When we look at the sales information for the first three quarters of 2014 vs 2015, Kingston saw an increase in single family home sales of 7.7%. This is considerably better than last year which saw a decrease over 2013 sales of nearly 6%. We don’t see this changing much by years end.
There were 553 new residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System in October 2015, down 5.5 per cent from the record October last year. However, this was still the second highest October level ever. Active residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System numbered 1,899 units at the end of October, down 10.5 per cent from the end of October 2014. There were 7.8 months of inventory at the end of October 2015, down from 8.5 months at the end of October 2014 and below the long-run average for this time of the year. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.
The sales-to-new-listings ratio continues to be around the 37%. Effectively, what this means is that for every 3 houses which are put onto the market, only one sells. This is important to understand when listing your home.
Kingston’s average selling price of $290,580 saw a nice increase of 5.7% over the same period as last year. This increase is not seen as prices taking off but more so of a weakness of the prices in the 4th quarter of 2014.
Mortgage rates continue on the downward slope. As of October 21st, 2015, the advertised five-year lending rate stood at 4.64 per cent, unchanged from the previous Bank rate announcement on September 9th, and down 0.15 percentage points from one year ago. The next interest rate announcement will be on December 2nd, 2015, while the next update to the Monetary Policy Report will be On January 20th 2016. It is unknown what effect the introduction of the new Liberal government will be on these rates.
Employment and unemployment figures remained pretty steady. All these factors are great news for the Kingston housing market. It is forecasted that Ontario home sales over the next couple of years will be stable. This could change if we see increases in the mortgage rates.
New Home Sales
The price of buying a new home has been steadily increasing. The average price in the Kingston area for a single family home is $323k vs. 2010 when we saw the average price of $277k. New home starts have been steadily decreasing since a boom in 2003. The Kingston area saw a high of almost 900 new units started in 2003. Comparatively, 2014 saw 462 starts, and as of the end of October 2015 we are at 257 starts, a drop of 28% over the same period as last year.