Durham Market Analysis
The Toronto Real Estate Board tracks statistics using geographic boundaries called MLS areas. These areas typically correspond quite closely to counties or regions. In the case of Durham, it is basically the Regional Municipality of Durham, typically called Durham Region. With just under 650,000 residents, Durham includes Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, Clarington, Uxbridge, Scugog and Brock.
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Below you’ll find the latest statistics on what’s going on in the Durham area and our take on what it means. We do that by answering three questions for you.
Let’s get started.
Let’s review the big picture before we get into the details below. We saw the number of sales in Durham rise by a insignificant amount in April and at the same time, our average sale price saw a small increase. On the supply side, we saw the number of new listings that hit the market drop but by only by a small amount.
Here’s the latest charts for each of the three big categories (number of sales, average sale price and number of new listings), going back month by month for the last two years.
Let’s begin by looking at the number of sales that happened in the last month. This is a fundamental stat as it tells us how many deals are actually taking place in the market. We’re particularly focused on how busy this month was compared to the last month as well as any trends we see in the number of sales that have been taking place recently. It’s also interesting to see if this a typical month in terms of sales, which we do by looking at the chart below and seeing how it compares to the same time last year and the year before.
When we review the number of sales in Durham, we see that there were about 5% more sales in April than March. In actual number of transactions, we went from 863 sales up to 903, which means on a month over month basis, there were approximately 40 more sales in Durham.
The average sale price tends to fluctuate month by month and there are definitely seasonal variability. Using the chart below, we can look for any recent market trends in terms of pricing rising or dropping for a number of months and look back at the same time last year and two years ago to see what sort of annual appreciation we’ve been seeing for sale prices.
While the level of activity in the market (i.e. the number of sales) is an important aspect, the big question is what happened to the average sale price in Durham in April? In March the average price was $925,366 and April saw that go up by 3.3% to $956,240. That works out to a difference of about $31,000 when compared to last month.
The final indicator of what’s happening in the market is the number of new listings that came on the market. Again, we look for trends to see if the number are steadily increasing or decreasing, whether this month saw more or fewer new properties get listed and of course how it compares to this time of year by looking at this time a year ago and two years ago.
In order to get a sense of how it felt if you were buying or selling in Durham, we can look at how long it took properties to sell in April as well as what sale price sellers received as a percentage of their list price. When we do so, we see that the average days on market saw a somewhat significant decrease and the sale to list price ratio saw a big increase. Let’s get into more specifics below so we can see how those changes would have impacted how buyers and sellers felt in April.
Here’s the latest charts for these two categories (average days on market and average sale to list price ratio), going back month by month for the last two years.
One of the best indicators of how a market feels is how long homes remain on the market. The quicker they fly off the market, the more frantic and stressful it can be for both sides. While it may seem like that is always positive for sellers, make no mistake, it can be stressful when sellers receive lots of attention or offers quickly. The fear of making a mistake and pressure to decide quickly is hard on both buyers and sellers.
Here’s the latest data on how many days on market it took for homes to sell in Durham.
One of the clearest indicators of how it felt to be buying or selling in Durham in April is how long it took for a home to sell. The average days on market in Durham in April was 12 days, which is down 2 days from March, when it was 14 days. That means the length of time it took to sell went down about 14%. That’s a somewhat significant change, so it would have felt more competitive if you were transacting in the market.
The other statistic that gives us a good idea of how it feels to buy and sell in this month’s market is the sale to list price ratio. This is a percentage that tells us how close to the price the sellers wanted they actually received from buyers. If the sale to list price ratio is 100%, it means buyers paid exactly what the sellers were asking for the property. If it’s under 100%, then the buyers negotiated a discount and if it’s over 100%, then the sellers got even more than they were asking for as a sale price.
Now that we’re clear on the meaning, here’s the average sale to list price ratio each month for the last couple of years.
The other stat that we can look at to see how it felt in Durham is the sale to list price ratio, or how much over (or under) the list price buyers had to pay in order to buy a home. The average sale to list price ratio in Durham in April was 106.7%, which is up from March when it was 103.4%. That’s a 3.3% increase in how much over list price sellers received, which means the market felt more competitive in April.
In order to predict what is coming next for Durham’s real estate market, we can look at three predictive stats, which we go into in detail below. When we look at the big picture about what these stats predict for sale prices, we’re seeing some conflicting indications of what will come next, but overall it appears the average price will rise slightly in Durham in May. There, we said it!
Here’s three charts for our predictive stats, looking at the Sales to New Listing Ratio, number of Active Listings and Months of Inventory. It is interesting to see fluctuations over the past two years but we’re particularly focused on the most recent month as that is the best predictor of what is coming next.
Let’s start with an acronym! The Sales to New Listing Ratio (SNLR) tells us how many of the sales we saw this month were new listings in the month versus existing listings that had been on the market from previous months. It’s considered a strong predictor of what happens in the next month because it tells us if inventory is sticking around or selling quickly.
- If the SNLR is around 50%, we have a balanced market, with sales equal to half the number of new listings coming on the market. A good amount of sales and a good amount of new options means reasonable price increases.
- Over 50% is heading towards a seller’s market, as we have sales outpacing the new inventory coming on the market. In extreme cases, we can have an SNLR of over 100%, which means we saw more sales in a month than inventory came on the market, meaning next month is very likely to see a price increase.
- Under 50% tells us that the we are headed towards a buyer’s market. The lower the SNLR, the more of a net increase in properties available the following month. This means prices typically drop as buyers react to having lots of choices by pushing down the price they are willing to pay.
Let’s look at the latest SNLR in to see where we’ve landed and what sort of market we start next month with in Durham.
The first of our three predictive stats is the sales to new list ratio (or SNLR) which increased in April, going up by 7.4% to 73.8%, which is effectively a 11% increase in one month. This is not a significant enough change that it is likely to impact prices next month, however we do need to also consider what sort of market the current SNLR lands us in this month. In this case, given the SNLR of 73.8% we would describe Durham as a seller’s market. In such a market, there is a strong likelihood that the average price will rise next month. When we combine the change from last month with the current SNLR, there is strong indication that prices will rise next month in Durham.
As we turn to active listings, we need to be clear about what that means. The number used for active listings is the number of actual, currently for sale properties at the end of the month. This number is therefore comprised of the older listings already on the market at the start of the month, plus any new listings that didn’t sell in the month, less any older or new listings that did sell before the end of the month.
Fewer active listings tend to indicates that prices will rise as buyers battle for the properties on the market. Let’s take a look at the latest numbers.
The second predictive stat is the number of active listings in Durham. We had 862 active listings on the market as of the end of April, which is a 1% increase compared to March when we had 852 listings on the market at the end of the month. On it’s own, this sort of change in the number of active listings would predict that prices would drop as the level of available options for buyers has increased. Our second predictive stat therefore indicates that prices should drop in Durham in May.
Finally, let’s look at the Months of Inventory in Durham.
This statistic tracks how long it would take for all houses on the market in Durham to sell if we stopped having any new listings. The higher the MOI, the more of a buyer’s market, the lower the MOI, the more of a seller’s market. Somewhere between three to four months is considered a balanced market.
How is Durham doing in terms of months of inventory? Remember that the lower the levels of inventory, the more likely it is that prices will rise.
Let’s look at what our current months of inventory for Durham predict what will happen to prices next month. The MOI as of the end of April was exactly one month, which means that technically, the Durham market is a strong seller’s market as of right now. We will take that with a grain of salt, as we’ve seen such low levels of inventory relative to demand over the past few years, we’ve had to adjust our definitions for the market. Nonetheless, on its own, our current months of inventory predicts that the average price in Durham should rise in May.
We hope you found this review of the latest market stats helpful! Within the Refined team we work throughout the GTA and we often partner with local agents we know and trust to make sure our clients get the best of both worlds. If you’re considering buying or selling and want to work with people who understand your market, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Otherwise, check back near the start of next month to see the latest Durham market analysis!