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Spring fever: April a record month for home sales in Hamilton

Posted: May 6, 2015

More homes sold in Hamilton and Burlington in April than in any month ever before.

The Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington reported a record 1,699 property sales in April. That was a 15.7-per-cent increase over April 2014 and breaks the previous record of 1,660 sales in May of last year.

“The greater Hamilton-Burlington real estate market has never seen this kind of activity,” said RAHB CEO Ross Godsoe. “There are a number of areas in Hamilton, Burlington and even outlying communities where, on average, properties are being sold for full list price or higher. It’s rare to see that kind of activity as an average for an area.”

Residential sales totalled 1,642 units, up 15.3 per cent over the previous April and a record for home sales. Freehold transactions were 15.7-per-cent higher than last April, while sales in the condominium market saw an increase of 13.6 per cent.

Realtor Colette Cooper says it’s a “wonderful” time to be representing sellers but an “exhausting” time to help buyers find homes.

“They are usually going through the heartbreak of losing a number of homes,” said Cooper, an agent with Judy Marsales Real Estate.

Homes are selling fast and most have multiple bids. Plenty of buyers are going over asking price and dropping home inspection conditions, said Cooper, who has been selling homes for 22 years.

“We’re seeing houses selling for prices that a year ago people wouldn’t have paid such a price. I counsel my buyers that they have to be careful. If they go too far over asking and a bank appraisal doesn’t go through, the buyer has to pay the difference.”

While listings were up 15.7 per cent over April 2014 to 2,379 properties, end-of-month listing inventory was still 8.7 per cent lower.

“Despite the increase in listings, end-of-month inventory is still considered low, at just over two months of inventory,” said Godsoe. “That, coupled with a high sales to listing ratio, confirms we are still firmly in a seller’s market.”

Cooper says demand is high from out-of-town-buyers and first-timers. So why aren’t homeowners putting up the for-sale sign to cash in?

“I think a lot of people are reluctant to list because they can’t find anything they want to buy. Plus, the empty-nesters who are in houses that are too large feel there is nothing for them to go to.”

The real estate board says seasonally adjusted sales of residential properties grew 13.8 per cent over last April, with the average sale price up 7.9 per cent for the month to $431,188.

Year to date, sales are 9.7 per cent higher compared to the same quarter last year, listings are 5.6 per cent higher than last year, and the average sale price is 8.5 per cent higher for the period.

mmacleod@thespec.com

905-526-3408 | @meredithmacleod

 

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