Last update January 4, 2023, at 10:15 a.m.
High interest rates and inflationary concerns continued to drive the real estate market in Durham Region this December with inventory levels falling off from high point for the past year, and sales volume continuing to fall. Prices dropped to a low point for 2023, and the lowest annual sales volume since 2001.
Even with the increase in inventory, multiple offer situations are still commonplace in lower price ranges, as buyers scramble to compete for homes within their budgets.
Supply is low to moderate, with 1.7 months of inventory (MOI) for the entire region (trend figure, actual 2.4), 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). That figure is the lowest for all GTA regions.
We haven't seen a true buyer's market across Durham Region since 2008, as shown in the chart below. In December of that year, months of inventory spiked to 9.
In December, transactions reported had selling prices averaging 860,622 in Durham Region, with the average property selling at 99% of list price (SP/LP). This is a 2.5% decrease from last month and a 1.6% decrease from last year's period.
Durham home prices are still the most affordable in the entire GTA.
Here is a look at average detached home selling prices each day over the past 3 months: The trend was showing prices climbing at a healthy pace over the first several months of the year, and lower over the summer. They have been relatively stable in the last 90 days.
The average selling price of detached homes is summarized in the following map.
Townhouse sale prices averaged close to 800,000 across the region.
Condo prices varied widely across the GTA, as shown in the following map:
Sale prices are still averaging close to list prices in Durham. The following chart shows how buyer competition has slowed since the spring of this year, but not nearly at the same scale as we saw last year following the start of interest rate hikes.
As of late, many listings at lower price points are posted with offer dates, where no offers will be considered until that date. This is intended to put pressure on buyers (given the shortage of listings) and generate multiple offers.
Also, SPLP has averaged near the 100% mark, indicating that some homes sell above their list price. This shows that a common scenario is for there to be 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 red bars in the graph above, indicating days where the average sale was for more than 100% of list price. The blue bars are under 100%. The predominance of red bars shifted to blue early in November, illustrating more strength for buyers in the market.
Days on market (DOM) averaged 25. DOM is the number of days it takes for a property to be sold firm, or without any remaining conditions.
This figure had dropped substantially in the spring and was higher over the summer.
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. They rose to the highest levels since 2020, though sales have been strong enough to keep inventory levels low compared to the pace of sales. They have fallen off since their peak in October.
Working with an agent to compete among selling properties is vital with increased listing inventory. When listings were more scarce, (including now but at lower price points) 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.
The sales rate has decreased by 13.3% compared to last month and is up 23.2% compared to last year. There were 468 units sold in December.
The following chart shows the daily sales volume for the past 3 months.
Here are the figures for each community in Durham Region:
Buyers will still find multiple offer situations in some 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.
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About the Author
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 - firstname.lastname@example.org