The COVID-19 pandemic has done nothing to cool the “frenzy” in London’s housing market.
Realtors sold a record 596 homes and low inventory coupled with high demand pushed prices to new levels with the average sale price hitting $555,000 in December.
“I am not surprised by the demand,” said Blair Campbell, president of London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR).
“The hard part of that story is the inventory levels. We still sit at an all-time low inventory.”
Here are other key figures from LSTAR’s latest report:
- 9,976 homes were sold in 2020
- December was the fourth consecutive month the region broke sales records
- Middlesex Centre recorded its highest average sale price at $725,300
- North London is the most expensive area of the city, where homes sold on average for $673,872
- East London was the least expensive area with an average sales price of $418,200
Campbell said online learning for students and working from home for parents makes larger homes in rural areas more attractive, especially to those coming to the region from larger urban centres.
“If home is where you always are, space is that much more important,” he said.
Even features like swimming pools, which weren’t necessarily seen as assets in the past, have jumped to the top of the list for some buyers, Campbell said.
“If you have kids and they can’t go out and play anywhere else, having a pool in the summer months sounds fantastic,” he said. “It was a high demand item this year.”
The market remains a challenge for buyers, however, said Chase Komaromi, an agent with RE/MAX Advantage Realty.
Prices are the first hurdle, particularly for first-time homebuyers, he said.
“Even with mortgage rates being low, it’s still tough to come up with the money for a down payment on an expensive house, especially if you are just finishing university, getting your first job and trying to pay off school,” he said.
Multiple offers on homes selling above asking price are also a common source of frustration, Komaromi said.
“It’s tough for buyers because they think they see a listing price in their range, and then they see it sell for $50,000 more,” he said. “And even finding something in your price range, in some cases, you still have to put a lot of work into the house.”
BY THE NUMBERS
$555,324: Average sale price across the London region
30 per cent: Year-over-year increase in average sale price
596: Homes sold in December
9,976: Homes sold in 2020
AVERAGE PRICES ACROSS THE LONDON REGION
Central Elgin: $473,000
London East: $418,200
London North: $589,600
London South: $475,400
Middlesex Centre: $725,300
St. Thomas: $392,500