N.B. market expected to continue trend in 2009

 N.B. had its second highest year in MLS real estate market numbers in 2008, including a near record for value of residential properties sold.

New Brunswick continues to enjoy a strong, healthy real estate market with 2008 the second best year on record for sales and just a whisker from beating the 2007 record for total value of multiple listing sales (MLS).

Figures released by the New Brunswick Real Estate Association show 8,633 MLS transactions in 2008 of which 7,555 were residential properties. That's a drop of eight per cent in total sales and 7.4 per cent in residential property sales from the record-setting 2007 figures.

However, the value of all properties sold totalled $1.2 billion, only one per cent from breaking the 2007 record, while the total value of residential sales was $1.1 billion, just 1.2 per cent below the record.

"We have had several years of reasonable increases in real estate prices, rather than any spectacular jump, and that indicates a strong and healthy market," said association president Dwayne Hayes.

Inventory levels also indicate a balanced residential real estate market. A total of 14,393 new MLS listings were processed in 2008, an increase of 4.4 per cent over 2007 and a new record.

December had 3,863 active residential listings, up 21 per cent over December 2007.

"The New Brunswick economy is strong, and employment rates are good. We have some of the most affordable housing in Canada. Housing demand has remained, and is expected to remain, strong," said Hayes.

The annual average selling price for a MLS residential property set a new record at $145,762, up 6.7 per cent from 2007. The national MLS average, meanwhile, dropped 0.7 per cent.

A total of 338 residential properties sold in December, down 9.6 per cent from last year.

"In our markets, sellers have good equity, and buyers have some excellent choices. We expect the market will continue to become increasingly balanced in 2009, and that our markets will avoid the major adjustments that other markets in Canada are going through," he said.

The association represents over 1,000 agents, salespeople and affiliate members throughout the province.

The totals do not include statistics from the Valley Real Estate Board in northeastern New Brunswick.


Source: Published Thursday January 22nd, 2009 Times&Transcript