London real estate in May
The Spring market continued to gain traction in May, with 941 homes sales, up 3.1%. "The market appears to be rallying after a somewhat slow start to the year," says Doug Pedlar, President of the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS®. "Condos were a little soft (down 6.2%) but detached homes were up by 5.1%." He adds, "We're also pleased to note that new listings are up 8.2% and inventory – the number of active listings end of period - is up 3.8%. Those figures indicate that we remain in a balanced market overall – good news for buyers and sellers alike."
St. Thomas is another story – a good news one. Sales in that City were up 32.3%, with 86 homes exchanging hands in May, while new listings were down 3.5% and inventory was down 8.2%. "It's important to point out that May 2012 sales in St. Thomas were down 10%," cautions President Doug Pedlar. "However, even taking that into consideration, it's good news for St. Thomas." Average price for a home in St. Thomas Year-to-Date (compared to December 31, 2012) stands at $191,133, down a modest 0.2%.
The average price of a detached home in the whole of LSTAR's jurisdiction Year-to-Date since December 31, 2012 stands at $261,996, up 3%, while the average price of a condo for the same period stands at $176,363, up 2.9%. Taken altogether, the average price of a home in LSTAR’s jurisdiction Year-to-Date since December 31, 2012 stands at $246,545, up 3.2%.
London Market "reliable and balanced"
A total of 8,020 homes traded hands in 2012, 28 fewer units than the 8,048 homes sold in 2011. "That's a difference of only 0.3%," says Barb Whitney, 2012 President of the London St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR), "very marginal and just what we expected from our market, which has proven itself once again to be steady, reliable and balanced. As far as LSTAR goes, 2012 has been a very satisfactory year for real estate in our jurisdiction."
Overall new listings were down 6.2% for detached homes and up 0.9% for condos in 2012. Inventory – the number of active listings at month end – was also down, but only by 1.7%.
London's Sister City of St. Thomas did not fare as well as London in 2012. 616 homes sold in St. Thomas last year, 9.7% down from the previous year. The average price of a new home in St. Thomas, however, rose to $191,607, up 1.2% from the previous year.
The average price for a detached home in LSTAR's jurisdiction in 2012 stands at $254,434, up 4% compared to December 31, 2011, while the average price for a condo in 2012 stands at $171,403, down 4.5%. The average price for all housing types 2012 stands at $238,822, up 2.8%. By way of comparison, the average price of a home in Canada in October 2012 (the latest information available) stood at $361,516.
The best-selling house style in LSTAR's jurisdiction in 2012 was the two-storey, followed by the bungalow, then the ranch, then the townhouse condominium.
London sales cool in September
The real estate market cooled in September 2012, with only 596 homes exchanging hands over the course of the month. Altogether 493 detached homes sold, down 16.3% from September 2011, along with 103 condos, down 8.8%. Total sales were down 15.1%.
“There was a slump in resale housing activity nationwide between July 2012 and August 2012, with declines reported in about two-thirds of all local markets, including our own, ” says Barb Whitney, President of the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS®. “The data isn’t in from around the country yet, but we’re likely going to see a similar pattern play out this month as last.” She adds, “According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, recent changes to mortgage regulations are just now starting to have a dampening effect upon the market. Now that amortization periods for high ratio mortgages have been shortened, fewer first time buyers can qualify for a mortgage than previously. Lower first-time buying activity is a lynchpin of the housing market and its curtailment was bound to have downstream effects over the rest of the market.” Year-to-Date home sales are even with last year’s.
New listings were also down 11.9%, while inventory – the number of active listings at month end – was down 8.7%. The Sales-to-New-Listings ratio, which measures the balance between demand and supply in a market, stood at 47% for detached homes in September 2012 and 42% for condos. “That’s an indication that our market remains balanced,” says Whitney.
The City of St. Thomas experienced a slump in sales as well. 51 homes sold in September, 10 units less than the previous September, a decline of 16.4%. The average price for a house in St. Thomas Year-to-Date Is $191,340, up 1% from December 31, 2011.
The average price for a home in LSTAR’s overall jurisdiction also continues to rise. Year-to-Date the average price stands at $238,808, up 2.8% compared to December 31, 2011. The following chart, based on data taken from CREA’s National MLS® Report for August 2012 (the latest information available), demonstrates how homes in LSTAR’s jurisdiction continue to maintain their affordability compared to other major Ontario and Canadian centers.
Click here to read the full report.
London Sales Up 3.5%
In London, Ontario, Mays's sales were up over those of the previous May by 3.5% – with 751 detached homes exchanging hands and 162 condos. See the new e-Stats newsletter of the London Board for instant access to more local statistical reports.