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Real Estate: lots of buyers, fewer homes on the market

Published on

Cathy Dobson

There aren’t enough houses on the market to match the needs of Sarnians ready to buy, says the president of the Sarnia Lambton Real Estate Board.

“I’m finding more buyers than listings,” said Jane Baker. “Our market is currently overloaded with buyers and we need some fresh inventory.”

Other agents are saying the same thing, she added.

“Maybe people are waiting for better weather to make improvements and put their home on the market. I really don’t know, but right now we’ve got a lot of buyers and not a lot to show them.”

But the statistics don’t necessary reflect a slump in real estate activity. In March, sales for the month were up 33% over March of 2014. Dollar volume was up too by 31% over last March.

Homes in the $150,000 to $250,000 price range saw the most activity, with 57 sold.  Another 38 homes sold in the $250,000 to $350,000 range.

The average selling price in March was $217,800.

“We had lots of action in the mid-to-higher range,” said Baker. “There was a dip in activity in February but March was a busier month.”

Better weather almost always equates to better sales, she said, and more activity is expected in April.

The MLS system listed 778 houses on the market in Sarnia-Lambton in February. That’s down 14% from the year before. By the time April arrived the number of listings had only inched up to 791.

At the same time, the number of potential buyers calling their real estate agents has been consistently high in 2015.  That’s likely due, in part, to low interest rates, said Baker. Rates have been hovering around 2.5% for a five-year fixed mortgage.

“We’re seeing a lot of buyers from out of town and people who are ready to move up from their first home,” she added.

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