetown residential real estate market will remain flat or slightly down in 2014.
“House prices will be pretty stable in the year ahead, which is par for the course for real estate on the Island. Historically we have only seen small year-over-year changes, and we don’t expect 2014 to be any different.”
He also suggested that several factors are having an effect on residential real estate, including the lack of year-round employment, potential layoffs, and emigration of young people and families to other provinces.
Nationally, the average price of a home in Canada increased between 1.2 per cent and 3.8 per cent in the fourth quarter.
The survey showed year-over-year average price increases in the fourth quarter of 2013 of 3.6 per cent to $418,282 for standard two-storey homes and 3.8 per cent to $380,710 for detached bungalows, while the average price of a standard condominium rose 1.2 per cent to $246,530. Prices are expected to maintain healthy momentum into 2014, with Royal LePage projecting a 3.7 per cent increase nationally from 2013 and a shift to a seller’s market in the first portion of the year in a number of regions.
“A few short months ago, the country’s housing market emerged from a year-long correctional cycle of dramatically slowed sales volumes. Later 2013 was marked by a transition to buoyant sales volumes and above average price growth,” said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage.
“In the absence of some calamitous event or material increase in mortgage financing costs, we expect this positive momentum to characterize 2014. In fact, we expect a market tipped decidedly in favour of sellers for the first half of the year, after which we project a shift to a more balanced market.”
He said they are predicting continued upward pressure on home prices as the all-important spring market nears.
“In addition to normal demand, housing prices in Canada this year will be influenced by buyers who put off purchase plans in the very soft spring of 2013.”