Home prices continue to rise

Wednesday, April 30th, 2003

Ashley Ford

Getting your piece of the rock is getting more expensive in Canada.

While it means nothing to B.C. homeowners — where the average price of a home surged to $252,297 last month — the average price of a Canadian home topped the $200,000 mark for the first time, the Canadian Real Estate Assoc. said yesterday.

The average price in March rose to $201,662, an increase of 8.6-per-cent from a year earlier. In the 25 major urban markets, the average price in March rose to a record $215,975, from the previous high of $211,855 set in February.

In B.C. prices rose by 5.3 per cent from a year ago when the average price was $240,297.

But prices don’t deter buyers here and sales on the multiple listing service edged ahead 1.8 per cent in March from a year ago. There were 7,951 sales compared to 7,814 sales.

Apart from B.C., Manitoba, Newfoundland and the Yukon, realtors actually sold less last month. There were 31,184 homes sold in Canada in March, down 2.6 per cent from 32,778 units sold in February.

Even in the powerhouse economy of Alberta sales dipped by 3.8 per cent, while the damage was even more pronounced in Ontario and Quebec, where sales dropped by 7.1 per cent and 18.7 per cent respectively.

“Sales were hemmed in by a continuing shortage of listings in many markets, and by an increase in the amount of time that buyers are taking before making a purchase decision,” the association said. The seasonally adjusted value of all homes traded rose by 0.1 per cent to $6.5 billion in March from February.

© Copyright  2003 The Province


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