Durham Region’s housing market continues to report record residential transactions this year, with sales up a significant 56% year-over-year in February.
In February, what’s typically a quiet month for home buyer activity, the Durham Region -- which spans Ajax, Brock, Clarington, Oshawa, Pickering, Scugog, Uxbridge, and Whitby -- reported 1,384, which is up considerably from the 651 sales recorded in January.
Detached homes accounted for the majority of the sales, with 938 transactions and an average price of $989,969.
The average selling price for all home types -- which includes detached, semi-detached, condo/townhouses, condo apartments, link, and attached row -- was $895,441 in February, a slight 2% increase from the month prior.
The MLS Home Price Index Benchmark Price increased by 28.91% last month to $771,700, while the benchmark price for a single-family detached home in Durham roses to $834,700. In Clarington, the benchmark price in February as $780,800.
The number of new listings increased substantially from 945 in January of this year to 1,975 in February. On a year-over-year basis, new listings in Durham increased by 53%.
"It's very encouraging to see a significant increase of new listings last month, more inventory on the market provides more options for potential homebuyers,” said the Durham Region Association of Realtors (DRAR) President Michael Watson says.
Though, while the region is seeing record sales, Watson says it is important to note new inventory is imperative in order to maintain a balanced housing market.
Watson added the Days on Market (DOM) decreased from 12 days in January to seven days on market this past month, adding, "buyers are taking advantage of low-interest rates and new listings are not staying on the market for long.”
"In February we saw the number of residential transactions double from January, and we also saw the number of new listings almost double from the month prior," Zain Jafrey, a real estate agent with Re/Max Impact told STOREYS.
"What is important to note is that there was a 56% increase in year over year transactions which shows that our housing market is in high demand."
Although buyers had more homes to choose from in February, Jafrey says he continues to see demand outpace supply which has created a rise in home prices.
"Durham Region continues to be a hot spot for first-time homebuyers, and buyers looking for more space. Buyers and sellers are taking advantage of these low interest rates, and when compared to the other Greater Toronto Area Regions, Durham continues to be the most affordable option," said Jafrey/
Jafrey told STOREYS that inventory is key inorder to maintain prices in this real estate market. As we see more inventory come on the market in the upcoming months, Jafrey says we will start to see a less drastic change in month over month prices.
Inventory issues aren't only a concern in Durham (or Ontario, for that matter), but across Canada. According to CREA, new listings were down 13.3% in January, which was led by double-digit declines in the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, London and St. Thomas, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, and Halifax Dartmouth
As a result, CREA says Canada has only 1.9 months of housing inventory available -- the lowest reading on record for this measure, which further demonstrates how tight the national housing market is. At the local market level, some 35 Ontario markets were under one month of inventory at the end of January.