December Home Sales In London-St. Thomas Ended Red-Hot Year On High Note

  • 01/8/18
  • |          London

Call it icing on the cake.

Homes sales in the London region smashed the old annual record in November.

But another 405 homes sold in December pushed the total for 2017 to 11,293. That’s up eight per cent from 2016, the first year that sales topped 10,000.

Jim Smith, president of the London St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR), said it was definitely a year for the record books.

“We saw it all last year. London and St. Thomas achieved so many firsts, from six consecutive months of record sales to robust out-of-town interest. The real estate activity very much echoed the positive momentum most of the country experienced throughout the year,” said Smith.

In 2017, the average sales price across London and St. Thomas was $330,037, up 18 per cent from 2016.

By geographic area: London South’s average home sales price was $340,793, up 21.7 per cent from 2016; London North’s was $407,801, up 18.1 per cent; London East’s was $258,734, up 16.9 per cent; and St. Thomas’s was $261,481, up 15.2 per cent.

The resale market also helped push up new homes starts to a new annual record.

By the end of November, the number of housing starts for 2017 hit 3,765 units, beating the old record of 3,674 set back in 2006.

Peder Madsen, president of the London Home Builders’ Association, said some companies are booked up well into New Year.

But he says builders already are experiencing a shortage of skilled construction labour and the supply is expected to tighten as baby boomers retire.

“We are feeling that, definitely, across all sectors,” said Madsen.

But realtors and home builders across the country are bracing for the impact of new federal rules on mortgage lending that kicked in Jan. 1.

Lenders will face tighter rules to ensure they can handle a future hike in mortgage rates.

Smith said the rules seem to be directed at markets such Toronto and Vancouver, where prices have soared. An influx of buyers from the Greater Toronto Area, especially in the first half of the year, was credited with pushing up sales and prices in the London-area market.

He said London is a more stable market and the mortgage rules should not have a major impact.

“It was a wonderful year ­serving as president of our real estate association,” said LSTAR’s Smith.

“As we move ahead in 2018, I firmly believe home sales will continue to be strong in our marketplace

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