Area real estate sales broke records in May

Friday June 6th/2014

Real estate sales in of Hamilton and Burlington broke records in May, the local realtors association announced Thursday,

And on the same day a think-tank report declared Hamilton the second-best place in the province to make a real estate investment.

According to the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington, 1,660 properties were sold by its members in May, marking an all-time monthly record and a 4.1 per cent increase from the same month last year.

The city’s hot housing market was a big driver of the overall numbers: residential sales also set an all-time monthly record at 1,605, 4.6 per cent higher than May 2013. Single family home sales were up from last May by 2.6 per cent, to 1,282, while 12.9 per cent more condos sold compared to last year, at 323 in May.

But as sales sped up, prices went down.

The average sale price of freehold homes, or homes where the owner also owns the land, decreased 2.3 per cent to $435,440. The average price of condos dipped slightly, down 0.5 per cent to $289,189.

Homes sat on the market for an average of 35 days, a slight decrease from 38 a year ago.

Association CEO Ross Godsoe attributed the lower sale prices to a flood of new listings in May, 213 more than May 2013.

“It wasn’t record-setting, but new listings were higher than the 10-year average for the month,” he said in a release. “That may account for the slight decrease in average sale price compared to May of last year.”

Meanwhile, Hamilton fell to the number-two spot this year in the Real Estate Investment Network’s annual Top Ontario Investment Towns report, which looked at places “poised to outperform other regions of the province over the next three to five years.

“Past, or even current, performance is not an indicator of how a region will perform in the future; that is why investors must focus solely on the economic fundamentals that will drive the real estate market.”

The report looked at factors including employment opportunities, population growth, political leadership, infrastructure, income and transportation.

Kitchener and Cambridge, as a unit, placed first, followed by Hamilton, Barrie, Waterloo and Brampton. Toronto came in at number nine.

“Despite the economic downturn experienced in most of Ontario over the last four years, Hamilton’s economy was stronger than ever,” the report said.

“Hamilton’s relatively low real estate prices and short driving distance to Toronto will continue to appeal to families and businesses alike.”

The Hamilton Spectator

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