London and area home sales sink 55 per cent in April as pandemic freezes activity
ACCORDING TO THE London St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR), London area home sales fell by more than 50 per cent in April as the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing rules incurred slowed the real estate market to a crawl.
Last month, there were 469 home sales in the entire LSTAR jurisdiction, down 55.4 per cent from April 2019 and 54.8 per cent less than in April 2010. The number of LSTAR’s listings dropped to 738 in April, which represents a 50.3 per centr decrease from a year ago and 56.8 per cent from 10 years ago.
“As anticipated, the volume of sales was one of the lowest for April since the association started tracking data, back in 1978,” said 2020 LSTAR president, Blair Campbell. “However, when analyzing these figures, one has to take into account a few facts: at the beginning of April, the Government of Ontario prohibited open houses, many sellers decided to postpone putting their properties on the market and many realtors stopped trading in order to protect their families and their clients. Now, with the provincial government planning to re-open the economy, we are expecting that, once that happens, the local markets will start to gradually recover.”
Compared to a year ago, the overall average home price saw an increase of 0.4 per cent, rising to $423,143 in April. This average sales price includes all housing types, from single detached homes to high-rise apartment condominiums. In the five major areas of LSTAR’s region, average home sales price performed differently.
“Looking at London’s three main geographic areas, London South saw the highest number of home sales last month, while London North saw the biggest price gain compared to April 2019,” Campbell said.
The average home price in London East was $353,009, up 3.7 per cent from the same time last year, while in London North increased 4.6 per cent over the same period to $530,499. In London South, which also includes data from the west of the city, the average home price was $428,479, down 1.6 per cent over April 2019. St. Thomas saw an average price of $367,566, an increase of 3.1 per cent from last April.