Thursday, January 5, 2023

Quiet December Wraps Up Modest Year


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. 

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