Another record month for London-St. Thomas real estate
LONDON, Ont. -- The leaves may be falling at this time of year, but real estate prices in the London and St. Thomas area are going in the other direction.
Earl Taylor, the 2019 president of the London-St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR), says the sales figures are impressive.
"The numbers continue to go up. We're still in a seller’s market, dramatically into a seller’s market in fact."
LSTAR set a new record for October, with 928 homes sold. That’s up 3.4 per cent over October of last year.
Taylor says the region has a number of things going for it, "Interest rates are still good. Jobs in London are still phenomenal. And quality of life in London is phenomenal. People are seeing that."
Still, this is normally a time of year when sales slow as people try to avoid upheaval ahead of the Christmas season.
Taylor believes that, based on the continued market strength, over 11,000 homes could be sold this year, possibly surpassing the record-setting 11,203 sold in 2017.
The 2017 upsurge was attributed to a Toronto bump, with buyers coming from the GTA.
Realtor Ainslee Tracey describes recent sales as more of a Toronto nudge, "I've done a lot of referrals for Guelph realtors this year."
Tracey is with Royal LePage Triland Realty in St. Thomas and sees people selling their homes in Toronto and buying in places like Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo and Niagara.
Those sellers are nudged a little further west, "So Toronto is pushing them out and pushing their prices up. And they're being pushed down the 401 towards us."
All the additional buyer interest means prices are also continuing to go up. The average home price last month was almost $412,883, up 18 percent over Oct. 2018.
Taylor says realtors also understand the growing concerns when it comes to housing and rental affordability.
"We are actually putting together a housing coalition. We're going to be bringing in the builders, the chambers of commerce, the economic development corporations to try to understand what's happening and we want to be part of the solution."
Despite the record increases, LSTAR data also shows the London-St. Thomas region continues to be one of the most affordable regions in the country.