The housing market in Chatham-Kent remains blazing hot after another record-setting month of sales in April.
The 164 units sold last month through the Chatham-Kent Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service system were a sales record for April and the third highest total for any month on record.
“Just when you think things are starting to cool down, it changes,” association president Laura Tourangeau said. “When you look at the month overall, we’re breaking more records.”
Home sales were 37.6 per cent above the five-year average and 38.2 per cent above the 10-year average for the month of April.
The average sale price last month was a record $424,321, an increase of 46.8 per cent over April 2020.
The year-to-date average of $404,109 was 47.7 per cent higher than the first four months of 2020.
“For the next little bit we’ll continue to see things go up,” Tourangeau said. “I think it’ll stabilize. I don’t think there’s going to be a big crash or anything like that. But with interest rates being so low, people taking advantage of their equity positions, purchasing investment properties – that’s part of what’s driving this demand.”
There were 221 new residential listings in April, the most new listings for April in five years and more than twice as many as April 2020, “but the demand is still outpacing the supply,” Tourangeau said.
Months of inventory were 0.7 at the end of April, down from 2.4 months at the end of April 2020 and below the average of 3.6 months for this time of year. The number refers to the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.
Although the overall inventory is slowly rising, the competition remains fierce for newly listed properties, Tourangeau said.
“Inventory does typically go up this time of year. We do have more listings,” she said. “People wait for the spring market, which we’re in the middle of right now, in order to list their home … but the demand is still there. Overall, months of inventory on the market, I think, is going to remain relatively low.”
There were 115 active residential listings on the market at the end of April. Active listings hadn’t been that low in April in more than three decades.
“It’s tough, especially for local buyers that are trying to enter the housing market,” Tourangeau said. “First-time home buyers are struggling. I think that’s why it’s important to set expectations with them right from the get-go and discuss their goal.”
It’s the same across Ontario, she said.
“You just keep driving down the 401 and people are getting outpriced in their local markets and they’re moving down this way,” Tourangeau said. “Between that and then people with their equity positions looking to invest in real estate, it just keeps driving things up. …
“I don’t know how long it’s going to last. At some point, it’s got to eventually catch up with itself, but sellers are still in a good equity position.”