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Regional disparities in real estate market to narrow in 2017: Royal LePage

Regional disparities in real estate market to narrow in 2017: Royal LePage
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TORONTO -- Royal LePage says the extreme regional disparities that characterized Canada s real estate markets last year will narrow in 2017 as overheated areas cool and slower markets begin to gather steam.

In its latest report, the real estate company says this trend will be driven by lower prices in Greater Vancouver and strong but moderating price growth in the Greater Toronto Area.

Meanwhile, prices in Quebec, Atlantic Canada and Alberta will move higher, according to the report.

Royal LePage s national composite index of prices increased 13 per cent year-over-year to $558,153 in the fourth quarter of last year.

The company says that s the highest year-over-year increase recorded by the index in more than 10 years.

Two-storey homes led the charge, with the aggregate price rising 14.3 per cent to $661,730, while the price of a condo was up a more moderate 7.4 per cent to $356,307.

Looking ahead, Royal LePage is predicting that the aggregate home price will climb 2.8 per cent this year compared to the end of 2016.

"The disparity in home price appreciation between Canadian regions has never been greater than that seen in 2016, with rates ranging from double-digit extremes in some cities to negative growth in others," Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage, said in a statement.

"In 2017, we anticipate a movement away from the regional extremes of real estate feast and famine -- and that is a very good thing."

Royal LePage is also predicting that prices in the Greater Vancouver region will decline to the levels they were at in April 2016.

"While the cost of a home in Greater Vancouver will remain the highest in the country, a modest price reset will provide much needed relief in the Lower Mainland and help reignite overall buyer activity in the region," Soper said.

That contrasts with the outlook for Toronto s real estate market, where Soper says there is "no relief in sight" as underlying economic fundamentals remain strong.
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