Hamilton & Niagara Regions – How was 2017 Performance?

Posted on Posted in Hamilton, Market Activity, Niagara, Property For Sale, Townhouse, Waterdown, YTD

As we saw in my previous post about Oakville and Burlington, with all the changes through 2017, we had a roller coaster year in price…    With the pending Provincial Government plans in the works early in 2017, there was a rush to buy in the spring that significantly drove pricing up and accelerated the beginning of the spring market, followed by a significant drop in both the number of sales, and dollar value for 2017!   Yes, it was a crazy year in the market!!!

Hamilton Region

The pricing bubble burst, but average pricing of detached homes still stayed above 2016 prices. The number of sales, plummeted to the lowest sales transaction numbers we’ve seen in the last four years.   With the abundance of listings, we all saw many signs on lawns for extended periods of time after the bubble.  Will pricing drop a bit further as we move in to 2018?  Perhaps we’ll see a slight dip in February, but historically, things should pick up a bit as we come in to a softened spring market.

For non-detached homes, we saw pricing pick up rapidly, but not quite the bubble of other areas, then fall slightly on average, but it didn’t take the pricing hit in Hamilton that we saw in Burlington/Oakville.  Why not quite the defined bubble as found in other areas?  Well one factor is the cost of construction materials also rose due to the Canadian dollar not being as strong.  There has been a great number of properties “flipped” in Hamilton over the last few years, so lower income properties would be impacted more by these costs affecting that regeneration by investors.

While the number of transactions fell later in the year, there is also small bubble in transactions around October.  Was this due to the news that 2018 would be more challenging for buyers looking to get a mortgage approved?   Three months before this for purchases, with close dates to beat the new mortgage rates on lower cost properties, suggests a response to the new mortgage rules.   (We don’t see quite the same bubble for this in Niagara, so we could speculate it’s GTA buyers at the entry level, reaching for their “last chance” to get in to the market somehow, somewhere, that still has good mass transit access in to the GTA.)  Makes you question; How does the government mortgage changes help those trying to get in to the market?

As with other areas, overall the market was not predictable as previous years, due to direct interference by government action.  The market was accelerated then sales quantity dramatically fell off, unlike previous years.

Of course, there is some variation by area, so if you’re interested in knowing your specific area, just contact me direct!

Niagara Region

The pricing bubble was echoed in Niagara as other areas and burst, but average pricing of detached homes struggled to maintain prices while sales dropped off dramatically to below past years performance.

For non-detached homes, we saw pricing stay above the average for 2016 but it was not strong with a weakening in the numbers near the tail end of the year.  The number of sales transactions were down, even more than detached properties.

With the abundance of buyers in the Niagara Region from the GTA, it’s no surprise that transaction quantities for Niagara Region have dropped dramatically.  As expected, this will likely impact pricing further as the effects of the GTA market ripples outward.    2016 was a year of great growth from this migration, 2017 pricing rises fell later in the year.  Will we see the large gains in Niagara for 2018?  This is a complex answer, Grimsby for example, grew a lot in 2016, and it’s numbers reflect in Niagara Region stats.  Hamilton prices have risen enough that many buyers are now looking to St. Catherines, so if Niagara Region is to have growth for 2018, it looks to be the St. Catherines to be the main driving force behind this, but the current market will make this a soft rise from what I’m seeing, similar to a mix of 2015/2016 performance as seen in Hamilton.

Of course, there is some variation by area, so if you’re interested in knowing your specific area, just contact me direct!

So what will 2018 bring us?  Hopefully no further government actions to impact our markets, so we can settle in to predictable growth.  Will it happen?  We’re all watching the spring market to see how 2018’s activity compares to previous years!

So, when do you sell, or buy?   Let’s talk, performance varies by area, so I can help you to time it right. What’s specifically going on in your neighbourhood will vary from the average for the region.

James