299 residential properties exchanged hands last month in the
jurisdiction of the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR),
bringing the total number of homes sold through the Association's Multiple
Listing Service® (MLS®) System in 2022 to 7,639.
"The last month of 2022 was the December with the lowest
number of home sales recorded by LSTAR in the last decade. And, overall, 2022
saw the second lowest number of home sales since 2012," said Randy
Pawlowski, 2022 LSTAR President.
"No one could have predicted that at the beginning of the year when the
local housing market peaked, fueled by the lingering pandemic and its
socio-economic effects. Once the economy started to get back on track and the
Bank of Canada began increasing its benchmark rate, the dynamics of the local
housing market changed drastically. One could say that, for LSTAR Members, 2022
came in as a roaring lion and went out like a lamb," he added.
While residential transactions were at their second-lowest point
in the last decade, the number of new listings climbed to 14,126 - the
second-highest yearly total during the same time frame. This brought the number
of months of inventory to 3.8 as of December 31st.
"December's sales-to-new listings ratio sat at 74.6, which
shows that housing demand is still high in our area," Pawlowski observed.
"With the increased levels of inventory, local Buyers have now more
choices and time to shop for new homes. However, the considerable loss of
affordability triggered by the successive interest rate hikes continues to
challenge local Buyers. And on the supply side, many homeowners are reluctant
to list their properties, given the recent drops in average and HPI benchmark
prices," he noted.
Compared to a year ago, LSTAR's average home price decreased, but
remained higher than the figures seen in 2020 and before. Year-to-date, the
overall average price of LSTAR sat at $724,583. In December, LSTAR's overall
average home price was $612,770, 14% lower than a year ago, but 10.5% higher
than in December 2020.