In the olden days of yore we used to judge the changing of the seasons by stepping outside and observing the natural environment. Cooler evenings and the kaleidoscope of colours would indicate the onset of Fall and a powdering of snow was a sure indicator that winter was upon us. The weather seems a less reliable indicator these days but not to worry the world of marketing and retail sales will keep us focused on the changing seasons. If you haven’t left your house since Halloween you may not have noticed that it is suddenly Christmas everywhere you look. Unfortunately, the real estate market does not flip seasons as easily as your local retailer and the indicators we look for are harder to spot. The fall market is influenced by many things including believe it or not, when we get our first snow fall. Snow and bad weather not only indicate the approaching holidays when nobody really wants strangers tromping through their houses in Uggs and Blundstones and understandably the typical Seller and Buyer start to consider things other than real estate (I know we hardly believe it ourselves). This fall has been a particularly difficult market to get a finger on. Some days are hotter than average and setting records and some neighbourhoods feel like they are in a cool chill. New legislation makes some people think that the market will end early and has others thinking it will go to the last day of the year. We will keep on working and let you know how our seasonal transition fairs.
In the freehold market the number of new listings and sales both showed continued declines after seeing numbers rise through the first two weeks of October. Listings were down 7% over the previous week to 166 from 180 but are down a significant 30% since the mid-month high of 237. Sales declined 30% over the previous week from 136 to 93 and the percentage of homes that sold above their advertised price was 46%, down 12% from the previous week. The east end continues to be the hottest freehold market with 65% of all sales going above their listed price.
The condo market held steady in new listings with an increase of 10% up 28 new listings to 295 last week. The new listings have been incredibly consistent for months with each week being within 10-15% up or down of the previous week. There seems much less variation in numbers of new condo listings than compared to the freehold market. There was a similar decline of sales in the condo market as with the freehold market with 26% fewer units selling last week over the previous week. The number of condos selling above their listed price was 32% which falls within the typical range we have seen the entire fall market, never straying from 25-35% of condos selling above their advertised price.