State of the Real Estate Market: February 2020
As we post this February Market Data, it is hard to imagine that one month later we would be amidst the current COVID-19 situation.
While the outbreak will certainly have an impact on the real estate market in the coming months, people are still listing their homes. Many people still need to purchase a house because they have already sold and have no place to move to. Having a local REALTOR® represent you is more important than ever! They know the market best and can assist you with navigating the current market.
We’ve also shared information on how to navigate the real estate market during this uncertain time. Stay healthy everyone and we will continue to keep you posted on market conditions as the data becomes available.
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports1 the GTA experiencing strong sales activity with a large 45.6% increase in residential transactions compared to February 2019, which was a 10-year sales low at the time. Supply continues to be an issue in the GTA with number of active listings down a substantial 33.6% year-over-year. This continues to fuel accelerated price growth. As a result, there is increased competition amongst homebuyers for the limited supply available, which has decreased average listing days on market from 25 to 17 days, or 32% year-over-year. The average selling price in 2010 was $431,262 and in 2015 it was $622,116. Currently, the average selling price for a home in Toronto is $910,290, a year-over-year increase of 16.7%, resulting in a 5-year increase of 46% and a 10-year increase of 111%.
The Ottawa real estate market2 saw an increase in February sales with 1,141 residential properties sold, resulting in a 13.9% year-over-year increase. This is an improvement from last month’s year-over-year figures. More listings are needed in the Ottawa market for all home types to help balance market conditions. OREB President Deborah Burgoyne commented, “These (price) increases are a direct result of the sustained lack of inventory putting upward pressure on prices, and this trend is likely to persist until supply recovers and is bolstered with newly constructed units. Multiple offers have become commonplace in certain pockets of the city, and one of the Board’s statistical indicators shows that approximately 58% of properties are selling for over the asking price, compared to 32% of properties a year ago… When there is limited inventory, it’s always a good time to sell, and the earlier you get in the market, the more you can differentiate your home.” In other words, now is the time to sell in Ottawa! The average selling price for a condominium-class property is $349,813, and the average selling price for a residential-class property is $563,694, a year-over-year increase of 21.3% and 21.1% respectively.
In the Hamilton-Burlington region3, sales are ramping up with a 30% increase compared to last month and a year-over-year increase of 25.5%. REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) President Kathy Della-Nebbia reports, “The RAHB market is quite active with a significant increase in number of sales compared to last month and last year. We experienced similar activity at the beginning of 2016, which was one of our busiest markets on record. With the increases in average price and new listings overall, we are firmly in a seller’s market; however, there is greater demand at certain price points – such as below $600,000.” This places townhomes in great demand in this market area with an average selling price of $584,944. Across all product types, both sales activity and prices increased year-over-year. The average selling price for a home in Hamilton-Burlington region is $646,667, a year-over-year increase of 15.5%.
The Niagara region4 saw a 35.5% year-over-year increase in sales activity with a 5.4% increase in listings. Deanna Gunter, President of the Niagara Association of REALTORS® comments, “The spring market is upon us as we continue in a strong seller’s market. With inventory low, buyers should be prepared to be in competition and will need to move quickly.” We see the spring market ramping up with a 25% increase in number of sales and a 28% decrease in average days on market from just January to February. Number of new listings month-over-month decreased 0.8%. The average selling price for a home in the Niagara region is $438,700, a year-over-year increase of 10.5%.
Home sales in the Kitchener-Waterloo5 gained momentum after a few months of slow sales. Sales activity increased 36.5% year-over-year in February. Colleen Koehler, President of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®, comments, “Like many other markets across the province, the story of our local housing market continues to be one of supply and demand. Market-wide, the number of homes available for sale is simply not keeping up with the number of people wanting to purchase a home in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.” The increased demand for housing is reflective of the low number of days on market at 17 days, 9 days less than February 2019. In addition, year-over-year active listings are down 39.4%. The average selling price for a home in Kitchener-Waterloo is $571,023, a year-over-year increase of 16.3%.
The London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) reported6 an impressive February with just 22 sales shy of February 2017 numbers, which was their best February on record. Demand is catching up with supply in the London region with only 1.8 months of inventory, the lowest level in 10 years. Blair Campbell, 2020 LSTAR President, commented, “Overall, home sales took a leap over the previous month – from 568 to 740, which signals an early start of a busy spring market.” All regions within the LSTAR market saw year-over-year increases in selling prices; most impressively the Strathroy area had an average sale price increase of 32.6% compared to February 2019. The average selling price for a home in the London region is $445,535, a year-over-year increase of 13%.
Windsor-Essex County7 experienced an increase in year-over-year market activity of 11% with sales up 13.6%. This in an improvement from the year-over-year decreases from last month. Looking at year-to-date sales, 54% of home sales occurred in the $300,000-$549,999 price range. Last year the largest price range where homes were sold was typically in the $300,000-$359,999 range for Windsor region. This change in price range is reflective of the average selling price for the region increasing substantially. The average selling price for a home in the Windsor region is $386,265, a year-over-year increase of 19.1%.
The Winnipeg real estate market8 saw another strong month after a record-breaking 2019 and strong January. Like January, home sales increased 15% year-over-year. It seems the spring market has sprung early in Winnipeg, with over 1,700 new listings entering the market in February. This resulted in a 22% increase year-over-year for detached residential listings. A big win for Winnipeg is it is one of the two major cities in Canada where income increased in the final quarter of 2019 (the other city is Vancouver). “Our local market’s high level of affordability relative to other major housing markets positions homebuyers well to take advantage of any further developments to lower mortgage costs. It opens up more buyers to the opportunity to purchase a home,” commented Catherine Shellenberg, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. The average selling price for a single-family home is $312,441 and the average for condominiums is $225,825, a year-over-year decrease of 4.5% and decrease of 2.5% respectively.
The Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA) saw an 11% year-over-year increase in sales. The number of units sold is lower than longer term trends but is consistent with the last 5 years. Ann-Marie Lurie, AREWA Chief Economist comments, “While any improvement in sales is welcome news for our market, the gains need to be put in perspective. Last February, sales were among the lowest levels recorded since the late 90s. This combined with the extra day in February contributed to the double-digit gain.” In Calgary, sales activity improved almost 20% which has helped with supply levels, despite new listings coming onto the market. Prices remain below last year’s levels. In Edmonton, sales increased 8% year-over-year and outpaced new listings. Reductions in supply froman increase in home sales are helping to slowly improve the Alberta real estate market.
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1 Market Watch February 2020 (TRREB)
2 February’s Resale Market Back in Overdrive (OREB)
3 RAHB market continues upward momentum in February (RAHB)
4 February 2020 Media Release (NAR)
5 Strong Home Sales in February (KWAR)
6 London Area Home Sales Remain at Peak Levels
7 Residential Stats President's Report for FEBRUARY 2020 (WECAR)
8 February Continues Upward Climb with a 15% Increase (WinnipegREALTORS®)
9 Market Report February 2020 (AREA)