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Royal LePage says house prices expected to increase steadily for rest of 2014

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TORONTO - Real estate company Royal LePage says big cities Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary are driving increases in national average home prices, while smaller cities had more moderate gains.

Royal LePage says the average price of a home in Canada increased between 3.9 per cent and 5.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2014 and prices are expected to go up steadily for the rest of the year.

According to the survey, the average price of detached bungalows rose 5.2 per cent to an average price of $406,454. Meanwhile, standard two-storey homes rose 5.1 per cent year-over-year to $440,972, while standard condominiums posted gains of 3.9 per cent to $258,501.

The survey says the shortage of detached single-family houses led to significant price increases in Toronto and in Calgary, new listings couldn't keep up with strong demand.

In Vancouver, which last year was seeing year-over-year price declines, is now posting mid-to-single digit increases. The Montreal market recorded lower price gains than its large metropolitan counterparts, but real estate demand has gone up following the election of a Liberal government in the province's April election.

In contrast, smaller city markets are seeing more moderate house price gains. In Ontario, regions outside Toronto such as London posted year-over-year price increases of 2.2 and two per cent for detached bungalows.

"Chronic supply shortages are driving price spikes in Canada's major cities, masking otherwise moderate home price appreciation nationally," said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage.

"While a widening affordability gap in Canada's largest urban centres is characterizing the national market Canadians read about daily, year-over-year house price increases in most regions of the country are presently tracking below the historical average," Soper said Thursday in a news release.

Looking ahead, Royal LePage is projecting that the national average house price will increase at 5.1 per cent for the full-year.

In Winnipeg, the price of a standard condominium rose by 5.3 per cent year-over-year to $209,023 and detached bungalows appreciated by two per cent to land at $311,015.

Regina posted year-over-year increases across housing types surveyed. Standard condominiums posted the highest year-over-year gains of 2.7 per cent to $211,000. Meanwhile, the average price for standard two-storey homes increased 2.6 per cent year-over-year to $372,500 while detached bungalows increased by 1.1 per cent to $333,500.

In Edmonton, condominiums showed the strongest gains, with the average price increasing 7.8 per cent year-over-year to $236,429, while standard two-storey homes posted an increase of 3.8 per cent to $372,112. Detached bungalows remained flat, dropping 0.2 per cent year-over-year to $350,401.

In Halifax, the price of a standard two-storey house was $327,300 , dropping 1.8 per cent from $333,167 in the second quarter of last year.

In Fredericton, the price of a standard two-storey house was $215,000, down 2.3 per cent from $220,000 year-over-year.

Charlottetown saw its price of a standard two-storey house stayed unchanged at $205,000 year-over-year.

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