Home sellers to play waiting game

As house prices are expected to maintain a healthy momentum into the first half of 2014, market experts are anticipating a shift to a seller’s market.

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

The agency says the average price of a home in Canada increased between 1.2 per cent and 3.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

"Talk of a 'soft landing' for Canada's real estate market in the new year is misguided.  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,” says Soper, adding that they do not expect the government to implement any market intervention, such as a hike in interest rates.

The survey showed year-over-year average price increases in the fourth quarter of 2013 of 3.6 per cent to $418,282 for standard two-storey homes and 3.8 per cent to $380,710 for detached bungalows, while the average price of a standard condominium rose 1.2 per cent to $246,530.

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