RAHB REALTORS® Release August Statistics

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,089 residential sales were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in August, 2018, less than one percent more than the same month last year and 2.9 per cent fewer than the 10-year average for the month.

Residential freehold sales were exactly the same as August of last year, while condominium sales were 2.9 per cent higher.

New residential listings were three per cent lower than the same month last year, and 4.5 per cent lower than the 10-year average.

“August was the first month this year that sales were closer to the 10-year average. Monthly sales have been double-digits lower than average, where this month they were less than three per cent lower,” says RAHB CEO George O’Neill. “In fact, if you remove the two record-setting months of August in 2015 and 2016, sales were in line with the 10-year average.”

The average residential sale price for August 2018 was 2.4 per cent lower than August of last year.

“The number of sales in the condominium market were higher this August, with a corresponding increase in the average sale price for condos over last year,” adds O’Neill. “This might indicate some buyers are looking to purchase more inexpensive options.”

When looking at the year-to-date number of sales and average sale price, the peak of the spring market for residential occurred in May. RAHB expects there to be the usual upswing moving into the fall market.

Neighbourhoods throughout the RAHB area experience results that differ from the average of the entire RAHB market area. In August, Hamilton Centre, Burlington, Stoney Creek and Dunnville experienced significantly higher increases in residential average sale price than the RAHB average, while Hamilton West and Flamborough experienced slightly greater decreases in average price than the RAHB average.

Neighbourhoods vary, so determining the right price when buying or selling a property can be challenging. Local REALTORS® have the experience and tools to help buyers and sellers make those big decisions, so please consult with one.


Why do condo fees differ?

Highrise Condo Fees in Burlington seem to be all over the map.  Why do they vary so much?

On average, maintenance fees range from a low of approximately $0.33 /square foot to a high of $0.94/square foot.  Why?

Well, the first, most significant factor that affects the level of condo fees in any building is the number of units.  Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT the extent of amenities.

 

Example #1:  We will compare 3 buildings.  All buildings have an indoor swimming pool, party room, games room, underground parking garage, and landscaped communal BBQ area.

All buildings are separately metered for hydro.  All have 24 hour security.

 

Size                       Condo Fee/sq ft.

Building #1          330 Units             $.57/sq ft

Building #2          187 Units             $.61/sq ft

Building #3          117 Units             $.68/sq ft

 

Example #2:  We will compare 2 buildings with very few amenities, in fact none.  No security, no pools, underground garage, and small party rooms.

 

Size                       Condo Fee/sq ft

Building #1          13 Units               $.67/sq ft

Building #2          135 Units             $.47/sq ft

 

Note:  Building #1 in the second example has condo fees as high as Building #3 in the first example.  And Building #3 in the first example is loaded amenities!

So, to get the lowest condo fees, buy into the largest development with no amenities.    The single most costly amenity is security – especially 24 hours around the clock.  This is one of the largest items in a condo budget.   A topic for another day.


Cursing Condo Fees!

Many people tell me they love the idea of condos for all the good reasons (freedom, lock the door and go, peace of mind, modern fittings and finishes, no more snow, built in community, contemporary layouts, great locations, convenient amenities) but just simply won’t consider buying one because they can’t stomach the idea of paying condo fees.

I call their bluff…..they are just  not ready for a condo move.

To replicate the level of amenities and service that one gets in a condo, to fully quantify all of the operating costs of a detached home and also to contribute monthly to a slush fund for future major expenditures, condominium fees start to look like a bargain.

Well, that may be excessive, but you know what I mean.

I fully admit that one has to willingly and gleefully embrace the condo lifestyle.  If you want to save money by cutting your own grass and cleaning your eaves troughs and shoveling snow, you are not a good condo candidate. But if you are ready to embrace the hassle-free condo lifestyle the condo fees are part of the package.

Watch for my next post where I will dive into why condo fees vary from building to building.

Thanks for reading!!

 


RAHB REALTORS® Release July Statistics

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,072 residential sales were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in July 2018, 4.7 per cent fewer than the same month last year and 16.3 per cent fewer than the 10-year average for the month.

Residential freehold sales were 3.2 per cent lower, and condominium sales were 11.5 per cent lower, than July last year.

New residential listings were 8.4 per cent lower than the same month last year, but 1.5 per cent higher than the 10-year average.

“Comparing this July to last does not necessarily provide an accurate picture of the market, as last year’s increase in listings and prices were influenced by government regulations,” says RAHB President and local REALTOR® Jack Loft. “Right now, we are sitting on the border between a balanced market and a seller’s market.”

The average residential sale price for July 2018 was up 1.3 per cent, continuing the upwards trend for the month of July over the past 10 years.

Neighbourhoods throughout the RAHB area experience results that differ from the average of the entire RAHB market area. In July, while Hamilton Centre, Hamilton Mountain and Burlington followed the trend of significantly fewer sales compared to last year but had higher increases in average sale price, Ancaster saw an increase in sales but a dip in the average sale price compared to last year.

“Even within neighbourhoods, the real estate market differs from one street to another, from one property to another,” adds Loft. “REALTORS® know the local markets and can help buyers and sellers navigate their way to a successful home buying or home selling experience.”


What Makes a Condo Floor Plan Work??

Of course, that’s personal.  To buy a condo from floor plans can be a daunting task at best.  For those of you who have trouble picturing a 2 dimensional floor plan in real life, let me give you a hint on how to see it in 3D and how you can imagine you would live in it.

Take a walk with me.  Yes, I mean, take a walk.  Mentally or virtually.

Start at the front door.  Open it.  What do you see immediately – a beautiful piece of art, a hallway, a doorway, a closet, a foyer?   Kick off your shoes.    Hang up your coat.  Where do you throw your keys?

Take your groceries to the kitchen.  Make dinner.  How is the magic triangle (a line from fridge to stove to sink) working in this kitchen?   Where is the prep area,  cooking area and clean up area?    What do you see when you stand at your sink?  Is there enough cupboard space?

Answer your door when visitors arrive.  Hang up their coats.  Take them into your living room.  Serve them a drink.  Go out to your balcony.  How are you sitting?  Can you create a conversation circle that works in both your living room and your balcony?  Sit down for dinner.  Where are you sitting?  What do you see?  Where does your TV go?

Now it’s time for bed.  Walk into the bedroom.  Where is the entrance door to the bedroom?  Does it bang into any other doors such as an ensuite bathroom or closet door?   Do you have to close your bedroom door in order to get into your closet?  How big is the closet?  Where do you keep your laundry hamper?

Oh no, it’s time to do laundry.  Take your hamper (from where?) to the laundry.  Where do you fold?  Where do you keep sheets and towels?

How large are the windows?  Which way does it face?  Whether you want a lot or a little, how much sun will you get?  What will you be looking at when you sit on your sofa – both inside and outside of your unit.  Do you have full view into a bathroom from your living room….this isn’t really pleasant.  Do you look into a wall of an adjacent building or do you have a vista of some kind?

Thank you for going on a virtual walk with me. Hope it helps.

 


The Condo Market is Hot!

Condos still remain the affordable option for many – especially in Burlington!

While the average condo price in the GTA in June 2018 was $774,554, (23.5% increase year or year) the average price of a condo in Burlington compared to Toronto is still a bargain!

Toronto has broken the $1,000/sq ft threshold on average for new condos, Burlington’s offerings for new condos hover in the low to mid $700’s/square foot as of June 2018. (Urbanation Report:  Project Sales by Municipality and Sub-Market)

With a current shortage of supply in both the resale and new condos, these numbers appear to only be going up.

Careful!  Averages can be deceiving.    Burlington, for example has new condos for sale ranging from the $500’s/sq. ft. to over $1,000/sq. ft.


RAHB REALTORS® Release June Statistics

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,257 sales were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in June, 14.2 per cent fewer than the same month last year and 19.2 per cent fewer than the 10-year average for the month.

All property listings were 19 per cent lower than the same month last year, but 1.1 per cent higher than the 10-year average. Residential sales were 13.7 per cent lower than June of last year, with residential freehold sales 13.3 per cent lower and condominium sales 15.6 per cent lower than the same month last year.

“Having a more balanced market this year really showcases how busy the market was for the last few years,” says RAHB CEO George O’Neill. “Sales and listings are down from last year, but they’re being compared to a year impacted by government regulations. The regular spring market pattern has returned this year.”

Although the average residential sale price for June 2018 is lower compared to June 2017, prices have made healthy gains over the past five and 10 years.

There has been an increase in sales in some areas of our market, such as Hamilton West, Dundas, Grimsby and Dunnville. Some areas which were particularly active over the last few years, such as Hamilton East, Hamilton Centre and Burlington, are still experiencing fewer sales.

“The numbers show the fluctuations and distinct characteristics between our various communities,” adds O’Neill. “This is why a local RAHB REALTOR®’s professional advice is critical when buying and selling your property.”

*Average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold through the RAHB MLS® System. Average sale price can be useful in establishing long-term trends, but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value.

 


RAHB REALTORS® Release May Statistics

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,317 sales were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in May, 27 per cent fewer than the same month last year and 18 per cent fewer than the 10-year average for the month.

All property listings were 19.8 per cent lower than the same month last year, but 5.4 per cent higher than the 10-year average.

“There’s definitely been a trend to fewer sales compared to the 10-year average since the spring of last year, when the Fair Housing Act came into effect and, coincidentally, the real estate market underwent a significant change,” said RAHB CEO George O’Neill. “However, the local real estate market is stable and is, in fact, following the normal progression of increasing spring-time sales from the lows of December and January.”

Overall, residential sales of 1,273 units were 26.2 per cent lower than May of last year. Residential freehold sales were 28.9 per cent lower than the same month last year, while sales in the condominium market were 13 per cent lower.

The median price of freehold properties decreased by 5.7 per cent compared to the same month of the previous year, while the median price for condominium properties remained the same.

“The condominium market is not seeing the drop in average and median sale prices seen in the freehold market,” noted O’Neill. “Prices were stable compared to last year, suggesting that lower priced properties and the condo market are faring quite well. That market is also seeing a higher sales-to-new-listing ratio and is on the border between a balanced and seller’s market.”

The average price of freehold properties declined by 8.5 per cent from May 2017, and the average sale price in the condominium market increased by nearly one per cent compared to the same period.

Average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold through the RAHB MLS® System. Average sale price can be useful in establishing long-term trends, but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. Please contact a local REALTOR® for information about your specific neighbourhood or property.

The average number of days on market rose to 27 days from 16 days in the freehold market and increased to 28 days from 16 days in the condominium market, compared to the same month last year.

“There continues to be an increase in average days on market, which is good for the market overall,” added O’Neill. “Buyers have more time; sellers can be more confident that when they sell and turn to buying their next property they won’t be faced with rapidly escalating purchase prices. A RAHB REALTOR® can help buyers and sellers navigate their way through this.”

Every community in RAHB’s area has its own localized characteristics that influence that market. Please ensure you contact a local RAHB REALTOR® for professional advice.