Niagara sees slight dip in housing prices

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April was the first time in nearly a year that regional prices didn’t tick up on a month over month basis. Photo credit: Rodnae Productions

 

For the first time since July 2021, housing prices in Niagara decreased last month.

According to statistics aggregated by the Niagara Association of Realtors, the local Housing Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark price dipped by 1.3 per cent between March and April 2022, going from $825,300 to $814,600.

The deceleration was felt across most of the province, as the spring supply gave buyers more options and the Bank of Canada’s 0.50 percentage point interest rate hike scared off certain borrowers. 

Niagara Association of Realtors president Jim Brown said the latest figures indicate a “trend towards a balanced market.”

“Signs of this trend are noted by the increase in the number of new listings and the reduction in the number sales, year over year,” Brown said in a statement. “This trend also exists in our month-to-month summary of listing and sales activity. The Association will continue to watch this activity in the months ahead.” 

The largest raw figure decrease was in Pelham, where the composite benchmark price fell by $60,000 from $1,171,400 to $1,111,400. Welland also saw a significant dip, where the HPI price fell $33,700 from $686,500 to $652,800. 

But prices didn’t decrease uniformly across the region. In fact, prices actually increased in St. Catharines, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Lincoln. What’s more, on the whole, prices were still well above 2021 levels, up 26.6 per cent on a year over year basis.

Down from 830 the previous month and 1,083 the same time last year, 707 properties changed ownership in April. 

The average number of days on the market was 14.

Despite the slight cooling, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), which on Monday released its ‘A Home for Everyone’ 2022 provincial election platform, said that “the Canadian dream of home ownership (remains) on life support in Ontario”.

“As of March, ten out of 36 real estate markets in Ontario had an average home price over a million dollars, and six others are on the verge of breaking the million-dollar mark. High-prices are driving young families right out of the province to find a home they can afford,” said OREA CEO Tim Hudak. 

“Ontario stands to lose its edge as one of the most attractive places to raise a family or start a business because of the runaway cost of housing.”

Ontario home prices have tripled in the last ten years, but average household incomes have increased only 30 per cent. 

Historically under-valued, Niagara’s HPI benchmark price has more than doubled since 2018, when it was $395,400 for the year. 

Calculated using a sophisticated statistical model that considers a home’s quantitative and qualitative features, the HPI provides a more stable price indicator than average prices, as it tracks changes to ‘middle-of-the-range’ or ‘typical’ homes and excludes extreme high-end and low-end properties.

The HPI composite benchmark is currently a 1,276 square foot home between 51 to 99 years old with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. 

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