Finally, spring is here, well…according to the calendar anyways. With spring, comes the anticipation of another spring market for us Realtors and you sellers and buyers. This spring comes at the tail end of an unprecedented and very active 24 months in the Niagara real estate market. While still active and strong, it is clear that the froth on the market has eased, particularly when compared to the same time last year.
Starting in the back half of 2016 through 2017, we saw a spike in total sales (in some areas an increase of 25 – 30%) which was the result of a strong increase in demand (fuelled by out of town buyers who were in turn not feeding the supply chain) which chewed up the available supply. The result was an increase in prices (often over 20%) and plummeting days on the market meaning the time it took to sell a home fell to numbers we have never seen.
So, where are we now? Well, looking back at the first quarter of 2018, a few things are clear.
• Comparing March 2018 to March 2017 (the same will apply to April) is not an overly fair comparison as March last year saw a huge spike in activity that settled back down a few months later. And that spike was to levels we’ve never seen here in Niagara.
• The total number of sales across Niagara appear to be returning to the numbers we typically saw prior to the 2016/2017 spike.
• The average sale price is still up from the same time last year. Contrary to some popular belief, values have held very well in most areas.
• The average days it takes to sell a home (DOM) have bounced back up to more normal numbers. This time in 2017 we saw DOM in the 10 to 14 range whereas we normally are in the 30 – 40 DOM range. So, if you are a seller, pace yourself. It will work out but possibly not quite as quick as last year.
We will of course continue to watch the market. In the meantime, here is a general market report that looks at municipalities across Niagara and their 1st quarter numbers for 2016, 2017 and 2018.