News Local

Average price of homes for sale increased by 17% last year locally

By Valerie MacDonald, Northumberland Today

Dan Bulger

Dan Bulger

NORTHUMBERLAND - 

The housing market in Northumberland County continues to be impacted by the very low inventory of properties for sale, both the outgoing and incoming head of the Northumberland Hills Association of Realtors agree.

Prices were driven up 17% from an average house price of $307,274 in 2015 to $359,672 in 2016, past-president Dan Bulger said in an interview. The usual year-over-year increase is in the range of 3 to four 4%, the 18-year realtor added.

At the same time, there was a 14.2% drop in all properties available for sale in the county for the same period between December 2015 and 2016. There were 2,299 properties making up the inventory at the end of December of 2015 compared to just 1,988 properties available for sale at the end of last month.

Northumberland is in an extended sellers’ market, Bulger also said.

“The market itself was strong (last year) for sellers...but there is not enough inventory out there,” the new president Sam Miron agreed in an interview.

Prices were driven up by this lack of inventory, he added. Another factor was that people were selling at even higher prices to the west of this market and then were able to move here and buy an equivalent home for less than they had just sold for, Miron said.

Northumberland continues to be a desirable area in which to live from a quality of life perspective in addition to major construction projects underway providing skilled, high-paying jobs.

These include nearby nuclear plant refurbishments, the low-level historic radioactive waste clean-up in Port Hope and construction of the 407 extension, Bulger said. The former will provide jobs for decades and the latter will become a “floodgate to commuters,” he added.

Last year was frustrating for buyers facing competition from multiple offers on properties and “we’re still entrenched in a sellers’ market right now.”

This is affecting Port Hope and Cobourg primarily.

This, coupled with new mortgage rules, may impact the market further but that won’t be known until two or three months into 2017, Bulger said.

At the same time, however, he is predicting opportunity in the Northumberland housing market with Toronto and Durham Region buyers continuing to knock on doors in this county.

“I think we’re poised economically to have a good 2017,” Bulger said.

vmacdonald@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/NT_vmacdonald