The London area real estate market showed more signs of cooling in September, but 2017 still looks like a record year for sales.
The London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR) said 802 homes sold in September, down from 866 in the same month last year.
The September totals include 646 detached homes, a decrease of 9.8 per cent from the previous year, while condominium sales were up four per cent from 2016, with 156 units sold.
The average year-to-date sales price was $328,759, up 17.8 per cent from the 2016 average home price of $279,057.
The year got off to a roaring start for realtors with monthly sales records smashed for six straight months from January to June.
That’s impressive, considering 2016 set a record for annual sales with 10,193.
But sales began to level off in July and that trend has continued.
LSTAR president Jim Smith said he still expects another annual record will be set, with about 11,000 sales by the year’s end.
By the end of September, 9,219 homes had been sold this year, compared to 8,149 in the same period last year.
“It was great weather in September to look at houses. We still saw some multiple offers, but not as crazy as it was back in the spring,” said Smith.
Some of the strength in the London-St. Thomas market earlier this year was attributed to spillover from the red-hot Toronto market, where prices for detached homes spiked at more than $1 million.
London realtors reported that Toronto-area buyers were a factor in bidding wars and lightning-quick sales.
But the Toronto market levelled out in April after the provincial government imposed new rules to curb speculators and foreign buyers.
By the summer, Toronto sales were down 35 to 40 per cent and prices also fell.
“There is a still a Toronto influence. One of the agents in my office lost out to a Toronto buyer on the weekend, but overall the market is balancing out,” said Smith.
The latest Canadian Real Estate Association report showed a roughly even split of local markets, with some posting a slight decline and others recording a slight increase.
In September, there were 1,026 new listings in London-St. Thomas, up 3.3 per cent from the same time in 2016. But the market continues to be tight, with the total number of homes for sale down about 25 per cent compared to last year.