(January 29, 2016 – Hamilton, Ontario) The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) expects to see much the same real estate market in 2016 as in 2015.

“Continued low interest rates, a favourable employment outlook and a continuing low inflation rate bode well for the real estate market,” said RAHB CEO George O’Neill.  “The same factors that contributed to the strong market over the past few years should continue to have a positive influence in the coming year.”

The high cost of housing in the GTA will continue to drive first-time buyers and young families out of the GTA, and the Hamilton-Burlington market continues to offer attractive alternatives for home buyers.  With expanded GO service throughout the region, it will be easier to work in Toronto and live in communities south-west.  A strong culture supporting entrepreneurs has also proven to attract new residents to the area.

The new mortgage rules coming into effect next month will have a small impact on some of the more expensive areas of the market, but the graduated nature of the new down payment requirements is expected to minimize this impact for most of the Hamilton-Burlington market.

For the coming year, RAHB expects to see 20,000 residential listings, 15,000 residential sales and an increase in average sale price of about four per cent.  The sellers’ market will continue.

Results from 2015 show that all property types listings and overall sales increased over the previous year, with the average sale price up by 8.3 per cent.  Total dollar volume from the sale of all property types was $7.378 billion, a 20 per cent increase over 2014.

The residential market saw similar increases over the previous year, with new listings up by 6.1 per cent, sales up by 11 per cent and the average sale price up 8.9 per cent over 2014.  Average days on market dropped from 39 to 34 days in 2015.

The strong seller’s market from 2014 continued throughout 2015, with all-time sales records broken in April, then again in May and again in June.  Five monthly sales records were broken through the last months of the year.

While the average sale price of residential listings showed an 8.9 per cent increase over 2014, the average remained relatively stable throughout 2015.

“We saw a jump in average sale price early in the year, and since then the average price has been pretty constant.  It looked as though we kept seeing big increases every month, but that was only in comparison to the previous year,” noted O’Neill.  “There’s no doubt we’ve seen an increase over last year, but we didn’t see big changes from month to month throughout the year.”

O’Neill cautioned home sellers and buyers about using the RAHB average sale price as an indicator of the price of their own home or one to purchase.  “Every neighbourhood in RAHB’s market area is different,” said O’Neill, “and each has its own characteristics and influences on price.  I highly recommend  buyers and sellers use the services of a local professional – a RAHB REALTOR® – when they are buying or selling a home.”

Comparison

Every community in RAHB’s market area has its own localized residential market.  Please refer to the accompanying charts for residential market activity in select areas in RAHB’s jurisdiction.

RAHB Market Activity for 2014 to 2015 Hamilton for year 2015 Burlington for year 2015