* Avg price of detached bungalow up 4.6 pct at C$324,531
* Further evidence housing market is more balanced
TORONTO, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Canadian house prices recorded near-normal gains in the third quarter, suggesting a further shift towards balanced market conditions, real estate broker Royal LePage said on Tuesday.
Home prices were up in all key housing types surveyed by Royal LePage, though slightly stronger than the broker had anticipated because of improved affordability in many regions and low rates in a competitive mortgage market.
In the third quarter, the average price of a detached bungalow was up 4.6 percent at C$324,531 ($315,079), compared with a year ago. Over the same period, standard two-storey homes rose 4.4 percent to C$360,329 while standard condominiums rose 3.9 percent to C$226,481.
Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage Real Estate Services said the price gains were just below the long-term annual average of about 5 percent. Adjusted for inflation, price appreciation was “right on track”, he said.
The Canadian housing market has been steadily cooling in recent months after helping to drive the economy out of recession last year and early this year, sparking debates about whether the sector was forming a bubble.
“Looking ahead, it is very unlikely that the period from now to year-end can keep pace with the activity levels posted in the overheated market of the final quarter of 2009,” Soper said.
Home prices in St. John’s, Newfoundland, led the country’s year-over year growth where detached bungalows were up 14 percent to C$228,025, and standard two-storey houses and condominiums were also strong.
Winnipeg, Montreal and Vancouver also posted price increases above the national average.
$1=$1.03 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson
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