Healy Hattrick

While Southern Ontario collectively scratches its head wondering what is going on with the housing market, Buyers can suddenly sigh relief! Deep Relief!

The London and St Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) announced another record month for residential sales in April, with a total of 1,220 homes sold, an increase of 14.2% over the same period last year. This represents the best results ever for April, since LSTAR began tracking sales data in 1978. In April, a total of 971 detached homes were sold, an increase of 11.7% over the previous year, while there were 249 condominium sales, up 25.1% from 2016. The average sales price was $347,062 up 5.4% from the previous month. The average year-to-date sales price was $325,286 up 16.6% from 2016 average home price of $279,057. – LSTAR May 2nd, 2017

But what is going on this May? This “cool off period” started creeping in the week before Mother’s Day, with a pace that seems to continue throughout the rest of May! When just 3 weeks previous April had become the wild west of Real Estate, with many Realtors dizzy from different selling strategies, late night deals, bully offer back-offs, and hold off offer dates and times to ensure fair play was given to all Realtors. But now what? Is this the calm before the summer storm, or has the bubble burst?

Rinehart Realty still continues to hold steady in the London & St. Thomas market with regular new listings and sales, with our 2.5% Total Commission* rate we will continue to be one of the most affordable ways to sell your home in London & St. Thomas. But many of our sellers are wondering why their homes aren’t selling within 2 days, a week, or even bidding over anymore? What is the answer to the “Cool-Off” Culprit? … Here’s our first clue:

The Bloomberg Nanos consumer confidence barometer found the share of Canadians expecting house prices to rise in the next six months has fallen to 45.5 per cent, from a record high of 50.1 per cent just three weeks earlier. According to data compiled by brokerage Realosophy, sales of single-family homes fell 26 per cent in the Toronto area the month following the introduction of the new provincial rules, compared to the same period a year earlier. Some areas saw much steeper drops. The suburb of Richmond Hill saw the steepest sales decline, down 61 per cent!!

Observers say the market has been shaken by the near-collapse of subprime mortgage lender Home Capital, and impacted by new federal mortgage rules, introduced last fall, that require a “stress test” for borrowers of insured mortgages.

They also suggest buyers are on hold to see what effect the province’s new housing rules will have. Those rules, announced in April, include expanded rent controls and a 15-per-cent foreign homebuyers’ tax.

- |  By Daniel Tencer

So what does this mean for you if you’re looking to sell your home? Well, it means that the regular rules now apply and local London Buyers have a chance to snatch up decent properties for reasonable prices! Should you Sell? Absolutely! Should you Buy? Absolutely!!! The Great Migration to London is only in its infancy stages, with a strong growing community, robust marketplace, restaurants, live entertainment, and job opportunities – London will continue to grow steadfast!

As for this housing market it will still move and twist in it’s wonky ways, but realistically people will always need a place to live! Sellers might have to wait a few more days or a few weeks longer to sell then they would have a month ago. But fret not, your listing will sell if it’s listed right; meaning it’s got to be priced right, and look appealing. So if you tried over pricing your listing 3 weeks ago, to align yourself with the “bump-up market”, now might be the time to consider a price adjustment and lower it to regular listing prices to regenerate those buyer leads.

Buyers listen up! NOW is your chance to get a good listing in the area you want, for a decent price without always having to over-bid, deal with multiples, or wave all your conditions! As for summer sales who knows where the market will take us, so best to take advantage of the slow down now, before the market picks up again in June!

Rinehart Realty continues to have its finger on the pulse of the market in London & St. Thomas so if you’re looking for a brokerage that will get the job done give us a call we’ll be happy to help!

– Stacey Rinehart May 2017