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Continued drop in active listings impacts London, St. Thomas home sales for month of February: LSTAR

FILE - The association released its latest monthly statistics, showing home sales in London, St. Thomas, and surrounding areas were down nearly 33 per cent compared to February 2017. mcsilvey/E+/Getty Images

Home sales in the London and St. Thomas real-estate market were steady last month, but the number of active listings fell to the lowest levels seen in the region over the last decade, officials with the London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR) said Friday.

The association released its latest monthly statistics, showing home sales in London, St. Thomas, and surrounding areas were down nearly 33 per cent compared to February 2017, with 536 homes sold.

It should be noted, however, February 2017 was no ordinary February for home sales in the region, according to the association. February 2017 currently holds the record for best February results seen since LSTAR began tracking sales data 40 years ago.

The jurisdiction of LSTAR, and what LSTAR refers to as “London and St. Thomas” in its figures, includes London, St. Thomas and other communities within Middlesex and Elgin counties.

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READ MORE: 2017 a historic year for home sales in London, St. Thomas area: LSTAR

While home sales during the month of February are being described as “steady” by the association, the number of active listings has been anything but.

The number of active listings, or inventory, continues to decline compared to 2017, resulting in a major impact on home sales, said Jeff Nethercott, 2018 LSTAR president, in a statement.

“There were 1,103 active listings, down 26.4 per cent from this time last year,” he said. “This is the lowest level of inventory we’ve had in the region over the last 10 years.”

Despite the decline in the number of homes for sale, average sale prices in the region continue to rise, he said — up 10.8 per cent last month over February 2017, to $349,848 in London and St. Thomas.

READ MORE: How much is your home worth? You might be able to find out online

Nethercott said the current situation facing the London and St. Thomas real-estate market — high demand and low supply — favours sellers. The sales-to-new listings ratio utilized by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) pegged London and St. Thomas at 69.5 per cent.

“According to CREA, a ratio between 40 per cent and 60 per cent is generally consistent with a balanced housing market,” Nethercott said.

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According to the CREA’s latest average sale price figures released in January, the average sale price of a home in Canada was $501,040. Vancouver continues to be the most expensive market, with an average sale price of $1,025,128, followed by Toronto at $776,531.

A detailed rundown of LSTAR’s London and St. Thomas numbers for February 2018 can be found below.

— With files from Matthew Trevithick

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