Durham Region Real Estate Blog - John Owen

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Durham Region Real Estate Market Report

Durham Region Real Estate Market Report

Durham Region Real Estate Daily Market Update

Last updated Dec 4, 2023, at 2:40 p.m.
Early December stats are very preliminary!

The real estate market in Durham Region has opened December with conditions that still favour sellers in some price points and locations, even though there are signs that the market has relaxed. Inventory levels are coming down from a recent high point for the past year, and multiple offer situations are receding.

Sales volume has eased off gradually each month since the spring high. Metrics show things improving for buyers, though increasing sales volume may put things back firmly in seller territory.

The October 25th announcement from the Bank of Canada to hold the overnight bank rate was encouraging news, especially for variable mortgage holders. Still, pre-approval (and rate lock) are essential steps for buyers who haven’t purchased yet.

Multiple offer situations are still commonplace in low to mid-price ranges, as buyers scramble to compete for homes within their budgets.

There looks to be an opportunity for buyers at mid-to-high price ranges right now, as many buyers are sitting on the sidelines in these niches. Once market sentiment starts to show confidence, via interest rate drops or on the inflationary front, expect there to be a sharp uptick in buyer activity and competition - especially in Durham Region. This will have the effect of driving prices higher on the average and luxury segments of the market.

There is a growing consensus among my peers in the real estate and financial areas that this is expected to be sooner rather than later, perhaps before the spring market, given the political pressure for aggressive government action on these issues. Another rate announcement is set for December 6.

The federal government announced some easing of the mortgage stress test rules on November 21. Now, mortgage holders won’t be required to qualify at the insured minimum qualifying rate when switching lenders (when their mortgage is up for renewal). There are some other items in the announcement too.

Durham Region Real Estate Market Report Daily

Supply is moderate to high, with 6.5 months of inventory (MOI) for the entire region, with higher levels in north Durham communities. (This means that at the current pace of sales, with no new listings, all inventory would be sold within this time frame). 

Durham Region Sellers Market 2023

Durham Region Real Estate Market December 2023

In December, transactions reported thus far had selling prices averaging 775,740 in Durham Region, with the average property selling at 96.9% of list price (SP/LP). This is a 13.4% decrease from last month and a 10.3% decrease from last year. 

Real estate prices Durham Region 2023 chart

Here is a look at average detached home selling prices each day over the past 3 months: Prices climbed at a healthy pace over the first several months of the year, then turned lower over the summer. They have been relatively stable since August before dropping in late November.

Durham Region Detached Home Prices Daily bar chart

The average selling price of detached homes is just under 860,000, as summarized in the following map. 

Detached Home Prices Durham Region 2023 map

If you look at the top chart's selling price to list price ratios, most communities in south Durham show sales at levels near list price. The following chart shows the how the market had slowed over most of 2022 and had picked up in early 2023.

Durham Region Market Report Selling Price to List Price Chart

Some listings at low to middle price points are posted with offer dates, where no offers will be considered until that date. This is intended to pressure buyers (given the shortage of listings) and generate multiple offers.

Durham Region sale to list price ratio daily 2023

Also, SPLP has averaged near the 97% mark, indicating that some homes sell above their list price. This shows that a common scenario is for more than one offer on properties, signalling that bidding situations are still in the mix - just not with the same intensity as earlier in the year.

Note the dominance of red bars in the chart before October, demonstrating averages above 100%, then a shift to blue bars, showing averages below 100%. This shows the change to more leverage in the market for buyers.

Days on market (DOM) averaged 28.6 days. DOM is the number of days it takes for a property to be sold firm, or without any remaining conditions.

Free home evaluation Durham Region

This figure had dropped substantially in the spring and had been higher over the summer. It is now more stable.

Should new listings rise at a pace that is faster than current sales, then there would be more inventory for the pool of buyers to choose from, which will have the effect of reducing the sale price to list price ratio, then months of inventory stat, which leans the market closer to a balanced market.

Active listings had dropped in the winter months last year. They have risen since last December to the highest levels since 2020, though sales have been strong enough to keep inventory levels low compared to the pace of sales.

Durham Region active listings 2023

The level of listings also makes all the steps taken to compete among selling properties more essential. When listings were more scarce, (including now but at lower price points) prospective buyers were compelled to reduce expectations on location, property condition, etc. They also will have pressure in competitive situations to remove conditions on their offers.

Sales volume Durham Region 2023

The sales rate has decreased by 53.5% compared to last month and is down 31.1% compared to last year, with 8.3 transactions per day.

The following chart shows the daily sales volume for the past 3 months. 

Durham Region real estate sales volume 2023

Search Durham Region listings with sold prices

Buyers will still find multiple offer situations in many locations and price ranges, particularly at lower price points. They are highly advised to get prepared - have their mortgage preapproval ready before looking at homes, and be prepared to view homes via photos and virtual tours as soon as they reach the market. With interest rates being volatile, and mortgage qualification rules under review, locking in a rate is more important than ever. Speak with your agent to discuss the process to move forward.

Sellers should be considering getting on the market now or soon and working with their agent to set their home apart from competitive listings while reaching the widest possible audience.

If you are interested in seeing values for an area not shown or are interested in other figures, please comment below or contact me. As always, give me a call anytime if you would like to discuss this further without any obligation.

More Durham Region and Area Real Estate Articles

Northumberland Real Estate Market Report

Peterborough Real Estate Market Report

Durham Region Property Tax Rates - GTA and Ontario

Durham Region Market Report - October 2023

About the Author

John Owen RE/MAX Courtice Oshawa Clarington

John Owen, Broker, RE/MAX Impact

John is an award-winning broker with RE/MAX Impact Realty in Courtice, ON, and was their number one agent in GCI for 2022.

Office - 905-240-6777
Email - johnowen@remax.net

Member, Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB).

The figures shown are for the following property types: detached, semi-detached, condo townhouse, condo apartment, link, att/row/townhouse, co-op apartment, detached condo and co-ownership apartment.



Steve on Aug 12, 2019 12:23 PM posted:
So with the GM plant closure imminent and our bubble edging towards correction, Oshawa will surely decline much further in value in the coming years. Could this be a true statement?
John Owen on Aug 12, 2019 6:48 PM posted:
Hi Steve - news of the GM situation is from 2018, and has had very little impact on the local real estate market. Since the spring/summer of 2017, when the government imposed a number of measures to cool the market (along with changes to mortgage qualification rules that has prevented many families from being able to qualify to buy a home), the local market has been doing quite well. Given the relative shortage of supply in the GTA, combined with having some of the lowest prices in the region, the outlook for Oshawa's market is quite bright. Other factors helping bring demand to the local market include a high demand for student accommodation, expansion of the 407 and 412/418, and planned expansion of GO train service with more stations in both Oshawa and Clarington. Of course, no one can say what the market is going to do with certainty, but aside from economic factors that would trigger a wider slowdown (like a large interest rate increase, or recession), things look very good for Oshawa. John Owen, Broker RE/MAX Impact
Vish Patel on Jun 22, 2020 12:30 AM posted:
Hi! Do you think this pandemic and the super high unemployment rate which is over 10 percent will finally burst the property price bubble?
John Owen on Jun 22, 2020 10:10 AM posted:
Hi Vish - that's a good question, and the media has been speculating on this issue on a regular basis. Adding to the mix is CMHC forecasting up to an 18% drop in property values across Canada by mid-2021. They also tightened qualifying criteria for mortgages insured by them. My focus is on the local market, and current results don't align with the idea of the market going into a deep downturn. We did see a large drop in sales volume in April/May and a much smaller drop in prices. As of mid-June, both sales volume and prices had recovered to pre-COVID levels. COVID has created a pause in our market. The economy continues to open back up, and unemployment levels will come back down. Read my daily market updates to see more, and watch for a big turnaround in the June 2020 results.
Tifanny on Aug 30, 2020 10:00 AM posted:
Hello John! Why is Bowmanville which is further more east than Oshawa selling homes for more money ?
John Owen, Broker RE/MAX Impact on Aug 30, 2020 10:53 AM posted:
Hi Tiffany, Bowmanville (and Clarington overall) has higher selling prices than Oshawa overall, largely because there are neighbourhoods within central and south Oshawa that typically have smaller and older homes with much lower selling prices. These areas contain a lot of houses too, so the sales in those areas bring the averages down overall. If we looked at more specific areas or home types and ages, we would get a different picture.
Aaron on Nov 20, 2020 9:51 AM posted:
As of Nov 20, 2020, the Durham Region Real Estate - Residential numbers from 2020-11-01 to 2020-11-16 seems to have an issue. I am looking at Brock. Under "All Types", I see 16 units with avg selling price of 909,094. Under Detached, I see 13 units with an average selling price of 730,092. I don't see any condos or townhomes for Brock, but those extra 3 townhomes/condos would've had to sell for millions to make these figures work. I really appreciate this data that you have put together. It is a fantastic source of current info for the Durham Region real estate market.
John Owen, Broker RE/MAX Impact on Nov 20, 2020 10:27 AM posted:
Hi Aaron, thank you for the positive feedback! In the sales data that you mentioned for Brock, the numbers are correct. The 3 transactions not shown are for types of property not summarized in the chart. In this case, there was one farm and two parcels of vacant land. I provide the data for the most common types of listings in the graphic, as they are the most relevant to most sellers and buyers. There are even more types that listings could be categorized that do not have enough sales volume to be statistically relevant.
M. Ainslie on Dec 21, 2020 7:45 AM posted:
John Owen, thank you for the stats. Very much appreciated. I've been carefully watching the market (with your help) and am very grateful in my decision to have held off for a year once Covid-19 hit early March 2020. It was a gamble, especially with CMHC's dire predictions. Two of my neighbours panicked and sold at the height of the lowest point in 2020. The market in Durham (the new quasi-Toronto) has taken off! Definitely a seller's market with just 0.4 MOI (Whitby). A detached home that isn't inches away from its neighbour, with a long driveway, income potential, close to great schooling, the 401/407/ GO station, and in a courtyard seems now to be all the more valuable. I've heard though it is Durham residents and not necessarily TO people. Durham people are eager to move up to the 800K + homes. Knowing the area, loving the community, needing parking, a quieter area, & the best schools. Toronto people haven't quite realized the full charm of Whitby. (SHHHH). John- Happy Holiday wishes. Again, my thanks and hats off to you for providing these stats. Take care and stay safe. All the best in 2021.
Mike on Dec 22, 2020 10:54 AM posted:
Hi John, great website and great info! keep up the great work. Just had some questions: 1. From your experience are these locals moving up to bigger places or is it out of towners buying because its relatively cheaper? 2. Do precon houses make sense in this market? from what i have seen they have already priced up factoring in future price increases. Thanks & Happy Holidays.
John Owen, Broker RE/MAX Impact on Dec 22, 2020 11:04 AM posted:
Hi Mike, thanks for the positive feedback! Regarding your questions, 1. There are a lot of people in both situations buying in Durham. A lot of local move-up buyers are looking at rural properties that offer more space and privacy, while a lot of GTA buyers are looking at Durham for value as one of the most affordable areas within commute distance to the city. 2. Pre-construction can be a great option with inventory being so scarce (no bidding wars!), provided you work with an experienced agent that can help with determining comparative value between builders and locations, as well as helping negotiate a fair contract. Builder agreements are notoriously complex, and can be loaded with hidden costs and fees. Also, builder sales agents may not be licensed Realtors, who are held to strict standards of conduct.
Dilshat on Dec 22, 2020 9:20 PM posted:
Hi John, Thank for for the great information, it did enhance my confidence on my job, recently I did reallocate to the bank in durham region as mortgage specialist, do you have any suggestion how can i build up my network with realtors, broker and potential customers in area?
John Owen, Broker RE/MAX Impact on Dec 23, 2020 11:04 AM posted:
Hi Dilshat. Glad to hear that you are finding my information helpful. My advice for building your business network is to reach out via social networks, events, and by doing the best you can with each client. Best of luck in the new year!
Dhana on Jul 13, 2021 2:37 PM posted:
Hi, thanks for the amazing stats. I would like to have your suggestion on how the market will be 1 year from now in the AJAX. Do you think the price for the detached houses will stay the same or go up/down. Thank you.
Prat on Oct 27, 2021 8:52 AM posted:
I am thinking of buying a stack townhouse type property in oshawa and would like to hold it for atleast 2 years. Until end of 2023. Do you think the property price will stay the same of go up in next 2-3 years? Also, what's the average price of such a property with 1100sq ft? Thanks
John Owen, Broker RE/MAX Impact on Oct 27, 2021 10:25 AM posted:
Hi Prat, no one can say for certain what will happen looking forward, but market conditions for Durham Region, in terms of inventory and demand, are very strong, and a substantial increase in inventory would be required to meet that demand in the coming few years. Economic conditions could have a negative impact on the market, through higher interest rates and then there is government policy (remember 2017?). I will reach out to you regarding your specific property questions.
Jonathan on Nov 6, 2021 2:44 AM posted:
Hi John, love the way you break out all this information into easily understandable charts! My one question is this: I typically see a distinction made between townhouses and semi-detached houses. Is there a reason you don't make that distinction? Is the data/sale prices between the two similar enough to not worry about it? Thanks!
John Owen, Broker RE/MAX Impact on Nov 6, 2021 11:57 AM posted:
Hi Jonathan. Glad to hear that you find the reports useful! Regarding your question on semi-detached homes, there are a number of different property types that I don't summarize, simply because there isn't enough sales data or interest from my audience to justify breaking down all of them on a frequent basis. When I work with a client on a property that is in one of these categories, then I will research accordingly.
Josh Stam on Jan 26, 2022 10:41 PM posted:
Oshawa is currently still under priced compared to the rest of the GTA and people just started noticing. The city changed a lot for the better and it certainty deserves more attention.
Ray on Aug 15, 2022 10:05 AM posted:
Are you able to look at the previous months to predict what the last quarter of 2022 will look like on the market? Also, How long does it take for you to compile all of these stats daily? Great layout. So comprehensive! Thanks John.
John Owen, Broker RE/MAX Impact on Aug 15, 2022 11:07 AM posted:
Hi Ray, Thank you for the kind words! Although it is possible to predict the future of the market, I tend to focus on recent historical numbers and events to help my clients in their current situations. As we have seen with the recent downturn (and the one in 2017), major economic events tend to affect the market very rapidly. Recently, it was changes in federal government policy affecting interest rates. As for the time I spend putting all this together, it varies, but it does take a lot of my time!

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