488 homes exchanged hands in October 2023 via the MLS® System of the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR), 2.45% more than during the previous month, but 0.5% less than a year ago. The number of new listings climbed to 1,232, which marks a record high for the month of October.
Housing supply stayed virtually unchanged from last month, decreasing only very slightly from 4.4 months in September to 4.3 months in October.
"Amid healthier inventory levels, modest sales, and a surge in new listings, it appears the local housing market is leaning in favour of homebuyers. The scales are tilting, offering buyers greater opportunities,” said Adam Miller, 2023 Chair of the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR). "This was also reflected by October’s overall sales-to-new listings ratio," he added.
The overall sales-to-new listings ratio for LSTAR was 39.6% in October, up from 36.1% in September, but down from 46.9% in August. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), a ratio between 40% and 60% is generally consistent with a balanced market.
"In this setting, local homebuyers find themselves with a wealth of choices and a little extra breathing room in their property search. However, some of them are opting to play the waiting game, keeping a close eye on interest rates and wondering if they've truly reached their peak or if they still have room to grow,” Miller explained.
The October average home price in LSTAR’s jurisdiction was $629,605, down from $633,848 in September. The composite MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Benchmark Price sat at $592,100, slightly down from $595,300 in September. The HPI benchmark price reflects the value of a "typical home" as assigned by buyers in a certain area based on various housing attributes, while the average sales price is calculated by adding all the sale prices for homes sold and dividing that total by the number of homes sold. The HPI benchmark price is helpful to gauge trends over time since averages may fluctuate by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.
The following table indicates the average and MLS® HPI Benchmark Prices recorded last month in LSTAR's main regions.
The table below shows the October benchmark prices for all housing types within LSTAR's jurisdiction, and how they stack up against those recorded in the previous month and three months ago.
|Benchmark Type||October 2023||Change Over September 2023||Change Over
|LSTAR One Storey||$589,400||↓0.5%||↓0.8%|
|LSTAR Two Storey||$665,200||↓1.3%||↓5.3%|
"Compared to provincial and national benchmarks, homes within the LSTAR jurisdiction maintained their reputation for affordability, making our region an appealing housing market for many," Miller said. The following chart shows the latest HPI benchmark prices, courtesy of CREA.
As per a recent study1 conducted by Altus Group, an average housing transaction in Ontario triggers approximately $77,420 in secondary spending within a span of three years from the date of purchase. These expenses include, but are not limited to legal fees, moving costs, furniture acquisitions, and home improvement expenditures. "In other words, October’s home sales could potentially contribute with more than $37 million to the local economy," Miller concluded.
1Economic Impacts of MLS® Systems Home Sales and Purchases in Canada and the Provinces, Altus Group, 2019