The Realtor’s Association of Hamilton-Burlington has released our market stats for the month of March 2019. It was a very busy month. You can feel the activity increasing as the weather warms up. Through the end of February and into March, we experienced a dramatic increase in activity and listings. It was definitely a busier March this year than March 2018.

Now that the first quarter has passed, it’s easy to say that Hamilton’s market continues to really stand on its own. Hamilton is leading the country as far as growth in prices, activity and desirability. We continue to push forward and grow. We have, and we will continue to see, exceptional results and gains here in the Hamilton market, especially compared to other markets.

Going into this month’s statistics, sales are down 2% for this month: March 2018 saw 664 homes trading hands, while this month saw 649 trading hands. This is a very comparable amount, with the differences being rather negligible. We’re looking at a very balanced month for sales.

New listings were up 4%: there are a few more listings on the market. March 2018 there were 1,069 listings, while this month there were 1,108 listings. There’s a little more inventory available. Active listings are up 50%: a trend continuing over the last few months. In March 2018, we had 921 active listings. In March 2019, we have 1,303 active listings.

It’s not uncommon to see more inventory on the market, or more active listings on the market, as we just went through the winter months. Winter months are seasonally slower months. Last year, March was a little busier than normal, as the new mortgage rules had come into effect. So we’re seeing more of a return to normal levels of inventory just following the winter season. Inventory should begin to tighten as we get into the busier season.

Last year, 1.4 months of inventory was sitting on the market. This year, 2.1 months.

Average sales prices are up 6%. Hamilton is doing absolutely exceptional. Things here are bucking the trend. We’re way above the national average. Hamilton really continues to stand out among virtually every other community in Canada, as prices here are continuing to move up very quickly.

Average prices in March 2018 were $490,939. This year, it’s $519,309. Average home prices are well over the $500,000 mark now consistently here in Hamilton. Prices vary quite dramatically from community to community but overall things are moving up.

We’ve seen an exceptional month and an exceptional first quarter, in regards to Hamilton’s home prices. Despite what many have said, a lot of negative people, and a lot of people critical of my comments about home values continuing to increase, the proof is in the pudding. Values have not stopped increasing.

The fundamentals in the market here continue to be strong. We’re in the very early innings of a massive revitalization and turnaround here. We anticipate nothing but positive price growth to continue.

Average days on market are up 5.1 days. So last year, 26 days on average. This year, they’re taking about 31.2 days, so just up slightly. That’s not abnormal again. Typically, in the early months of the season, days on market will increase a little bit as they’re a little slower. As we get into the busier months, we’ll see days on the market drop.

I want to stress that the market is very different depending on where you’re looking in the city of Hamilton and in what price range. Of course, if we were to zero in on the $0 to $500,000 range, we would see sales activity up much higher, we would see inventory much lower, and we’d see average sales prices much higher than the average of 6%. We’d also see days on market a lot lower than the 31.2 average that we’re seeing overall.

The $0 to $500,000 bracket is absolutely on fire. Buyers are losing out. Homes are selling for well over list. And buyers are having to remove conditions in order to be competitive. We’ve sold many of our listings this month in that price range for well over list price. One of our listings sold for almost $70,000 more than list price. This is not a rare occurrence. When homes are priced effectively, marketed effectively, the demand is there. It’s really a tale of two markets: that story still continues.

Looking at the different communities in Hamilton, there are significant increases overall.

Looking at Hamilton West as an example, prices are up significantly. Last year the average of price of home was $419,918. This year, $474,470. Hamilton East, last year average price was $364,926 and this year $384,011. Last March, in Hamilton Centre, a home on average sold for $317,681: this year $372,046. Hamilton Mountain last March was $461,250, this year it’s $488,374.

In Flamborough, we saw and continue to see things soften, Flamborough of course being a higher bracket community. Values there have been impacted a lot more, especially with the tightening of the new mortgage rules, stress test, and buyers really being pushed downwards as far as price point. So we’ve seen things a bit weak there consistently. But also being a rural community, it only takes a few expensive properties to swing the numbers up or down. This year, we saw fewer homes actually sold, and it turns out for less money.

Last year the average sales price was $800,179, this year it was $724,908. This difference in price could be attributed to just the price point of the homes that happened to sell this month. So I wouldn’t put a lot of weight on that, but definitely overall Flamborough hasn’t been seeing the growth that many of the other communities in Hamilton have experienced over the last year.

In Dundas, prices are up year over year for March. Last year the values were at $656,630, this year $682,707. Ancaster, values are up: March of last year, the average home sold $723,682. This year $778,380. In Waterdown, the average price went from $655,536, to this year at $682,854. In Stoney Creek, again, prices are up from last year. A home in Stoney creek in March was $504,401. This year, it’s $538,455.

In Glanbrook, prices are up from $532,491, to this year at $567,037. Virtually every community is up substantially except Flamborough. March is our strongest month yet for price growth and price activity so far in 2019.

All signs are pointing towards a very busy spring market. So, we will see how things roll out in April, as the weather continues to improve.