Rocca Sisters & Associates
Market Watch Report
END OF YEAR 2016 RECAP
HOME BUYER AND SELLER MARKET WATCH
BURLINGTON, OAKVILLE, HAMILTON, DUNDAS, WATERDOWN, ANCASTER, GRIMSBY & MILTON
An incredibly unique Spring market is underway and SELLERS ARE URGENTLY NEEDED!
This is a real estate market unlike anything we've seen in nearly 20 years! The current shortage of listings across the market has created a frenzy for qualified buyers searching for a home in our area. We currently have hundreds of qualified buyers looking to find their dream home.
PLEASE HELP US HELP OUR BUYERS!
If you or someone you know has been considering selling, now is the time to take advantage of these incredibly rare market conditions before it's too late! With demand high and a current shortage of inventory, now is the time to get the most money for your largest asset. Have you already had your home evaluated for its current market value? The standard used to be a home evaluation every one to two years. With the market as hot as it is right now, if your home evaluation was done over three months ago, you need to have a re-assessment. A home evaluation done in September may already be outdated! Wondering what to do once your home sells? Many people are hesitant about about capitalizing on this seller's market as they will need to purchase a new home themselves. There are more options available than you think, call us to discuss!
For a glimpse at the current market and the conditions discussed above, we've included our monthly Market Watch below reviewing the year 2016 broken down by area with our latest forecasts. Please reference the statistics chart broken down by area below.
RECAP OF 2016
When all was said and done, 2016 turned out to be a good year for sellers - prices up 16%, year over year, days on market down by 34.7% - and a not so great year for buyers. Compared to our other trading areas, however, Burlington was somewhat moderate in terms of wild fluctuations. With the exception of the Orchard, the neighborhoods with the higher increases in prices paid were those that, it could be said, were somewhat undervalued to start with. Aldershot South, Central Burlington, Dynes, Longmoor, Tyandaga and Palmer all older communities (most built in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s) had lagged behind in terms of sale price growth while newer communities like the Orchard, Millcroft and Headon Forest increased exponentially. These more mature areas, with the exception of Tyandaga offered smaller homes with bigger yards but the absence of modern conveniences such as a bathroom for every member of the household and closet space to accommodate bursting wardrobes made them less attractive to many buyers. When demand outstripped supply in the newer neighborhoods to the point that the purchase prices were swelling dangerously, these older communities became the next best thing. It’s no surprise that Tyandaga saw a huge increase year over year - the biggest surprise is that it took so long. Large gracious homes on huge mature lots with mature landscaping finally came on buyer’s radar when at the end of last year the average price of a house in Millcroft was over $900,000 and the average price of an equivalent sized house on a bigger lot was just over $800,000 in Tyandaga. These properties, along with Roseland and Shoreacre properties still tend to take a little longer to sell - we chalk that up to a lot of non- Burlington sales reps not knowing the neighborhoods that well and just a general reticence to buying an older home. All in all, 2016 was not nearly as tumultuous in Burlington as in the rest of the world so Burlingtonians should be quite satisfied with the result.
Predictions for 2017 - many overextended homeowners are going to be reevaluating their finances and for some, the choice will be obvious - downsize. The result will quite possibly be a glut of move-up houses on the market later in the year, forcing a minor correction and a continued shortage of inventory in the $500-$700,000 price range. Notwithstanding, we expect to see much of the same in early 2017 - a seller’s market for the foreseeable future.
Apparently there is no end in sight for this bullish, unbalanced real estate market. Demand is seriously outstripping supply and the result is property values are increasing dramatically in the vast majority of neighborhoods. In fact, if not for Morrison and Old Oakville (neighborhoods that are in the stratosphere already, in terms of price), the average increase in price year over year would be closer to 22% with many communities over 25% and some exceeding a 30% increase, year over year. Only 4 communities remain in Oakville with average prices under a million dollars. Astonishing numbers are ones such as Wedgewood Creek where sales increased by almost 39% with a corresponding increase in price of just under 25% or Clearview where sales increased by 55.6% and even still, prices shot up by 31.1%. On the other hand, a more predictable outcome was Bronte Creek - a small decrease in supply, just 3 less properties sold but an unprecedented increase in price - by 26.2%!
If Joshua Creek is any indication, there has to be a limit on what buyers are willing to pay. This community has the highest average sale price (not including Morrison which again, is not really comparable to any other Oakville neighborhood) however, 2016 saw one of the lower increases in value and a healthy increase in sales, year over year.
Prediction for 2017 - a lot will depend on how many homeowners are over-extended. We saw a large amount of properties being purchased by newer Canadians who tended to be very well financed but there were also many homes purchased by buyers that had out of whack debt to equity. If interest rates start to rise, and they will, some of these homeowners may consider down-sizing which could lead to a bit of a glut of high end homes and the almost inevitable correction in price. We feel any correction will be minor and short-lived, if at all. Otherwise, we suspect the market will continue to be strong but that price increases will be moderate compared to 2016.
On the face of things, some of the results you will see on the Hamilton statistics page will seem incredible. Kept in perspective, it’s not that remarkable. The fact is, you can still buy a home in Hamilton which is less than 10 minutes from Burlington, 20 minutes from Oakville and under an hour to Toronto for under $400,000. That is, half the price of a home in Burlington and a third of the price of a house in Oakville and Toronto. Still pretty darned good value. Better still, Hamilton is starting to shed its steeltown reputation, replacing it with it’s cutting edge medical industry, awesome topography and burgeoning arts and restaurant scene.
We saw some crazy increases in prices paid in Hamilton during 2016 but the net result was still a modest price for a home and a plot of land. For example, in the port area, prices increased 32% from $158,750 to $209,500. Sounds like a huge increase but think of it this way, the price could have doubled and it would have still been just over the average price of a home in Hamilton. Most of these modestly priced homes require updating and are often in currently undesirable neighborhoods but, give it 5 years or so and they could be little gold mines. Hamilton Mountain continues to be the best value in all of our trading area. In many cases, homes only a stone’s throw from Ancaster and similar in every way sell for as much as 45% less. We suspect this will change over the coming months as Ancasters inventory levels wane.
Predictions for 2017 - continued optimism for this market. Hamilton will continue to offer best value in GTA. We expect to see more infill projects as many houses in central Hamilton and environs are beyond salvaging and offer decent sized lots. You can expect to see an enormous amount of renovation and rejuvenation taking place in many Hamilton communities.
While price increases are still quite high and in no way represent the kind of increases you would see in a balanced market, Dundas is one of the few communities in the GTA that is at least approaching what we would consider balance. By that we mean, enough inventory to satisfy demand. There were many homes that sold for over asking but the majority of them were at the lower end of the average price in Dundas and appear to have been priced very sharp to attract attention. Dundas has recently become a terrific alternative for down-sizers seeking to stay in the GTA but having been priced out of the the Burlington and east markets. These buyers are heading to Dundas because of affordability - they will not likely be attracted should prices increase exponentially.
Predictions for 2017 - this community will likely continue to see stable growth. As long as average prices remain at 25-30% below Burlington, this community will continue to be a desirable alternative.
With average prices still 20% below Burlington, it’s puzzling to see the results for Waterdown sales. The number of sales is down more than 15%, days on market are down over 10% and yet prices have increased by much the same as other outlying communities notwithstanding the fact that Waterdown literally borders Burlington. There continues to be a few factors at play that impact values. The first is traffic. Until the bypass is built, Waterdown residents will be struggling with congestion. Property taxes continue to be a significant issue. More importantly, however, is that there is nowhere for Waterdown homeowners to go, if the plan is to move up. Burlington and east is out of reach and there just simply are not that many premium sized homes in Waterdown.
Prediction for 2017 - Much of the same. We expect numbers to continue to slide and values to continue to increase, modestly.
2016 was a very good year for Ancaster real estate. Notwithstanding an increase in the number of sales, Ancaster saw a significant increase in average prices paid and a decrease in days on market. There was a real choice in Ancaster. Everything from an older bungalow in the low $500’s to a new custom build in the Lover’s Lane survey for closer to $3 million and everything in between. Infrastructure seemed to be keeping up with development and there appeared to be no end in sight in terms of inventory, until now. In much the same way as the rest of the GTA is suffering from a lack of inventory, for the first time in a very long time, so too is Ancaster. As the year came to a close, Ancaster saw more and more of its inventory sold in competition.
Prediction for 2017 - Ancaster has historically been the reverse of most GTA communities in the sense that the summer fall market tends to be somewhat stronger than the winter spring market. We believe this has a lot to do with traffic patterns. The drive to Ancaster tends to be much worse in the winter months, which likely causes many buyers who have to commute to Toronto/Mississauga to look elsewhere. Traffic tends to be slightly more manageable in the summer/fall. If inventory levels to the east remain low, this may no longer be a factor resulting in a strong spring market.
Stoney Creek results are exactly what you would expect, given the conditions. Increased sales (overflow demand from Oakville and Burlington finding it’s way to the next closest community), increased prices and a significant decrease in days on market. The unexpected was that almost half of the properties sold in Stoney Creek, sold for the asking price or more (indicating multiple offers) and that 27 properties sold for over a million dollars in 2016. These sorts of conditions are all new to Stoney Creek. One thing seems to be clear, gone are the days when you could still buy a detached home in Stoney Creek for under $500,000.
Predictions for 2017 - there are some absolutely stunning homes and neighborhoods in Stoney Creek that are not on anyone’s radar. As values increase, long time homeowners will be more motivated to sell as many of these homes have original owners. Our prediction is that by the end of 2017, Stoney Creek may be seeing average prices over $600,000.
A very strong year for this out lying community. Still a little too far for many commuters, this sleepy little town is notwithstanding, holding its own and showing very strong growth. For the first time Grimsby saw a significant number of properties sold in competition - more than 100 properties of the 358 sales sold for the asking price or more. Sales are up, prices are up and days on market have reduced dramatically.
Prediction for 2017 - while we don’t expect any wild swings for this community, we believe it will continue to grow providing inventory levels remain low in the GTA. Should the market soften, this is the community that will be the “canary in the coal mine”.
Lowest overall days on market in all of our trading areas. Properties continue to sell quickly and efficiently but values continue to rise at a relatively moderate rate. Given the speed at which homes are sold and the lack of inventory, we would have expected to see a much higher number in the average sale department. Milton has demonstrated this very restrained market condition for the past several years.
Prediction for 2017 - Given the lack of move up options in Milton, we suspect that the market will remain a little sluggish in terms of inventory which will no doubt drive up prices but again, in a restrained manner.
* Information was collected through Real Estate Board of Hamilton - Burlington