London Ontario Real Estate Market Down 37.9% March 2018

March Sales Down 37.9% in London Ontario and Area

Home sales in London Ontario and area in March 2018 were down 37.9% from March 2017 as reported by The London and St Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR), with 769 homes being sold.

  Why?

Very few houses and condos for sale, for example, there were 1,192 active listings (homes for sale), down 20.4% from this time last year and down 55.3% from March 2016. This is similar to last month with the March 2018 inventory being the lowest level for the month in the last 10 years.

London Ontario Real Estate Market

Average home sales price across London and St. Thomas continues to rise, despite the low inventory. The average March sales price in the region was $364,112 up 8.6% over March 2017.

Geographically, London South was $360,587 up 3.1% from last March.  London North, average home sales price was $438,827 up 7.1% compared to the previous year, while in London East; it was $291,161 an increase of 8.4% from March 2017. In St. Thomas, it was $295,980 up 18.5% over last March.

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), a ratio between 40% and 60% is generally consistent with a balanced housing market. In March, London and St. Thomas had a sales-to-new listings ratio of 75.1%, which CREA says represents conditions in the marketplaces that favour sellers. It reinforces the trends LSTAR Members have been experiencing, with low supply and high demand, and also managing multiple offer situations and out-of-town interest in our region.”

St. Thomas saw a total of 73 homes sold in March, down 29.1% from the same period last year. When looking at inventory, there were 42 active listings, down 51.2% from last March.

The following chart is based on data taken from the CREA National MLS® Report for February 2018 (the latest CREA statistics available). It provides a snapshot of how average home prices in London and St. Thomas compare to other major Ontario and Canadian centres.

London Ontario Real Estate Comparison  Across Canada

February 2018 Numbers

January 2018 Numbers

Will Energy Costs Affect The London Ontario Real Estate Market

   Will energy costs affect the sale of a home in London Ontario and the London Ontario Real Estate market??

It is possible.

With predictions that energy costs may increase by as much as 40% over the next few years, if not all ready, have you had a look at your hydro bill lately?

energy costs could affect the sale of your home

 The Affordability Rule for Home Buyers Called PITH

The monthly housing costs shouldn’t be more than 32% of gross monthly income. Housing costs include monthly mortgage payments (principal and interest), property taxes and heating expenses.

  • Principal,
  • Interest,
  • Taxes
  • Heat

For example, if income was $50,000 a year, the gross monthly income is $4,167, therefore to stay within the 32% range, the PITH rule is $1,292. If the mortgage payment is $1200 a month and utilities such as water, electrical, gas averages $360 per month equalling $1560 per month, you would be over the 32% rule, it is actually at 37% and in most cases, not qualify for a mortgage.

At $60,000 per year, which is $5,000 a month, the 32% would be $1,600.  Here is a great link for you to learn more about debt percentages and rules.

So, what has that got to do with selling a home in London Ontario?

You will attract more buyers in your price range because more buyers would qualify for a mortgage if energy costs were below average.

It holds true for a $100,000 plus income earner as well.

Before upgrading your home and doing improvements, your first priority may be to see how to get the energy use down.

energy efficient house London Ontario

As well, when buying a home in London Ontario, do not just look at the purchase price. What is it going to cost to maintain it? It would be real wise to know exactly what the utility costs are, it will help get approval for a mortgage easier and if you were ever to sell your home down the road; you know your home with a low energy use will sell quicker than a home that has not been energy efficient.

In three separate instances last week, my buyer clients chose homes that were more energy efficient over others in a few London  neighbourhoods, even over better priced ones, and in one case, over one that they loved but could not get their head around the expense it would have taken to get the home energy efficient

I was in a house in Old South London Ontario, Wortley Village area and they just replaced their boiler with an energy efficient furnace and they are very pleased with how much their energy costs have decreased and how much more comfortable and warmer they are right now.

If your house or condo is energy efficient and you are thinking of moving soon, you will most likely get top dollar and sell quickly, I can show you how!

Record Real Estate Sales London Ontario & Area 2017

If you are looking for a houses or condos for sale around London & South West Ontario here are a few neighbourhoods you may want to consider.

Byron Delaware  Dorchester
Hunt Club Hyde Park Ilderton
Kilworth Komoka Lambeth
Masonville Oakridge Pond Mills
Riverbend Stoneybrook Summerside
Sunningdale University Western Ontario Uplands
Warbler Woods Westmount Wortley Village Old South London

 

A historic year for real estate in 2017

  11,203 Home Sales sets Record in London Ontario & Area for the first time  

The London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) announced that 2017 marked a historic year for residential real estate, with home sales surpassing 11,000 for the first time since LSTAR began tracking data in 1978. In 2017, a total of 11,203 homes were sold, up 8.0% from 2016.

London and St. Thomas reached many ‘firsts,’ from six consecutive months of record sales to robust activity from buyers from outside the city.

In 2017, the average sales price across London and St. Thomas was $330,037 up 18.0% from 2016. By geographic area, London South was $340,793, up 21.7% from 2016. In London North, average home sales price was $407,801, up 18.1% compared to the previous year, while in London East, it was $258,734, an increase of 16.9%.  In St. Thomas, it was $261,481, up 15.2% over 2016.

St. Thomas saw a total of 901 homes sold in 2017, up 6.8% from 2016. In 2017, there were a total of 14,301 home listings, down 1.2% from 2016. The trend of high demand with low supply continued in 2017, with inventory (called Active Listings) down 35.6% from the previous year.

The following table is based on data taken from the CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) national MLS® Report for November 2017 (the latest CREA statistics available). It provides a snapshot of how average home prices in London and St. Thomas compare to other major Ontario and Canadian centres.

City Average Sale
Vancouver $1,081,876
Toronto $779,693
Fraser Valley $741,172
Victoria $684,843
Hamilton $545,690
Calgary $450,700
Kitchener-Waterloo $445,855
Niagara $389,016
Ottawa $385,058
Edmonton $372,911
London St. Thomas $332,607
Windsor-Essex $265,565
CANADA $513,433       

November 2017 Numbers

October 2017 Numbers

 For a breakdown of sale prices to asking prices and more, contact me for more detailed information:
 We have the facts about real estate in London Ontario
 I can give you :
  • Days on the market vs List Price Median for the last 10 years
  • Historic count of active listings
  • Historic sales for the last 10 years
  • Historic sales price trends
  • Historic sales and price range
  • Original price vs sold price
  • Sale price / listprice ratios

Why is this information important? Whether you were buying or selling, these numbers will give you peace of mind of the neighbourhood trends, plus, a confidence level for price, expectation levels for negotiating and about 8 other advantages I can help you with.

Our knowledge of the market, our ability to get hard facts and not assume anything or give an opinion that could be biased is the cornerstone of our business and the reason why our volume of business and referrals are growing exponentially.

Oh, a hard work ethic makes a huge difference as well!

London Ontario Real Estate Numbers For November 2017

London Ontario real estate numbers for November 2017 saw 637 homes being sold through our MLS system,  as reported by The London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR).  Year-to-date sales are up 9.1%, with a total of 10,790 homes sold, marking 2017 as the year with the highest number of residential sales since LSTAR began tracking data in 1978, with one more month to go.

In November, the average sales price across London and St. Thomas was $322,303, up 11.6% from the same time a year ago. The average year-to-date sales price is $330,039, up 18.0% from November 2016.

In London South, the average home sales price was $344,010, up 16.6% compared to a year ago, while in London East, it was $255,518, up 7.9% from November 2016. In London North, average home sales price was $383,147, up 9.9% compared to this time last year, while in St. Thomas it was $260,763, up 19.4% compared to a year ago.

In November, there were 716 listings, down 9.3% from the same time in 2016. St. Thomas saw a total of 55 homes sold, down 14.1% from the same time last year. Year-to-date home sales in St. Thomas are at 874 homes sold, up 10.1% from 2016.

For a breakdown of neighbourhoods in London, for houses and condos, you can go here.

The following chart is based on data taken from the CREA National MLS® Report for October 2017 (the latest CREA statistics available). It provides a snapshot of how average home prices in London and St. Thomas compare to other major Ontario and Canadian centres.

*These statistics are prepared for LSTAR by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and represent a data snapshot taken on December 1, 2017, based on reported sales activity between November 1 and 30, 2017.

 

 

 

London Ontario Real Estate Numbers For October 2017

The London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) announced 757 homes exchanged hands last month, slightly down 10.2% from the same time a year ago. Year-to-date sales are up 10.6%, with a total of 10,111 homes sold, marking the second consecutive year residential sales have surpassed 10,000 across the region.

Real Estate Numbers London Ontario

The CREA Residential Market Activity Report provides more data, featuring an in-depth look at home sales trends happening across London and St. Thomas. Here it is.

In October, the average sales price across London and St. Thomas was $325,331 up 14.2% from the same time a year ago. The average year-to-date sales price was $330,497 up 18.3% from October 2016.

In London East, home sales are up 21.2% compared to a year ago, while in London South, sales are up 13.9% and in London North, sales are up 6.5% compared to this time last year.

In October 2017, there were 847 listings, down 17% from the same time last year. St. Thomas saw a total of 67 homes sold, down 21.2% from 2016 and the average home price in St. Thomas was $284,344 up 25.7% from October 2016.

The following chart is based on data taken from the CREA National MLS® Report for September 2017 (the latest CREA statistics available). It provides a snapshot of how average home prices in London and St. Thomas compare to other major Ontario and Canadian centres.

Average home prices in Canada at the end of September 2017

Tougher Rules For Mortgage Lending

Tougher Rules for Mortgage Lending

New Mortgage Lending Rules

Effective January 1, 2018, new mortgage rules come into effect, meaning that if the actual rate was 2.97% on a five year mortgage, you would have to qualify as if the rate was 4.89%! This means either a larger down payment, less of a property and your earnings have to be high enough to qualify at the 4.89% rate.

For Example:

$200,000 mortgage at 2.97% =$943.42 at the 4.89% rate $1150.72 based on 25 year amortization

$400,000 mortgage at 2.97% = $1886.84, at the 4.89% rate $2301.44 based on 25 years

So, as long as you have a firm offer by December 31, 2018, even if the sale closes in 2018, you qualify at the present interest rate and not the 4.89% rate.

Sitting on the fence up to December 31 can cost you if you are thinking of buying a condo, house or an income property. Give us a call; there are some good buys in London Ontario.

Should a Realtor in London Complain About a Client?

Whacky Wealtor Thoughts

Where on my website does it say ” If you are wierd, different, a complainypant, pennyless, unwashed, rude, your nose up your ass couple looking to buy or sell a house in London Ontario, call me?

Is in a code someplace? Subliminal? The page colours, text, time of day or is that some partake in amber liquids, inhale funny stuff, are short a brick or shallower than a kiddy pool?

I have changed the dates ( if implied), the gender ( if I could tell) and perhaps the neighbourhood.

I get an email from a man who said he had read all my reports, pages and blogs  and wanted to meet me to help him buy a house for him and his mother. Great , I set up an appointment and in the mean time as requested, he sent me his criteria, price range and other pertinent information.

I meet him at my office, seems normal enough, but the more and more he talks and discloses, some things pop up such as his past neighbours were idiots and jerks, no need to get a mortgage, he can pay cash for a $350,000 house.

Me: “You mean a cheque?”

Him ” No, cash”

 Me ” The money does not go to me, it would go to your lawyer who in turn would transfer the fund to the seller’s lawyer upon closing.”

 Him ” I don’t trust lawyers” 

 Me “Why do you say that?”

 Him: A ten minute rant, blah,blah,blah stuff .

     Red flags as a Realtor in London Ontario

 Me: “Well, I cannot help you, you are going to have to use a lawyer.” (Red flags are waving in front of my face, in my subconscious, slapping me across the side of the head.)

 Him: “Ok, will you help me with the names of a good lawyer?” ( Aha, here is my chance to refer him to some lawyers in London just to spite them. But, being a Christian, a professional, kind and sometimes stupid and naive man, I say)

 Me: “Yes”

 So, I research the properties available that meet his criteria and we narrow them down to 2 pretty nice looking houses in good neighbourhoods of London. I review with him the past history of the house, the price comparables, taxes and other real pertinent details that a home buyer should know.

  We book a time for the next day to go see the two houses. That evening, I get an email from him asking if I could help  find a private investigator. You see, it turns out that dog barking causes stress for his mother and he wants me to ensure that there are no barking dogs within 1 block from the house and to put a clause in any offer that the seller guarantees there are no dogs nearby!

  As I have already told him that is a very unusual request and I could not and would not canvass the block for barking dogs, hence, he would hire an investigator for a week to make sure there were no dogs!

 Now, those red flags are jabbing me in my stomach, actually snapping because of the blunt blows to my head and I wake up and say: “Sorry, I cannot help you and I wish you the best”.

 He says: ” Could you refer me to someone else?” ( Wow, another chance to get even and give back to a few peers, but no, being a former beaver cub, sea scout and an all around good guy, I said that I could not think of anybody off the top of my head.)

 End of the story, right? No way, there is more. 

Stay tuned!

Real Estate Appraisal Myths

London Ontario Real Estate Myths

Real estate appraisers work with their clients to determine an opinion of  market value of a property to finance or refinance their clients’ mortgage. This value is a critical piece of information and there is a lot at stake in its accuracy — for the REALTOR®, the lender and the home owner!

Obtaining a reliable appraisal that is unbiased, independent and based on comprehensive research and analysis is key to the success of this transaction.

There is an overall misunderstanding about how an appraiser arrives at a market value, sometimes leading to a misconception that “the appraiser killed the deal”. This article will debunk these myths and provide additional insight and perspective from a designated appraiser’s point of view.

Myth #1: The purchase price of the property is the same as the appraised market value.

Reality: The appraised market value may not be the same as the selling price of the home- it may be higher, it may be lower.  Individual real estate markets can be volatile and are impacted by the economic conditions of the market.  For example, in a “sellers’ market”, or when there are multiple offers on a home, an inflated selling price above the appraised market value can result.

“Bidding wars” may skew the true market value of the home, when similar substitute properties are not available in the market.  A multiple-offer scenario may be good for the seller, the real estate agent and the mortgage broker in the short term, but in the long-term, the purchaser may face challenges when selling the property in less active market conditions.

Having an opinion of value that is obtained through comprehensive research of the market over time provides the property owner and lender with a realistic value. An appraised value helps to ensure that all concerned – sellers, buyers and lenders – make informed decisions. Consumers and lenders should be wary of selling prices that are inflated – either through multiple offers or other local market factors.

Myth #2:  Appraisers only consider past market/sales data when determining the value of a property.

Reality:  To provide a reliable market value, AIC-designated appraisers consider a number of factors as such as:

  • Sales of the subject property within the last three years;
  • Past sales of comparable properties to the subject property;
  • Comparable properties that are currently for sale; and
  • Current market conditions.

Adjustments are made based on the analysis of the comparable properties which rely on market-derived elements of comparison including property size and other factors.

One of the key requirements under Canadian Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (CUSPAP) is for the appraiser to conduct a three-year sales history and a one-year listing history search and analysis of the subject property. This data considers private sales (non MLS) transactions as well as those on MLS. Other data sources, such as title and property registries, are also reviewed to ensure the most comprehensive and reliable market value is obtained.

For more detailed information about the various methodologies used in real estate appraisals, please view AIC’s  Industry Guide to Understanding the Fundamentals of Real Estate Appraisal.

Myth #3: The appraiser is influenced by the client’s need for a specific value.

Reality: An AIC-designated appraiser has a professional and ethical responsibility to provide an independent and unbiased opinion of the value of a property.  Their work will produce an estimate of market value being the most probable price level – irrespective of the selling price or a desire to “meet” a certain value.

All AIC members must comply with AIC’s CUSPAP, a Code of Conduct and Regulations. As professionals, AIC members are obligated to prepare their work in compliance with these standards.

Myth #4:  When a homeowner is completing renovations they can expect that the value of their home will rise proportionately to the investment.

Reality:  The return on investment depends on the added value of the renovations, the quality of the renovations, and the neighbourhood’s market conditions. Unique designs or improvements that are uncommon for a particular market may even adversely impact the selling price of a home; therefore, the full return on the investment will likely not be obtained.

Obtaining an expert opinion of value from an appraiser will provide an objective perspective on the marketability of the property.

The above was written by The Appraisal Institute of Canada

London Ontario Real Estate Down a Bit in August

892 homes in London Ontario and area were sold in August 2017 as reported by our London and St Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) though the August 2017 numbers represent a slight decrease in homes sales activity.

Will this slight slowdown continue into the fall or will things pick up? I have noticed an increase of homes for sale and a decrease of out of town buyers so the heavy seller’s market we were in may settle down.

In August, a total of 712 detached homes were sold, a decrease of 11.4% from the previous year, while condominium sales were down 7.7% from 2016, with 180 units sold.

The average sales price across London and St. Thomas was $326,122, down 1.4% from the previous month.

The average year-to-date sales price was $329,745 – up 18.2% from the 2016 average home price of $279,057.

The year-to-date sales are ahead by 15.5%, with a total of 8,421 homes sold.

The best-selling house style in our area continues to be the two-storey, followed by the bungalow.

House Style Units Sold Average Price
2 Storey 208 $477,904
Bungalow 165 $251,336
Ranch 95 $377,486
Townhouse Condo 95 $210,114
High rise apt. condo 46 $215,835

The following chart is based on data taken from the Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) National MLS® Report for July 2017 (the latest CREA statistics available). It provides a snapshot of how average home prices in London and St. Thomas compare to other major Ontario and Canadian centres.

Real Estate Across Canada

Has The London Ontario Real Estate Market Slowed Down?

Depending on whom you ask, you are going to hear quite a few viewpoints and the issue I have with viewpoints  is that they are opinions only and as each of us are predisposed to our personal likes and dislikes, biases and even moods, what ever happened to making decisions based on facts?

For example, in July of 2017, the London Ontario real estate market was balanced but still very active, a fact, the Toronto market was down 18% and prices down 9 % ! A fact

So of course, where ever you get your information, be it the National news, Toronto papers or Vancouver or your barbershop or hairdresser, one of the greatest lessons I ever learned was to ask:

“Is it true?”

 I cannot predict the future, I can only control my actions and thoughts for the day so if I want to help a client buy a property today or sell one, I act and take massive action today and everyday  until I succeed, no excuses.

Who cares what the market is doing, if anyone applies the principles of marketing and real estate facts, action occurs!