Average home price in London-St. Thomas market hit $825K in February: LSTAR

Average sale prices for homes in the London and St. Thomas market continued to climb through the month of February amid an ongoing housing supply shortage, reaching an all-time high of around $825,000.

The London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR) reported Thursday that the average sale price of a home in the region clocked in at $825,221, an increase of roughly 32 per cent from February 2021 and 84 per cent from February 2020.

Average house prices in the region have ballooned roughly $120,000 just in the last two months, after prices rose nearly $90,000 between December 2021 and January 2022 alone.

Properties are routinely going well above average, LSTAR says. The region’s sale to list-price ratio stood at 123 per cent in February, compared with 114 last year and 103 the year before.

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“It looks like 813 homes traded hands in February, only eight units less than the second month of 2021, which was our best February for home sales ever. So the lowest inventory that we’ve seen,” said LSTAR 2022 president Randy Pawlowski.

“The upward pressure is still there. Finding good properties for people is more difficult than ever today.”

Middlesex Centre, comprising Arva, Delaware, Ilderton, Komoka and other communities, remains at the top of the list when it comes to the most expensive areas in LSTAR’s jurisdiction, however the average price there fell again slightly to $993,602 compared with $1,042,114 in January and $1,058,299 in December 2021.

Central Elgin, however, saw a major bump in average sale prices, eclipsing London North and becoming the second-most expensive area. The average price there stood at $974,715 in February, roughly $118,000 higher than January, and nearly $200,000 higher than December 2021.

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Elsewhere, London North’s average sat at $958,599, an increase of $61,150 from January, while average prices in London South rose to $838,023, an increase of $19,506.

The composite benchmark price for the region, which LSTAR says is more accurate than average prices, rose 7.4 per cent in February to $749,000 — an increase of 41 per cent from a year ago, and 108 per cent from three years ago, figures show.

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The benchmark price for Middlesex Centre stood at $1,072,600 in February, up slightly from $1,016,500 in January.

In Central Elgin, London North and South London, benchmark figures stood at $813,400, $879,100 and $742,200, respectively — increases of $58,500, $55,500 and $49,700, respectively, from January.

LTAR says single-family homes are the most popular preference for local buyers, followed by condo townhouses and apartment, with 572 single-family homes, 127 condo townhouses and 75 apartments sold in February.

Benchmark townhouse prices rose eight per cent from January to $594,500, while single-family homes rose 7.3 per cent to $815,600 and apartments 6.2 per cent to $400,700.

The local housing market, like markets across the province, continues to be impacted by low housing stock in the face of significant demand.

As was the case in January, LSTAR says the London-St. Thomas market had just two weeks’ worth of housing inventory by the end of the month.

LSTAR says there were 1,021 new listings during the month of February, with listings remaining on the market for a median of seven days — a day more than a year earlier. At least 408 listings were active at the end of the month.

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Speaking with Global News last month, Pawlowski said at least one-third of local sales came from out-of-region realtors — something he reiterated on Thursday.

“Those folks are … liking what they see in our London and surrounding area. They’re able to sell their properties for top dollar, they’re coming in — a third, roughly — with cash in hand, and they’re ready to buy. They’re not afraid to make bold offers on properties,” he said.

“The challenge there … they’re not adding to the inventory supply, so it means fewer homes here for our locals to move into. All my realtor colleague friends are working double time and overtime to find properties.

Pawlowski says he remains hopeful that local market pressures will ease heading into the spring with more inventory coming online.

“We did see that this past month. Not a ton more than the previous month, but there seems to be some growth there, and with any luck, as the weather starts to change, we’ll continue to see more listings come to market.”

As of Feb. 1, the Oakville-Milton region had the highest benchmark price with $1.71 million, compared with $1.34 million in Mississauga and Greater Toronto, $1.31 million in B.C.’s Fraser Valley, $1.31 in Greater Vancouver and $1.3 in Hamilton-Burlington, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

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The national benchmark price stands at $869,300.

The full LSTAR report can be read here.

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