The Canadian property market is currently in high demand, particularly in the west of the country, according to a major real estate company.

Royal LePage has reported that the robust activity is expected to continue for the rest of the year and well in to 2007.

Both sales and prices have increased this year, with the average worth of a home in Canada 14.2 per cent higher in the second quarter of 2006 compared to the same period of the previous year.

Furthermore, prices of property in Calgary were up a massive 50 per cent on last year and values in Edmonton rose by more than 30 per cent, according to the CanWest News Service.

"The pace of growth varied greatly by region, with activity levels and price increases in the western provinces far outpacing that in the rest of the country," Royal LePage said.

"Compared to the same period last year, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada maintained similar high sales volumes, with moderate price increases, while extraordinary demand and limited inventory drove double-digit price increases in the west."

A prediction has also been made by Century 21, another major real estate firm, that the market could ease slightly in the summer, giving buyers more time to think about their investments and sellers time to spend working on their properties ahead of putting them on the market.

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    Carol McDonald