Home Sales Rebound in June

After two consecutive months of sharp declines caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, local home sales saw a strong rebound in June. The London and St Thomas Association of REALTORS® reported that 1,188 homes exchanged hands last month in its jurisdiction, up 13.8% from June 2019 and 11.7% more than two years ago.

"In fact, this makes last month the second best June for home sales since LSTAR began tracking data, back in 1978," pointed out Blair Campbell, 2020 LSTAR President. "In all LSTAR's main regions, June's volume of residential real estate transactions was absolutely remarkable: Middlesex County and Strathroy had their best June ever, with 99 and 39 home sales respectively; St. Thomas and Elgin County recorded their second best June, with 97 and 77 home sales respectively; and London's 748 home sales were right on par with the five-year average," he added.

Overall, the number of listings increased in June to 1,513, up 3.4% over June 2019, but the inventory – the number of active listings at month end – decreased to 1.3 months of inventory, its lowest value in the last ten years.

"The 78.5% sales-to-new listings ratio recorded last month demonstrates, once again, how firmly anchored our market is in Sellers' territory," Campbell explained.

"These figures might sound incredible, with all the social distancing rules and the open house prohibition in place. But, in reality, they show how desirable the properties in our area are and how quickly our Members embraced new technologies to serve their clients," Campbell emphasized.

The overall average home price rose to $473,998 in June, an increase of 17.8% over a year ago. This average sales price includes all housing types – from single detached homes to high-rise apartment condominiums. All five major areas across LSTAR's region witnessed gains in their average home sales price. The following table illustrates last month's average home prices by area and how they compare to the values recorded at the end of June 2019.

Area June 2020 Average Sale Price Change over June 2019
Elgin County $445,220 ↑ 32.6%
London $486,372 ↑19.3%
Middlesex County $547,444 ↑ 9.8 %  
St. Thomas $382,862 ↑ 8.5%
Strathroy $425,277 ↑ 14.7%
LSTAR $473,998 ↑ 17.8%

"Looking at London's three main geographic areas, London South saw the highest number of home sales last month and the biggest price gain compared to June 2019," Campbell observed. 

The average home price in London East was $378,880, up 16.5% from the same time last year, while in London North increased 15.6% over the same period to $563,957. In London South – which also includes data from the west part of the City – the average home price was $500,453, up 24.1% over June 2019. St. Thomas saw an average home price of $382,862, an increase of 8.5% from last June. 

According to a report by the Canadian Real Estate Association, last month, in London, the median number of days that a home was on the market was 9 - down from 10 days in June 2019. As compared to a year ago, in Elgin County, the median number of days spent by a home on the market was 18 – down from 21; in St. Thomas was 8 – down from 11; in Strathroy was 18  – up from 11; and in Middlesex County it was 13 – exactly the same as in June 2019.  

The following table is based on data taken from the CREA National Price Map for May 2020 (the latest CREA statistics available). It provides a snapshot of how home prices in London and St. Thomas compare to some other major Ontario and Canadian centres.

Average home prices in Canada at the end of May 2020
*Areas displaying MLS® Home Price Index benchmark prices; all other areas display average prices

According to a research report[1], a total of $67,425 in ancillary expenditures is generated by the average housing transaction in Ontario over a period of three years from the date of purchase. 

"This means that our June home sales are potentially bringing over $80 million back into the local economy within the next few years," Campbell said. 

"The real estate sector is one of the most important drivers of the Canadian economy. That is why LSTAR is making every effort to provide the knowledge and tools its Member need during these most challenging times to continue their activity," Campbell concluded.

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[1]  Economic Impacts of MLS® Systems Home Sales and Purchases in Canada and the Provinces, Altus Group Economic Consulting, 2017.