experts: real estate column Wednesday, March 15, 2000

PRICES UP, UP and ... AWAY?

As we reported last week, the US home sale market is scorching (people are making fortunes in real estate!). Well Canada, is no slouch either!

By Ozzie Jurock

As we reported last week, the US home sale market is scorching (people are making fortunes in real estate!). Well Canada, is no slouch either!

Toronto’s single family home average price in February of $245,134 was the best such average price since 1990. In fact, it was bettered only during the year 1989 (where it fluctuated between $265,000 and $300,000 with a year-end closing average of $273,000) and 1990 (where the year-end closing average price clocked in at $255,000). The increase represents a full 11% year over year!

Calgary’s average price for February of $177,245 was the best price EVER for that fair city, besting its previous high of $172,000 reached in November 1999. The increase represents a full 9% year over year!

Edmonton’s average price for February for a single-family home at $137,164 was that city’s best average single family home price. (The overall average price however at $121,500 lagged the previous best price of $122,5400 reached in May 1999.) The increase represents a full 4% year over year.

Vancouver’s average single family home price clocked in at $394,400 up from $339,900 last year. This represents an increase of a whopping 16% increase year over year!

Vancouver’s attached home sales price clocked in at $ 237,700 up from $215,000 last year. This represents a 10% increase year over year!

Vancouver’s apartment average price clocked in at 176,900 up from $173,200 last year. This represents a 2% increase year over year.

The Fraser Valley’s average single family home price clocked in at $244,600 up from $242,100 last year. This represents a 1% increase over last year. The Fraser Valley’s apartment average price came in at $107,600 down from $109,600 last year. This represents a 2% decrease in that average over last February.

Victoria’s average single family home price came in at $244,600 up from $240,100 in February last year. This represents an increase of 2% year over year.

Sales Volume was up in Toronto by 8% (4,731 sales versus 4.494 last year), up in Calgary by 4% (1,661 versus 1,596 last year), up in Edmonton by 13% (!) (1,062 sales versus 943 last year), up in Victoria by 8% (389 sales this year versus 358 last year). In Vancouver volume was DOWN by 2% (1,697 sales versus 1,742 this year). In the Fraser Valley sales volume was down by 12% (82 sales versus last year’s 914!).

Major Point: With the exception of the Fraser Valley’s apartment market, price increases were reported in ALL other areas of Canada last month, some areas quite sharply. For Vancouver this represents the 6th month of price increases that ranged from 6% to 16% over the previous years such month. Vancouver’s prices also rose sharply even though its sales volume came off by 2% (6% in the single family home market). Clearly, confidence is up in Canada, money is being made and it is flowing into the real estate markets. The bottom for BC is in place. There are still a lot of foreclosures and ‘must sell’ deals. Make ‘them thar’ offers ... Interest rates are still at a 34 year low, and prices well- prices are rising...




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