Sales on record pace

Low sup­ply of homes con­tin­ues to be a con­cern

The Expositor (Brantford) - - NEWS - SU­SAN GAM­BLE

Lo­cal home sales con­tin­ued to set records for the first eight months of the year, hit­ting 1,820 units sold by the end of Au­gust.

That was up 4.4 per cent from 2016 and a record for that time pe­riod.

But race to snap up lo­cal homes has set­tled a bit, says Mike Car­son, CEO of the Brant­ford Re­gional Real Es­tate As­so­ci­a­tion.

“Buy­ers have more time to look around and not feel rushed be­cause there are six other peo­ple on their backs wait­ing to buy,” Car­son said in an in­ter­view Wed­nes­day.

“We’re see­ing good prices and sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est in homes but not as many mul­ti­ple of­fers and way-over-ask­ing prices that we were see­ing a few months ago.”

The av­er­age price of all homes in Au­gust was $388,757 – up 8% over last Au­gust’s prices – and the av­er­age price of a de­tached house $422,392.

So far in 2017, the av­er­age price of homes has been $406,453, up 22% from prices at the same time in 2016.

Car­son said the mar­ket tends to be qui­eter over sum­mer and pick up again in Septem­ber.

As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Shelly Gracey said in a news re­lease that num­ber of houses sold al­most hit a record for in Au­gust, even though the peaks of the last quar­ter have di­min­ished.

“Mean­while, af­ter an ini­tial jump back in May and June, new sup­ply has pulled back no­tice­ably over the last two months,” she said. “That has caused mar­ket con­di­tions to start to tighten up again.”

Re­al­tors con­tinue to be con­cerned about the low in­ven­tory of houses for sale.

Last­mon­ththerewere254newres­i­den­tial list­ings, up just a bit from the pre­vi­ous Au­gust but noth­ing like the year-over-year gains that were hit­ting be­tween 30 per cent and 50 per cent in the pre­vi­ous three months.

The over­all sup­ply of homes is still one of the low­est lev­els ev­ery recorded.

There were 351 ac­tive list­ings on the as­so­ci­a­tion’s MLS sys­tem at the end of Au­gust, the sec­ond low­est Au­gust level recorded.

The to­tal dol­lar value of homes sold in Au­gust was $85.1 mil­lion – the high­est Au­gust on record. The to­tal value of all prop­er­ties sold was $100.5 mil­lion, an 8.8 per cent in­crease from the same month last year.

In July, those val­ues were $83.4 mil­lion for all home sales and $93.2 mil­lion for all prop­erty sales.

Car­son said there’s been some con­cerns raised about a pro­posed new mort­gage reg­u­la­tion that would af­fect peo­ple get­ting unin­sured mort­gages.

Those with more than a 20 per cent down pay­ment would have to qual­ify at two per cent above the bank rate in or­der to en­sure they can truly af­ford the home.

“It will af­fect what peo­ple can bor­row in terms of a max­i­mum mort­gage and that will put pres­sure on them,” said Car­son.

He said the con­cern is the pro­posal could shut some con­sumers out of the mar­ket or drive them to either less suit­able hous­ing or to lenders who aren’t fed­er­ally reg­u­lated.

“The re­al­ity is that home own­er­ship is slip­ping out of reach for many first-time home­buy­ers in hous­ing mar­kets with a short­age of af­ford­ably priced homes.”

BRIAN THOMP­SON/THE EXPOSITOR

The month of Au­gust con­tin­ued to be strong for prop­erty sales with 221 res­i­den­tial sales, at an av­er­age price of $388,757.

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