Canadian Buyers Face More Competition as U.S. Residential Housing Recovers

August 22, 2012

House prices in the U.S. are showing fresh signs of improvement, and market-watchers say the window of opportunity could be closing for bargain-hunting Canadians eyeing potential investment or getaway properties.

As economic collapses go, the U.S. housing implosion ranks among the very biggest.  As many as four million families lost their homes in a foreclosure crisis that began to unfold in 2007.

From peak to trough, the average U.S. home lost more than a third of its value. Prices plunged so much that millions of Americans found themselves “underwater” – owing more on their homes than their homes were worth.

Foreign buyers of U.S. real estate

Percentage of foreign buyers who are Canadian:24% (ranks 1st)
Percentage of foreign buyers who bought in Florida: 26%
Percentage of foreign buyers who bought in Arizona: 7%
Percentage of foreign buyers who paid all cash:62%
Source: National Association of Realtors (March 2012)

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Canadian Home Prices Falling Steadily

August 22, 2012

An economist at BMO Financial Group called it the “Vancouver Manouevre”since price drops in the West Coast city brought down the national average despite 19 of 26 cities experiencing year-over-year increases.  The city’s average sale price dropped more than 12% to $667,462 from $761,763 last year.

Activity was up from the previous month in Kingston, Ont., Chilliwack, B.C., and Calgary, offset by fewer sales in Toronto, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Edmonton. Actual sales across the country were up 3.3% overall from a year ago.

Much of the decline in the national average can be blamed on Vancouver’s volatile market.

Canada Home Sales Moderate in July

August 22, 2012

The national average price for homes sold in July was C$353,147, down 2 percent from a year earlier. CREA said average prices were up in about 70 percent of local markets, but lower prices in Greater Vancouver continue to impact the national average.

CREA said the local markets that it tracks across the country were about evenly split between those that saw gains from June and those that saw declines.  Vancouver prices were down 12.2 percent year-on-year.  The latest statistics were the first since the government tightened mortgage rules last month in an effort to rein in the market.

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US – July Jobs Report Beats Expectations, But Unemployment Rate Up to 8.3%

August 21, 2012

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) posted its preliminary July employment numbers by metropolitan area.  At the national level, the employment report for July was mixed with nonfarm payroll growth exceeding expectations while the unemployment rate inched up to 8.3%.

Monthly nonfarm payrolls increased by 163,000 jobs in July, which beat the expectation of 100,000 jobs per month. June’s estimate was revised downward, from 80,000 to 64,000 jobs, resulting in an average employment growth of only 73,000 per month in the second quarter of the year, as compared to an average monthly increase of 226,000 in the first quarter.

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US – Apartment in Riverside and San Bernardino California Rents Up

August 20, 2012

Inland Southern California’s limited economic growth is continuing to fuel the apartment market, especially in Riverside County’s central cities, according to the latest data from commercial real estate broker Marcus & Millichap.

And, following the basic rules of supply and demand, rents are up in almost every submarket in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, although it’s less than $1,000 a month, on the average, in most of them.

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US: San Francisco home sales rise 22.9% from last year

August 20, 2012

Home sales in the San Francisco Bay Area rose 22.9% in July from year-ago levels, with 8,461 homes sold.

That compares to 6,887 closings a year ago, real estate research firmDataQuick said.  It’s also the 13th consecutive year-over-year sales increase in the nine-county Bay Area, suggesting increased demand and a stabilizing housing market, according to DataQuick.

In July, the median price for new homes sales in the San Francisco Bay rose 1% from June, hitting $412,000. That’s up 12.6% from a median sales price of $374,000 a year earlier.

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US – Behind the Numbers: Housing Starts Ease

August 20, 2012

Construction of new homes slowed slightly in July, while builders ramped up work on apartments, according to numbers by the Commerce Department, an indication that the rental housing market remains strong.

The numbers come on the heels of news that home-builder confidence is rising. The National Association of Home Builders’ confidence index rose two points in August to 37 out of 100, indicating that more builders feel assured that the market is stabilizing.

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