Monday, December 19, 2016

2016 Local Real Estate Stats Examined

Last week we made a few general observations about our local real estate market from 2016.  This week we are going to dive a little deeper and look into some relevant statistics.  Note: Some of these statistics are based on the first 11 months of the year, as we still have a couple weeks left in December.  Also, these stats refer to our home market of Windsor, Ontario.

Units Sold Increased 10% Year Over Year
The headline is pretty self explanatory.  The number of units (houses) sold are on pace to top last year by 10%.  This is generally positive as more transactions are taking place so the market is more active.  Obviously this is a great thing for sellers.

Listings Increased 2% Year Over Year
Again a pretty straightforward headline.  The number of houses listed for sale are on track to increase by 2% compared to last year.  All other things being equal, this is positive for buyers as there is more inventory for sale and negative for sellers as there is more competition when selling your home.  When comparing the increase in listings with the increase in sales, sales have increased significantly more than listings, so one should expect to see an increase in prices during this period.

Average Sales Price Increased 13% Year Over Year
Good news for sellers!  Average Prices increased from $200,823 to $226,193.  After seeing sales up 10% and listings up only 2%, there was not enough supply to meet demand and there was upward pressure on prices.  Some of this gain can also be attributed to a higher share of high priced homes being sold this year compared to last year.  Obviously this is not so good for first time home buyers, or people who have been renting for the last year as it will be more expensive for them to find a home.

Housing Starts Increased 30% Year Over Year
This is great news all around.  Sales of new construction houses have really boomed this year.  This is also great for the local economy as the builders hire skilled trades which boosts local employment, the city or town expands its tax base, and additional services must be added (retail) to service this additional density and demography.  Hopefully this continues.

The Rental Vacancy Rate Decreased from 3.9% to 2.9% Year Over Year
This is another overwhelmingly positive statistic.  On a percentage basis this means there are 25.6% less vacant apartments in the area.  This continues the improving trend from 2009 when vacancy rates were 12%+.  Vacancy rate declines are generally indicative of economic growth and population growth (both province migration ie Alberta to Ontario, and immigration).  With an improving economy, robust sales activity and a tight rental market, it is clear people are moving to the area.  The area now seems ripe for new construction of rental units.

So after reviewing the stats it's clear to see that 2016 was a pretty healthy year for the real estate market.  Those are our takeaways from the stats.  What are yours?

*Sources WECAR & CMHC

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