Is the Woodstock housing boom over? Remember: Location, Location Location!

Ontario has been on a rocket ride over the last couple of years when it comes to housing! The City of Woodstock has been right in the thick of things. Recently, buyers and sellers have seen a softening of the market and are questioning what the future holds. None of us holds a crystal ball, but we see Woodstock and Oxford County as a fantastic investment moving forward. No market can sustain the year-to-year gains that we have seen recently. The recent slow down has several contributing factors, and a return to a more level playing field is a good thing for a healthy market.

Toronto - Many think that the hot Toronto market has been the only contributing factor to housing prices here at home. Although the Toronto market has certainly been a force in the market, pushing consumers further from home in search of affordable properties. The recent government intervention has certainly been showing signs of cooling that market, although many experts would argue that the signs were there of the market levelling off without the government measures. When you look at the areas further from Toronto, you actually see that the further a market is from Toronto, the less the market has cooled. This is because there are always multiple factors driving any market. The Toronto market does have an effect on our local market, but it is not the whole picture.

Foreign Buyers Tax - Many foreign buyers have been investing in Toronto and surrounding areas for years. And they have made a lot of money! The recent 15% tax has made them start looking at other markets. The border for this tax extends from the Golden Horseshoe all the way to Waterloo and Brant counties. But not to Oxford County! We have essentially become a tax haven for foreign investors. And they know a good thing when they see it.

Summer - We have been in such a strong Seller's market for such a long time, it is hard to remember the traditional ebbs and flows of the real estate market. Summer is traditionally a slower period, as is January because of Christmas holidays and debt load. We are seeing a much more traditional summer than the past couple as the market stabilizes a bit. We will see what happens as we head back into late Summer/ early Fall.

Recent Sales - The Woodstock-Ingersoll & District Real Estate Board recorded near record sales in April, falling just one sale short of breaking a 12-year old record. The average home sale price was $355,135, up 31.6% from the previous year. There was a new all-time record set in May. There was also a record low amount of inventory in May. These numbers point to a market that buyers are still very much interested in. Properly listed homes are still selling in a relatively short amount of time.

Future Industrial Development - The City of Woodstock is currently in the process of attempting to annex a large portion of real estate on it's Eastern and southern borders. The purpose is to develop new industrial land packages as current supplies within city limits are in short supply. Woodstock is in an ideal location for industry because of its location on the 401/403 corridors. We are also within a two hour drive to almost all major manufacturing centres in Ontario plus the US border. As was seen with the addition of Sysco and Toyota, this type of development can have a major positive impact to the value of real estate independent of what is happening in neighbouring markets. High paying jobs bring in buyers willing to spend money on housing.

Future Residential Development - Because of such intense interest from buyers wanting to get into the Woodstock market, we almost ran out of residential building lots with many builders being well over a year to get a buyer into a new home. The City of Woodstock is attempting to annex land on its west side from the County of South-West Oxford. We desperately need new lands added for new construction to compliment the new areas recently added in the 11th line area. Buyers want to be here and builders need land to bring them in. On the upside for resellers, the lack of new construction lots, the long timelines and the high price tags make resale properties look better than ever.

Location, Location, Location - We Realtors always talk about location, because it's almost always the most important factor in buying real estate. When it comes to the City of Woodstock, we have location in spades. All of the above factors point to a market that will make for a great place to invest for years to come! 



Ontario Home Sale Trends (Looking into 2017)

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) recently released their sales statistics for Ontario for the month of October. New sales records were set, and it looks like we will be maintaining a strong seller's market into the foreseeable future.

There were 20,583 units sold in October 2016. This was an increase of 8.9% from at the previous year. This set the highest October sales figure to date.  This is also the first time that more than 20,000 units were sold in Ontario in the month of October. 

Provincial home sales were up 9.7% over the first 10 months of 2015. As of October, 216,028 homes have been sold in Ontario in 2016 and the industry is on track to set a new annual record. The provincial average sale price for a home was up 19% from at the previous October. New listings on MLS® was down 2.6% in the same time period. And thus sets in the law of supply and demand. Less homes on the market with a good supply of buyers means that home prices are still on the rise. Active residential listings were down 29.8% over the previous October. Supply is at near record lows.

At the end of October, there was just two months of existing inventory. This was down from 3.2 months from the previous October. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

Although conventional thinking would lead people to think they should "wait until Spring" if they are thinking of selling their home, that is not necessarily true in the current marketplace. The market is still strong with buyers, and inventory is down. That all adds up to it being a fantastic time to sell. We in the industry are truly having trouble finding homes for our buyers because of the very limited inventory. 

Please give Tracey or I a call if you have any questions about how this market would benefit you in the sale of your home in Oxford County.