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Sudbury is a sellers' market as average home prices soar by 14%

Housing market is difficult to get into for first-time home buyers 
For sale - sold sign
Sudbury was one of just four cities in the province that saw its sales-to-new-listing ratio hit 100 per cent recently, making it one of the most heavily-weighted seller's markets in Ontario. (File)

Sudbury was one of just four cities in the province that saw its sales-to-new-listing ratio hit 100 per cent this year, making it one of the most heavily weighted seller's markets in Ontario, real estate website Zoocasa said this week.

Zoocasa recently released a list of 35 Ontario cities, ranking them from most to least competitive real estate markets.

The website looked at housing competition across the 35 cities, reviewing sales and new listings during the month of October to determine the sales-to-new-listings ratio (SNLR).

Sudbury's SNLR came in at 100 per cent for the month of October, meaning that for every new home listing that hits the market, a home is sold. The average home price in Sudbury has soared since last year, jumping up 14 per cent to $321,514.

"There's more buyers than there are sellers in Greater Sudbury right now," said Tyler Peroni, chair of the Sudbury Real Estate Board. 

"In 2020, the appreciation of house prices and the market that we've been in we haven't seen in the city for almost a decade. Even about five years ago, we'd have very little appreciation, between zero and two per cent, because house prices this year have gone up close to 15 per cent, instead of it being an equal market in the last five years with appreciation going up calmly, it's just hit all at one time."

Zoocasa's research showed that four markets exhibited an SNLR of 100 per cent or more, meaning that demand was much higher than new listings and buyers began to pick up inventory listed before October. These markets were Sudbury (SNLR of 100 per cent), Niagara Falls (105 per cent), Thunder Bay (108 per cent) and St. Catharines (112 per cent). 

Elsewhere in Ontario, home buyers this year faced at minimum, similar levels of competition to those last year, with the majority of markets exhibiting an even higher SNLR this year compared to 2019.

While a sharp increase in average home prices will be a welcome sign for homeowners, it does present a measure of difficulty for first-time home buyers looking to get into the real estate market in Sudbury.

"It is difficult for home buyers and it's obviously nice for home sellers, but those sellers have to buy again too so it's difficult for them," said Peroni, who explained that a few things would need to happen in order for the market to return to a balance between buyers and sellers.

"Either buyers slow down and we lose buyers in Greater Sudbury or we see more people start selling and driving up the supply."

In a sellers’ market there's little fear for those putting their homes on the market that their home will sell. The issue is that with such a high rate of demand, the process can be tricky to navigate without the help of a professional realtor, Peroni argued..

"It's obviously easier to sell the house, but the process becomes a lot more complicated when you have multiple offers on a house," he said. "The houses are easier to sell, but a lot of other complications come into it. That's why it's very important to have a realtor to help you navigate those waters."

Peroni says there's no indication that the housing market is going to cool any time soon, and that it will be leaning toward a seller's market for the foreseeable future.

"I would say it's going to be pretty stagnant or continue to rise in 2021," said Peroni. "It would benefit the sellers more than somebody like a first-time home buyer. It's definitely difficult for a first-time home buyer, it's about hiring the right professionals like mortgage brokers and realtors and having them on your side to help you out."