Housing boom should last two more years, says real estate board

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Windsor Star/Grace Macaluso



“A perfect storm,” of a recovering economy, job growth and short supply means Windsor and Essex County’s real estate boom is expected to extend into 2018, says the local Realtors’ association. It is even beginning to buoy long overlooked neighbourhoods, writes Grace Macaluso.

Hot market

“Clearly, we’ve got better employment, the housing market is strong, we’ve got rising values and low vacancy rates,” said Norm Langlois, president of the Windsor-Essex Association of Realtors. “Unless, the total economy crashes, it looks good for us for another two years.”

The hot market, which has made multiple offers the norm in such areas as South Windsor, Riverside and Forest Glade, is expected to heat up areas that have traditionally favoured buyers, said Langlois.

Core areas poised to sizzle

It’s a seller’s market throughout the Windsor census metropolitan area — including the downtown and West Windsor, said Langlois. Year-to-date statistics show that the sales to new listings ratios for those areas are all well over 50 per cent, which bodes well for sellers, said Langlois.

“It’s gone from a balanced market to a seller’s market,” said Langlois. Prices are steadily recovering from the Great Recession. Last month the average sale price downtown and in West Windsor was $106,597, up from about $80,000 in 2009, he said.

Rising prices coupled with stagnant housing stock make West Windsor one of the “best investments in the city,” he said. “People should be looking there. Investors are coming in from out of town buying five or six houses at at time because they’re so cheap. It’s pushing up prices.”

What’s the ratio?

The sales-to-listings ratio is the number of homes sold as a percentage of the number of new listings in the market. The sales-to-listings ratio is normally around 50 per cent during a balanced market. A higher ratio implies a seller’s market, while a lower ratio implies a buyer’s market.

The year-to-date sales-to-listings ratio is: 73 per cent in South Windsor; 78 per cent in South Central (airport to Remington Park and South Walkerville); 71 per cent in Fountainbleu/Forest Glade; 69 per cent in Tecumseh; 73 per cent in East Riverside; 76 per cent in Walkerville/Downtown; 72 per cent in Downtown; and 63 per cent in West Windsor.

Like Toronto

Across the Windsor region, the sales-to-listings ratios are rising and in some cases, reaching levels that are spurring multiple offers and quick sales. “When you’re in the 70, 80 per cent levels, you’re seeing the kind of multiple offers we hear about in cities like Toronto,” said Cameron Paine, the association’s past president.

Expect prices to keep rising over the next two years, he added.

“The new bridge is coming, last year we got more manufacturing jobs and we’re still getting more jobs,” he said. “Now you have demand, national exposure that we’re booming, rising property values and people who have built equity in the homes looking to buy up.

“It’s a perfect storm.”

Double digit growth

Prices are expected to continue rising across the Windsor and the surrounding municipalities of Tecumseh, Lakeshore, LaSalle and Amherstburg. Association figures show the  average sales price in Tecumseh jumped to $340,923 in May — up from from $251,852 during the same period last year. Kingsville’s housing sales shot up 30 per cent over nine years, to $227,800 in 2015, from an average $174,420 in 2006.

In South Windsor — one of the region’s hottest markets — average sale prices in May stood at $276,755, from an average $247,949 in 2015. In Fountainbleu and Forest Glade, May sale prices averaged $213,759, compared to $192,106 last year. Riverside saw prices jump to $205,194 in May, from $189,465 in 2015. There were increases in West Windsor, where houses are going for $106,597, compared to $103,950 in 2015. Downtown housing sales averaged $117,553 last month, compared to $113,443 in 2015. In many neighbourhoods, houses are selling in days, instead of months, said Langlois.