The Market in Niagara is Changing

The Number of Listing are Increasing...Sales Decreasing

Over the last few weeks our salespeople report a noticeable increase in the number of listing and a decrease in sales in the Niagara Region. As well, though competing offers continue to persist there appears to be fewer of them in many cases. Why this is happening might be attributed to any or all of the following factors:

  • Buyers displaying resistance to the double-digit increases in average prices,
  • Strict criteria to qualify for a mortgage,
  • Both homebuyers and sellers reacting “to the recent Ontario government policy announcement aimed at cooling housing markets in and around Toronto,” as stated by Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist.

The latter point references Ontario’s new Fair Housing Policy that includes the 15% foreign buyer’s speculation tax.

 

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) gives the following national stats:

  • Coast to coast, home sales in April dropped 1.7% “from the all-time record set in March” and sales in April were down by 7.5% compared to April of 2016.
  • “At the end of April, national “actual activity was down 7.5% year-over-year, with declines in close to 70% of all local markets.”
  • “The number of newly listed homes jumped 10% in April 2017, led overwhelmingly by a 36% increase in the GTA. Housing markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe also saw similar percentage increases.”
  • “The GTA downshifted into the middle of the balanced (market) range in April.”

From a Double-Digit Increase in Sales…

March 2017

All of these effects are having an impact in our local market, though so far to a lesser degree. The Niagara Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reported a 26% increase in the number of sales for March 2017 compared to March of 2016 with competition on few listings.

…To a Decrease in Sales and an Increase in Listings

April 2017

April, however, indicated a 4.9% decrease in the number of sales compared to April of last year. According to Carolyn Bones-Poley, NAR CEO, “for the first time in almost a year the number of new listings increased,” in April 2017, “over new listings in the previous year.” This increase is only 2.2%: 950 in April of last year compared to 971 for April 2017; still national and provincial market conditions are having an impact locally.

Overall, listings for May are up by about 19.4% from the same time last year.

Most noticeable increases are as follows:

Niagara Falls: 15.9%; St. Catharines: 31.9%; Thorold: 120.5% and Welland: 28.4%.

Overall sales are down by about 5.72% from the same time last year, most noticeably in the following areas:

Fonthill/Pelham: -24.4%; Niagara Falls: -23.29%; Niagara-on-the-Lake: -18.52%; Port Colborne/Wainfleet: -22.81%.

 

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