It’s taken almost 10 years, but the London area real estate market is pushing past the pre-recession boom seen back in 2007.
The real estate market was as hot as the weather in August, smashing another monthly record — the third monthly record to fall this year.
The London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR) said 999 homes sold last month, shattering the old record of 894 sales units, set back in August 2005.
“It’s been a great year for real estate all around,” said LSTAR president Stacey Evoy.
Homes sales also hit monthly records in June and April and came close in May and July.
So far this year sales are up 9.1 per cent over the same period in 2015. Sales last year fell just shy of the record of 9,378 set back in 2007, just before the recession.
Evoy said sales so far this year have already outpaced the same period in 2007, so the chances of breaking the record look good.
“We never thought we would ever be able to outdo those 2007 numbers,” said Evoy.
Over the last two months the market, which was considered balanced since 2007, officially tipped into a seller’s market.
The inventory of homes on the market continues to drop — down 29 per cent from the same month last year and also lower than the same period in 2007.
Earlier in the summer there were frequent bidding wars and lightning-quick sales.
Evoy said that activity has eased back a bit, but the pace is still strong.
“We haven’t really seen the typical summer slowdown but there’s fewer competing offers, which is good for buyers,” said Evoy.
Despite the tight supply of homes, there has been no sharp spike in prices. The average year price of all homes sold in London-St. Thomas stands at $277,326, up 4.8 per cent.
Evoy said London has traditionally been stable and insulated from the overheated markets in cities such as Toronto and Vancouver.
“It feels like that stuff is a world away.”
The August sales total included 804 detached homes and 195 condos.
The average year-to-date price for a detached home now stands at $295,078, up 4.6 per cent. The average price for a condo is $201,393, up 6.1 per cent.
The strong resale market has also rippled into the new home market.
So far this year there have been 784 single-family starts, up 42 per cent from the Jan-July of 2015.
London Home Builders Association president Trevor McKenzie said it’s the strongest new home market in almost 10 years.