London and area home sales continue to boom

Despite recent declines in the Toronto housing market, there’s no sign of a slowdown in the London area as realtors chalked up another record sales month in June.

The London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR) said a total of 1,245 homes sold in June, a record for the month and a 9.9 per cent increase from last year - writes lfpress.com.

“We’re halfway through the year, and we had the sixth consecutive month of record sales,” said LSTAR president Jim Smith.

He said sales so far this year are up 23 per cent compared to the first half of 2016.

“Other regions have started to see a drop in sales, according to the latest figures, but realtors across London and St. Thomas continue to receive interest from outside the region,” he said.

The hot real estate market in the London area this year has been largely credited to a spillover from the Greater Toronto Area.

With single-family homes selling for more than $1 million in Toronto, London-St. Thomas realtors say buyers from that area are snapping up homes here and driving up prices.

But there are signs the Toronto area market is cooling after measures taken by the provincial government this spring to discourage foreign speculators.

Toronto area sales were down 20.3 per cent in May compared to May 2016 and there was a smaller drop in April. June figures for Toronto are not yet available.

Smith said the wave of Toronto buyers seems to be subsiding a little.

“It’s not as rampant as it was in March and April, but we are still running into multiple offers, so if there is a trickle-down effect from the Toronto slowdown it hasn’t trickled down yet,” said Smith.

The June sales in London-St. Thomas include 998 detached homes, an increase of 8.6 per cent from last June, while there were 247 condominium sales, up 15.4 per cent from June 2016.

The average price across London and St. Thomas was $335,233 down 2.8 per from May.

But the average year-to-date sales price was $331,524 up 18.8 per cent from the 2016 average home price of $279,057.

Smith said the boom in resale homes is spilling over to other parts of the housing market including new homes and renovations.

“We understand contractors throughout the region are in high demand. Renovation projects may help homeowners to add value to their properties, spurring healthy activity for local small businesses and merchants.”

In June, there were 1,697 new listings, up 5.3 per cent from the same month in 2016, a sign that more sellers are getting in the market. But the total inventory of homes on the market still is down about 40 per cent from the same period last year.

There also are signs from the Bank of Canada it soon will raise its prime lending rate, a move Smith likely will spur more sales as buyers move to lock in long-term mortgages.

Read other news on the city site of London.

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