Buying frenzy to push up Vancouver house prices and a stable 2011

House prices are on the way up to record highs across much of the country, with buyers expected to flood the market early on in the year, according to a new study.

The price tag on the average Canadian home rose between 3.9% and 4.6% in the fourth quarter of 2010, and that trend is expected to continue in 2011.

House hunters are likely to rush to close deals in the first two quarters before mortgage rates start to climb back to historical norms, which will put upward pressure on prices,

Nationally, Royal LePage predicts the average selling price in Canada will rise by three per cent to $348,600 this year. However, unit sales are expected to decline by two per cent to 436,500 in the wake of an expected increase in mortgage rates in the second half of the year

Prices are expected to rise most in Canada's mid-sized urban centres where affordability is better than the national average, in cities such as Winnipeg, St. John’s and Fredericton.

Cities in Alberta should also see solid growth in volume and prices as increased hiring attracts new homeowners.

 

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