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November marks 'lackluster' month for home sales: LSTAR

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It was a slow month for home sales in the London and St. Thomas region, with LSTAR calling the month of November “lackluster” amid a small decrease in the average home price.

However, the president of the London St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR) said, “It’s not time to panic,” in the midst of a slowing housing market.

According LSTAR, only 421 homes were sold last month in the region, representing an 8.9 per cent decrease over November of 2022.

Even though demand for housing is “exceptionally high” in the region and across the country, LSTAR Chair and President Adam Miller said the most recent November data appears to indicate that the demand may not be reflected by local housing activity for the remainder of the year, and possibly not until spring of 2024.

"The resurgence in activity we witnessed this past spring could serve as a preview of what to expect next year,” Miller said. “The determining factors will include whether the Bank of Canada finds it necessary to raise interest rates again or if, by next March, it becomes a matter of when we'll witness the Bank's first rate cut.”

Adam Miller, the president of the London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors, is seen on Dec. 7, 2023. (Sean Irvine/CTV News London)

Miller added that essentially, “We’re moving into more of a buyers market. Buyers have more product to look at, they are taking their time. So, they might circle back, they might see the first house they see and love, and then circle back after seeing 15 other houses.”

In November, there were 928 newly listed properties across the region, down from 1,232 new listings in October.

Despite the decrease, LSTAR said November’s numbers still represent a record high for new listings for the month of November.

"The November data also shows that some sellers might be delaying their plans until the spring. Nonetheless, there remains a substantial number of individuals actively engaged in the market, eager to finalize deals before the end of this year,” Miller said.

The average home price in November for LSTAR’s jurisdiction was $605,661, a “modest” decrease from $629,605 in October.

In addition, housing supply saw a slight month-over-month growth from 4.3 months in October to 4.7 months in November.

A chart depicts different regions of the London-St. Thomas area, and the average and benchmark price of homes in November 2023. (Source: LSTAR)

Miller believes the London region has hit the crest of lower prices and he expects values will “creep up,” but only by a small amount in the spring.

"Relative to provincial and national benchmarks, homes within the LSTAR jurisdiction maintained their favourable reputation for affordability in November, positioning our region as an attractive housing market for many," added Miller.

According to LSTAR, an average housing transaction in Ontario fuels approximately $77,420 in secondary spending within three years after the purchase date. The expenditures include various aspects, including legal fees, moving costs, purchasing new furniture, and home renovations.

“In simpler terms, November's LSTAR home sales have the potential to inject over $32 million into the local economy," Miller concluded. 

A chart depicts the benchmark prices of different types of homes in the London-St. Thomas region from August 2023 to November 2023. (Source: LSTAR)

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