A lot of pent up demand is being cited as one of the reasons for a strong start to home sales in the region last month.

According to the London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR), 525 homes were sold in January, up 17.4 per cent over January of 2018.

Last month also saw the second-highest number of January sales since 2010.

Earl Taylor, LSTAR president, says "It's possible that the buyers have been waiting for the right homes to come on the market and in January the right homes came on the market and people jumped all over them...there was obviously a pent up demand there for sure."

Home prices in St. Thomas stood out last month, with the average sale price up 34 per cent to $343,178 compared to a year earlier.

That number represents an 87 per cent increase from ten years earlier.

In Strathroy, home prices climbed 41.4 per cent to $398,150, while the average price of a home in London in January was $387,859, up 11.2 per cent.

Taylor believes sales to out-of-town buyers likely contributed to the climb.

"They're coming from everywhere. So you know a million dollars in Vanouver...when St. Thomas and London is affordable under the [$400,000], the [$350,000] mark, it's very affordable. That's why they're coming here."