DURHAM REGION REAL ESTATE MONTHLY HOUSING REPORT
Summarized by Jacob Asparian, Broker
Hi everyone, welcome back to our monthly market update! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jacob and I’m a broker and team lead of Asparian & Co. We’re a boutique team focused on all things real estate in Durham Region. Today we’ll be reviewing the market update numbers for March 2020 but also diving a little deeper than usual to see how the market has been affected by the Covid-19 shutdowns.
Usually, to get a sense of what’s happening in the market, we look at the total number of listings, sales, average market price as well as a few key indicators to compare to. However, as we are all well aware, life has come to a screeching halt for most of us. The shutdowns have wreaked havoc on practically every market around the world and Durham Region and the GTA are no different.
The basics! In every market, the 3 most important numbers we look at our listings, sales and average sales price
We saw a total of 1830 new listings come to the market in Durham Region this March, which was a noticeable increase of 13.4% than the 1617 that came to the market last year at this time.
We had 1101 homes sell in Durham Region this March and that is a significant increase of over 31% from the 839 that were sold in March 2019. This is in line with the trend we had been seeing earlier.
AVERAGE SALES PRICE
So what does this all mean for sales prices? The average sale price in Durham Region in March 2020 was $656,211. This is an increase of 8.5% from the 2019 average of $604,796 but a touch lower than the average sale price of $657,788 in February.
Now the total months of inventory in Durham Region are currently at 1.1 which means we are in a very tight seller's market. This is even less inventory than we had a year ago where we were sitting at 2.1 MOI. What do months of inventory mean? If we stopped listing homes and kept selling at the current pace, it is how long the inventory would last for. Anything under 4 months of inventory is considered a seller's market while anything over 6 is a buyers market and everything in the middle is balanced. Not much tighter the market could get in Durham Region.
Days on the market dropped to 13 compared to the 21 DOM we were at last year at this time. That is extremely low and is a very clear indicator of just how tight the inventory was before activity came to a stop.
However, none of these stats mean much. It’s not an accurate representation due to the fact that the shut down was announced just over halfway through the month.
Our back-office software company Broker Bay who provides services for many large real estate brokerages around the GTA and Durham Region has shared some interesting stats. When we compare activity from February to March we see a 23% decrease in showings booked and 15% in registered offers. When you compare the first half of March to the second half, showings and offers were both down 60% and when you look at the final week of February vs. final week of March showings and offers were both down 75%! We will see significantly lower numbers in April and May when it comes to listings and sales, and I’m also expecting to see a dip in average sales prices.
So who is even buying or selling right now? While every single real estate agent would like to remind the public that we are an “essential service” please keep in mind that it is not business as usual. We are far from it. It’s hard to be business as usual when everything has come to a standstill and a million people have lost their jobs in less than a month.
Most people who need to buy or sell have likely either pushed their transaction through since the shutdown was announced or they have decided to put things on the back burner until we get back to normal. I’ve had countless conversations about how to approach this market and as always, I tell them it really comes down to their needs
-Sellers. Unless you absolutely must sell, I am recommending every single one of my clients to hold off at the moment. It is far from the optimal situation to try and sell your home. If you absolutely must sell, we can accommodate but we will be selling with a variety of challenges and in a market that is far from optimal for sellers.
-Buyers. I would still recommend holding off but if it is essential, we can help our clients look for and purchase a home. We’ve already had a few buyers who had to make a move take advantage of the low rates and less competition but we have also had buyers decide now may not be the time to buy because of job security concerns or worries the market could get worse.
It really does come down to your personal needs and motivations which is why you should speak with a professional you trust and ask questions. We offer no-obligation consultations and market evaluations that can be done virtually so please never hesitate to reach out if you need anything.
While the fundamentals still haven’t changed we need to keep a close eye on all the collateral damage the shutdown has caused and to see how long it will last for. We don’t know what the long-lasting effects of the shutdown will be but 1 million people losing their jobs and businesses not making money for months is not something that will be very easy to bounce back from.
While I’m very confident that Durham Region will continue to experience growth over the coming years, we are at the mercy of the overall health of the economy and general market sentiment. Immigration and jobs are the 2 biggest factors for real estate markets and they have obviously been hit hard. The effects of the shutdown will be very noticeable for at least the next 2-3 months, but once the machine starts rolling along again we should see things get back to normal. No one has a crystal ball though so who knows what to expect. I wouldn’t have believed it if you told me 2020 would have us all sitting at home for over a month so take all predictions with a grain of sale. If you would like to be notified of future upcoming blogs and market updates, register here. What do you think is going to happen in the next 12 months? When will things go back to “normal”? Would love to hear what you think.
Hope you enjoyed the update and would love to hear your thoughts on this. In the meantime, stay safe!
As always, please keep in mind that this is just a general overview. If you are ever curious to know what your home is worth in the current real estate market, please never hesitate to reach out. We offer no-cost, no-obligation market evaluations for all of you out there if you are thinking of selling or want a second opinion.
If you don’t necessarily want to meet with an agent just yet, no problem! Visit the link and we will send you a free online market evaluation. There is no cost or obligation for any of this.
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Until next month, have a good one!