January 26, 2009

Optimism seen for Canadian real estate

Political changes in Canada and the United States showed a rise in optimism among Canadians in the real estate market, a survey published Monday said.

The Royal LePage Real Estate Services poll conducted last week by Angus Reid Strategies among 1,001 consumers found 82 percent of Canadians agree the inauguration of Barack Obama will have a positive impact on consumer confidence in Canada.

A further 49 percent said the unveiling of Canada's federal budget Tuesday would further buoy the market, although it's unclear if it will be passed.

The survey said the real estate market was battered in the fourth quarter of 2008, with the average price of detached bungalows down by 4.8 percent to $319,640, followed by standard condominiums, which decreased by 5.2 percent to $233,230 on an annual basis.

The steady flow of universally dire news that Canadian consumers faced in the fourth quarter has gradually given way to a mixed diet of positive and negative economic indicators, Royal LePage President and Chief Executive Officer Phil Soper said in a release. This is clearly having some impact on consumer confidence as nearly half of all Canadians believe the steps the government is taking to stimulate the economy in tomorrow's budget will positively impact the country's real estate market.