Number of homes for sale in New Brunswick hits historic high

Realtors and homeowners agree selling a house can easily take 10 months due to a surplus of homes for sale in New Brunswick.

Throughout the 10 months Mireille Blanchard's Moncton home was for sale, only few potential buyers came to view the house. She's noticed that there are a lot of For Sale signs in her downtown neighbourhood.

"There's one house that I noticed, they dropped their price by $40,000, and it's still not sold. And we're not prepared to lower our price so no, we're not going to sell."

Blanchard pulled her house off the market this earlier this week.

Realtor Kari McBride, president of the New Brunswick Real Estate Association, says Blanchard's plight is common. She finds many people, especially those who have only owned their home for three to five years, either aren't able to sell their home, or are having to come down in price, sometimes losing money on their investment.

"You know there's all kinds of factors that could go into play for you to still sell your house quickly," she said. "But if you are in that bracket of home sellers, which many many people are, that they can't afford to price aggressively or they don't have the money to put in the updates the buyer's looking for, then those are the houses that we're seeing on the market for six, eight, 10, 12 months at a time."

McBride says the reason behind the slow sales is "the housing market is in a state of oversupply."

According to McBride, at the end of July, there were 8,142 active residential listings in the province, and she says her numbers show it would take 10.9 months to sell all of those homes.

"Overall sales have been down for most of this year, and because there's an oversupply in housing, prices favour for the buyers, so we're seeing a dip in prices as well."

The Canadian Real Estate Association says in the Moncton area prices are down by about 1.5 per cent from July of last year.

Andre Malenfant, president of Greater Moncton Realtors, says his numbers for South East New Brunswick are at a record-breaking level.

"In 2011, we had about 2,900 active listing, right now we're over 4,100 active listings," he said.

Malenfant says his sales are up in comparison to last year, but, not high enough to bring down the number of homes on the market.