OTTAWA — Marie-Yvonne Paint, a real estate agent in Montreal, has the kind of problem most of her counterparts in the United States can only dream about.“We have a shortage of inventory right now,” said Ms. Paint, who focuses on the exclusive and expensive municipality of Westmount. “It’s very annoying. We have buyers ready to buy and not much to show.”Ms. Paint’s experience is not an isolated example. Like most of the world, Canada’s real estate market slumped during the recession. But now, instead of worrying about the recovery of the real estate market, some Canadians are concerned about the prospect of a price bubble. The Canadian Real Estate Association reported that the average price of existing homes rose 19.6 percent in January compared with those in the month a year earlier, the latest in a string of substantial gains dating back through last autumn. By contrast, the average price of existing homes rose 2.6 percent in the United States in the same period, according to the National Association of Realtors.
By Ian Austen, March 19, 10 NYT

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