Editor’s note: The following is a roundup of international real estate news items.

Canada‘s real estate market cools
A report this week from the Canadian Real Estate Association found that July home sales in Canada’s major markets were down 10.9 percent from the same month last year — 27,889 homes compared with 31,286 in July 2007. July’s average home price of $327,020 fell 3.6 percent from $339,277 a year ago, a decline the association attributed to "fewer sales compared to a year ago in the four most expensive major markets — Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary and Toronto." New listings on the market jumped 11.4 percent in the last 12 months from 46,858 to 52,214.

Year-over-year sales were strongest in Trois-Rivières (up 33.8 percent), Edmonton (up 16 percent), Quebec (up 14.8 percent), Thunder Bay (up 14.1 percent) and Winnipeg (up 12.8 percent).

Sales were weakest in Greater Vancouver (-44 percent), Regina (-35 percent), Victoria (-32 percent), Saskatoon (-17.3 percent) and Calgary (-13.1 percent).

J.D. Power ranks relocation services companies
GMAC Global Relocation Services ranked highest in customer satisfaction among employee and corporate relocation services this year, J.D. Power and Associates reported today. About one-third of survey respondents reported that they felt they had primary responsibility for managing their own relocation, or their family members had this responsibility in the relocation — even though they were provided with corporate relocation company services. Satisfaction averaged 617 on a 1,000-point scale among these relocation services customers, while satisfaction averaged 780 for those customers "who felt that their corporate relocation company actively managed the relocation."

Some real estate brokerage companies maintain their own relocation divisions to assist relocating employees in selling a home in one market and purchasing a home in another market. GMAC was ranked 744 in customer satisfaction, followed by Prudential Relocation at 741, Crown Relocation at 725, Graebel Relocation at 712, Primacy Relocation at 704, Realogy Corp.’s Cartus at 681, and SIRVA Relocation at 653. The industry average was 708.

Relocation customers who participated in the survey ranked the five pieces of information that they want to receive from a relocation company about the city they are moving to: housing/market conditions, relative cost of living, crime statistics, school systems, and hospitals/healthcare.

About 48 percent of transferees said they had belongings that were either damaged or lost during their relocation, according to the report. The study is based on responses from 1,121 transferees who used a corporate relocation service in the past 12 months, and was conducted from April to July.

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