Home prices recover in Q1: reports

Canadian home prices have gained ground so far in 2011, according to a pair of new reports released Tuesday.

Canadian home prices have gained ground so far in 2011, according to a pair of new reports released Tuesday.

Canadian home price have recovered in recent months. ((CBC))

The Royal LePage house price survey and Statistics Canada's index of new home prices both indicated that Canadians were getting more for their properties than in previous quarters.

But, don't expect the prices to soar, experts said.

"We expect house prices will continue to creep up, but most of the excess demand created by the initial drop in interest rates has been satisfied," said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage Real Estate Services, the real estate selling company.

Home values

Royal LePage said that the average price of a home rose between 3.5 per cent and 4.3 per cent in the first three months of 2011. A bungalow in Canada now goes for $341,355, up more than four per cent versus the same period one year earlier.

Meanwhile, a normal two-storey abode would fetch $379,388, a gain of more than three per cent compared with the first quarter of 2010.

The most recent quarterly gain was roughly in line with price increases for the October-to-December period when house values rose from 3.9 per cent to 4.3 per cent.

Pricey real estate

In Royal LePage's most recent period, prices for Vancouver homes rose the most across the country with a two-storey house gaining almost 10 per cent in the quarter, fetching $1.08 million on average.

By contrast, the same home in the north section of Saskatoon dropped three per cent first-quarter-over-first-quarter, to $350,000.

Index gain

Besides the Royal LePage survey, Statistics Canada released its new housing price index for February which showed Canadian home values up 0.4 per cent compared with January.

Also, the February gain was twice the 0.2 per cent that home prices rose in January.

Finally, comparing February 2011 with February 2010, the Statistics Canada index was up 2.1 per cent.

"The main contributors to the year-over-year increase of the NHPI in February were the metropolitan regions of Toronto and Oshawa as well as Montréal," Statistics Canada said in a statement.

Prices in Montreal rose four per cent February-versus-February while abode values in Toronto and Oshawa were up 3.4 per cent comparing the same timeframes.

Nationwide, a home is worth four per cent more on average than in 2007, according to Statistics Canada.