Home sales to rise marginally in 2013, prices to be flat

Despite the large drop in home sales that much of Canada experienced in recent months, 454,000 homes will change hands this year, just 1 per cent less than in 2011, real estate agency Re/Max forecasts.

It expects the value of houses nationally this year to be flat compared to last year.

For 2013 it is also forecasting that 454,000 homes will be sold, and that prices will rise 1 per cent.

The real estate agency expects that this year’s home sales will be at least as high as last year’s in 65 per cent of the Canadian markets it examined, led by Western cities such as Calgary and Regina.

In contrast, Vancouver will show an annual pullback in sales. And “moderation was more widespread in the east, with half of Ontario and Atlantic Canada markets reporting 2012 sales off the 2011 pace,” Re/Max said.

In terms of prices, it said that 81 per cent of markets will see average price increases this year, with Regina posting the strongest growth at eight per cent. Hamilton and Burlington, Ont., Greater Toronto, Fredericton and Saskatoon will follow closely behind.

Vancouver is forecast to see house prices fall six per cent this year. While Vancouver is currently experiencing a significant pullback in sales, Re/Max forecasts that the city will rebound to show the strongest sales gain in 2013, while markets in Quebec will show the largest decrease.

The strongest price gains in 2013 are forecast for St. John’s, Regina, Kingston and Halifax.

TARA PERKINS – REAL ESTATE REPORTER

The Globe and Mail Published Wednesday, Nov. 14 2012, 6:03 AM EST  Last updated Wednesday, Nov. 14 2012, 6:56 AM EST

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