Home sellers choose to rest on their laurels

Market analysts are expecting a strong start price-wise in the first half of 2014, which may shift the Canadian market more towards buyers than sellers.

"In the absence of some calamitous event or material increase in mortgage financing costs, we expect this positive momentum to characterize 2014," says Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage.

"In fact, we expect a market tipped decidedly in favour of sellers for the first half of the year, after which we project a shift to a more balanced market,”

Royal LePage adds that Canada's average home price showed a significant increase in the fourth quarter of 2013, jumping by between 1.2 per cent and 3.8 per cent.

"Talk of a 'soft landing' for Canada's real estate market in the new year is misguided.," says Soper. "We expect no landing, no slowdown, and no correction in the near-term. Conditions are ripe for as strong a market as we saw in the post-recessionary rebound of the last decade."

Soper adds that the agency does not expect the government to intervene in the market with a hike in interest rates.

The results show that prices increased by 3.6 per cent to $418,282 for single-family homes in the fourth quarter of 2013, and 3.8 per cent to $380,710 for detached bungalows. Additionally, the average price of a standard condo also increases, rising 1.2 per cent to $246,530.

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