Over the last 18 months, many Canadians have been fleeing big city centres in favour of smaller, more rural towns. A key factor driving this migration has been the pandemic-related shift to remote working arrangements, unburdening many working professionals from needing to live within driving distance to the office. This has made areas of Ontario, such as the Huron Perth real estate market, a hot-spot for not just retirees, but young professionals and families too. Many projected that these trends would reverse once society shifted back to a post-pandemic normal, but many businesses have decided to make remote working arrangements a permanent fixture, and thus demand in many small-town Ontario real estate markets, such as Huron Perth, remains high for longer than anticipated. But what is recent market data showing as we dip into the cooler temperatures of fall 2021?
Is Huron Perth Real Estate Starting to Cool?
Coming off a hot start to the year, it appears that the Huron Perth real estate market is finally starting to cool as we head into fall. In August 2021, the region saw home sales decrease slightly by 4.2% per cent from 261 to 250 when comparing August 2020 to 2021. While home sales were slightly lower than last year, they were still 12.9 per cent above the five-year average and 21.6 per cent above the 10-year average for the month of August.
A slightly less busy month than July, August still contributed greatly to year-to-date unit sales, with 1,662 transactions registered in the first eight months of the year; a 16.8-per-cent increase year-over-year.
While residential unit sales were slightly lower than the numbers posted in 2020, Kathy Dawson, President of the Huron Perth Association of REALTORS notes that this past August was one of the best of all time. “Despite coming down from the record August in 2020, this August still managed to post the second-best level for this month in history. Considering the more substantial declines in other Southern Ontario markets where sales are trending at average levels, this is quite the accomplishment.”
New listings on the market during August were 2.9 per cent higher than the same time last year, coming in at 251 new residential listings on the market. This was the largest number of new listings added in the month of August in more than five years and was slightly above the five- and 10-year averages for the month.
Active residential listings numbered 187 units at the end of August, a substantial decline of 34.4 per cent year-over-year. Active listings haven’t been this low in the month of August in more than three decades. Dawson adds that while new listings are low, they are still enough to keep the market stable. “New listings are also holding up remarkably well, which is bringing much-needed supply to the market and might be part of the reason why sales are doing so well. Without this influx of new listings, we might otherwise see overall inventories decline even further to new record lows.”
Despite promising levels of new listings, the number of active listings in the Huron Perth real estate market has dropped substantially to 52.6 per cent below the five-year average and 75.5 per cent below the 10-year average for the month of August, leading to upward pressure on prices.
At the end of August, the MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark price clocked in at $536,600. While this is well below the national average for a residential property, it is a substantial gain of 36.9 per cent compared to the benchmark price in August 2020.
While the MLS HPI composite benchmark price is $536,600, the average price of a home sold in Huron Perth during August 2021 was a staggering $598,424 – an 11.5-per-cent difference. This is also 24.3 per cent higher than the average price of a home sold in August 2020.
What to Expect in the Huron Perth Housing Market as the Year Rolls On
As we shift into the final few months of the year, it is expected that housing prices in the Huron Perth real estate market will remain relatively stable. Demand isn’t expected to pick up in the typically slower fall and winter home-buying seasons, so supply levels may have a chance to catch up, helping to soften property prices across the county as we move into 2022.