N.B.'s real estate sales market poised to pass $1B mark second year in a row

New Brunswick's real estate sales market is poised to pass the $1-billion mark for the second year in a row.

The New Brunswick Real Estate Association, which measures the dollar value of Multiple Listing Service house sales, released the data this week.

Local real estate boards in the province sold $920.8 million in housing to the end of September in 2008.

Most of the increase has been driven by residential sales in Saint John, where residential sales shot up 13.4 per cent over the same nine-month period in 2007.

"These statistics show how the residential real estate market in New Brunswick has been bucking the national trend," said association president Dwayne Hayes. "There has been a spectacular jump in prices, as there was in other provinces."

Buyers and sellers in New Brunswick's real estate marketplace tend to be more realistic in setting property values, he said.

At the end of September, the market was balanced with an increase in new listings, putting buyers and sellers in a balanced position.

"There's little room for speculation," Hayes said.

The province's average residential price of a single-family home in September was $142,402. Saint John was the only market reporting higher prices than the provincial average.

In Saint John, the average sale price of a home in September was $159,979. In Fredericton, the average sale price for September was $138,106, and in Moncton the average sale price of a home was $136,846.

Northern New Brunswick's average sale prices were significantly lower at $101,628 for September.

There were 778 properties sold across the province through the Multiple Listing Service, a decline of 5.4 per cent from September 2007, which was a record-setting month.

However, the total value of the 778 properties sold increased 17.1 per cent from total Multiple Listing Service sales volumes set a year ago in September. The total value of all Multiple Listing Service sales in New Brunswick in September hit $107.3 million.

"Our real estate market fundamentals remain solid, with strong consumer confidence and low mortgage rates," said Hayes.

There were 1,284 listings added during September, with the biggest increase reported in the Fredericton and Saint John markets.

The association represents more than 1,000 real estate agents, sales people and affiliate members throughout the province.

Published Friday October 17th, 2008 - Telegraph Journal