The third quarter has demonstrated that Niagara-on-the-Lake's real estate market has turned the corner and is leading a local economic recovery. The local housing market has historically preformed well in comparison with other Canadian cities and towns during economic downturns. The financial crisis of last year has proven that again. Local housing values have held up well during the past 12 months and as we head towards the year end, unit sales have turned upwards sharply.
Residential MLS sales in the Town for September 2009, as recorded by the Niagara Association of REALTORS are up 60% above those of the same month last year. This trend is continuing into October. For October, MLS sales have already surpassed those of October 2008 and we are only halfway through the month. The rise in unit sales has allowed the year to date, unit sales figure to catch up with last years figure. If this trend continues, 2009 unit sales will outpace last years figures. Making 2009 a year of growing sales activity.
Interestingly, 75% of Niagara-on-the-Lake's September unit sales are in the $200-400,000 price range. Inventory of homes in this price range have been rapidly depleted and this has resulted in a strong sellers market for homes in this price range. Record low interest rates, along with improving consumer confidence have fueled this activity.
According to the Canadian Real Estate Association's recent statistics, unit sales across Canada are up 18% with Toronto seeing a 28% increase and Vancouver an incredible 124%. Nationally we have gone from over 12 months of inventory to just over 4 months. Our local listing inventory has been running about 11% below 2008 levels. In September we saw a slight , 6% increase of new listings. This growth in new listings is important and should keep price increases at sustainable levels and setup a very healthy real estate market into the next year.
Gary Zalepa Jr.
CENTURY 21 City Realty Inc.