Sarnia-Lambton returning to ‘balanced’ real estate market, board president says

The chairman of the Sarnia-Lombton Real Estate Council said we were returning to a more “balanced market” locally.

Rob Longo said the market appears to have weathered the storm well, while the rest of Ontario has experienced a steeper decline in sales due to rising interest rates.

“We’re lucky locally,” Longo said. “We haven’t seen as big a shift as many other areas in the GTA [Greater Toronto Area], but of course we’ve seen some slowdown. The number of new listings has increased significantly, and our sales and dollar volume are down slightly from last year. “

There were 214 new listings in October, a 28% increase from the same month in 2021, and only 128 sales, a drop of nearly 17% compared to October last year.

“The best way we can see is, we’re probably sitting on the 2017 to 2018 numbers. Obviously things haven’t been as busy as they have been in the last two or three years, but we’re kind of back to the pre-pandemic numbers now. .”

The increase in listings means the market is no longer favouring sellers.

“We haven’t had that many listings for five or six years in October, and we think that’s a good thing,” Longo said. “Buyers have more choice, it’s easier for both buyers and sellers, and we’re really back to what we call a balanced market because we just hit three months of inventory in October. It’s a magic number, Let’s get out of the buyer’s market and into a more balanced market. I think that’s a good thing for everyone.”

The average sale price was just over $470,000 last month, but it was closer to $547,000 for the first ten months of the year.

“Average prices have slipped slightly, but it’s important to remember that we’re still up significantly by double digits compared to last year.”

While more time is needed to inspect and review conditions, Longo said there were still instances where several properties received multiple offers.

“The big adjustment that everyone (buyers and sellers) has to deal with is timing. So now it takes an average of 21 days to sell. Obviously that’s a significant increase from the 7 to 8 days we saw last year and the year before. But , it’s not necessarily a bad thing, and when you start thinking about selling or buying a home, it doesn’t necessarily take a long time. Three weeks is more than a reasonable time to put your home on the market.”

In October, Longo said the home sold for 97 percent of the asking price.

Sales were just over $60 million, down nearly 19% from the same month last year, and for the full year over $733 million.

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