Housing market balanced, but prices keep rising: Conference Board

The board’s Metro Resale Index said 25 of 28 markets included in its survey were in “a balanced state,” up from 24 in August. In those 24 markets, however, prices showed year-over-year gains.

One of the largest price gains was in Vancouver, with prices at $757,000 in September, up 13.6% from $666,000 a year earlier.

Resale transactions were up in September in 19 markets, with 10 posting at least a 5% gain from August, and sales were up at least 10% from a year earlier in 17 markets. Listings were also above year-over-year levels in 20 jurisdictions.

The Conference Board came out with a separate report this week with some positive economic news – national salaries are going up. The average non-unionized worker will see their base pay rise 3.1% in 2012, said the report, following a 3% increase in 2011 and a 2.7% increase in 2010.

Unionized employees will see smaller gains, with salaries up 2% in 2012.

Despite the steady gains in salary increases, the board pointed out they were still not at pre-recession levels, when the average wage increase for Canadians was 4.2% in 2008.

“Canadian organizations remain optimistic but guarded in the midst of a turbulent global outlook and higher-than-normal economic risk,” said Karla Thorpe, director of leadership and human resources research with the board. “As confidence in the global economy continues to weaken, employers and employees watch anxiously in the hopes that Canada can weather the storm.”

The largest average salary gains for 2012 will be in Saskatchewan and Calgary, at 3.9% and 3.6% respectively, said the board. The smallest gains were in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces, both with planned average salary increases of 2.7%.

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