Real estate market not rocked by Hebron

Nadya Bell
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Housing House sales decrease slightly in August

Real estate sales activity slowed down for Newfoundland and Labrador in August, while the average house price inched up four per cent from July.

Despite speculation that the signing of the Hebron deal on Aug. 20 caused house prices to increase by tens of thousands of dollars, August's numbers released by the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Realtors show the announcement did not have a dramatic impact on the market.

Calvin Lindberg, president of the Canadian Real Estate Association. - Photo by Nadya Bell/The Telegram

Real estate sales activity slowed down for Newfoundland and Labrador in August, while the average house price inched up four per cent from July.

Despite speculation that the signing of the Hebron deal on Aug. 20 caused house prices to increase by tens of thousands of dollars, August's numbers released by the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Realtors show the announcement did not have a dramatic impact on the market.

"When the deal was signed, it was just a formality," says Edwina Baldwin, president of the association. "It's not gone up as much as people think they're gone up."

She says the major real estate price increases happened after the Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the province and the consortium of oil companies last year.

In August this year there was 541 individual residential houses sold, which is 11 per cent less than July 2008, and two per cent lower than August 2007.

Baldwin says a slower August than July is typical of the yearly market cycle, largely because people like to get settled before the school year starts.

"It always slows down this time of year, just for a little bit, not much. It'll pick back up again. This is normal," she says.

The average residential price in August 2008 was $187,744. While only four per cent above the average price for July 2008, the average is 21 per cent higher than in August 2007.

The only way to tell how much a house is worth is to sell it on the open market, Baldwin says, making it difficult to speculate on any overall change in house value.

All real estate transactions in the province last month, including commercial, were worth a total of more than $106 million, a 22 per cent jump from August 2007.

Calvin Lindberg, president of the Canadian Real Estate Association was in St. John's on Friday to speak to a brokers meeting of the Newfoundland and Labrador association. Lindberg says the real estate market in St. John's is a bright spot compared to many other parts of the country.

"Talking to some of the brokers here today, there's a lack of inventory and there are lots of sales. In Vancouver it's completely the opposite now. We suffered for five or six years of a lack of inventory, and today we have a glut," Lindberg says.

In Vancouver, the market where Lindberg works, real estate sales have backed off by about 50 per cent from last year.

He says the St. John's market is great for the enthusiasm level for the real estate market across the country, bringing the country's total real estate market into a slight increase in activity.

"Here it's a market that can be very quick, and you can get multiple offers on different homes," he says.

Lindberg says people need do they best they can in the market they're in and always try to make informed decisions about buying and selling.

nbell@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Realtors, Canadian Real Estate Association

Geographic location: Hebron, Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's Vancouver

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Recent comments

  • Keith
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Homebuyers should make every effort to sell their houses privately as real estate agenst are the biggest winners in these transactions for minimal work and effort.

    When agents state that homes increase $20,000 overnight when the costs have already been determined consumers should boycott those agents. Newfoundland home buyers are faced with considerable delays for occupancy yet agents get their full commission despite knowing the information on closing dates is often unrealistic.

  • Cod
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    The Hebron project will require engineers and other technical people, not Beverly Hills plastic surgeons. Consequently, there currently is a large mismatch between asking prices and salary levels.

    This has largely been caused by local realtors over stating market demand.

    GREED!!!

  • Ted
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    I agree with Keith Levesque.. realtors do little or nothing, and make a tidy commission. My recent experiece was that I basically did all the home searches on the various realty websites and he merely got me the keys to view the houses. Tough job.

    Furthmore, I think the St. John's hot market is fueled by self interested realtors. They are exagerating the seller's market hype and are putting upward pressure on prices. I don't know why the media talks to them about he housing market. Afterall, it's in their best interest to say tings are heating up, whether they are or not. They should just consult with Stats Can or CMHC.

  • Sally
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Of course the Hebron announcement had little impact on real estate. The Newfoundlanders who had to move away to survive are not returning home just because the super-rich will now have Hebron money to make their homes even bigger. How silly to think Hebron money will be spread amongst the regular people of this province. I'd say the speculators will be smitten this time as the arse eventually falls out of the real estate market.

  • Bubbles
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Calvin Lindberg says there's a lack of inventory. It almost sounds like he owns all of our homes to begin with. Terrible attitude. The profit to investment ratio is enormous and with such little effort.

    I bought with NO agent. You can't imagine how EASY it is and how much I SAVED. It's all common sense.

  • lisa
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    I am in the market too buy a house in st.john's area . recentely i have spoken too several real estate agents who all tell me to buy now the market is increasing daily.we are still shopping ,anyone with 3 bedroom proprieties please contact me or any help would be apprieciated. In nfld. i'm to understand that all houses are listed seperate ...why?not share with all companies,so we the buyers can go to one list like mls ...nfld.

  • Keith
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Homebuyers should make every effort to sell their houses privately as real estate agenst are the biggest winners in these transactions for minimal work and effort.

    When agents state that homes increase $20,000 overnight when the costs have already been determined consumers should boycott those agents. Newfoundland home buyers are faced with considerable delays for occupancy yet agents get their full commission despite knowing the information on closing dates is often unrealistic.

  • Cod
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    The Hebron project will require engineers and other technical people, not Beverly Hills plastic surgeons. Consequently, there currently is a large mismatch between asking prices and salary levels.

    This has largely been caused by local realtors over stating market demand.

    GREED!!!

  • Ted
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    I agree with Keith Levesque.. realtors do little or nothing, and make a tidy commission. My recent experiece was that I basically did all the home searches on the various realty websites and he merely got me the keys to view the houses. Tough job.

    Furthmore, I think the St. John's hot market is fueled by self interested realtors. They are exagerating the seller's market hype and are putting upward pressure on prices. I don't know why the media talks to them about he housing market. Afterall, it's in their best interest to say tings are heating up, whether they are or not. They should just consult with Stats Can or CMHC.

  • Sally
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Of course the Hebron announcement had little impact on real estate. The Newfoundlanders who had to move away to survive are not returning home just because the super-rich will now have Hebron money to make their homes even bigger. How silly to think Hebron money will be spread amongst the regular people of this province. I'd say the speculators will be smitten this time as the arse eventually falls out of the real estate market.

  • Bubbles
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    Calvin Lindberg says there's a lack of inventory. It almost sounds like he owns all of our homes to begin with. Terrible attitude. The profit to investment ratio is enormous and with such little effort.

    I bought with NO agent. You can't imagine how EASY it is and how much I SAVED. It's all common sense.

  • lisa
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    I am in the market too buy a house in st.john's area . recentely i have spoken too several real estate agents who all tell me to buy now the market is increasing daily.we are still shopping ,anyone with 3 bedroom proprieties please contact me or any help would be apprieciated. In nfld. i'm to understand that all houses are listed seperate ...why?not share with all companies,so we the buyers can go to one list like mls ...nfld.