Before the coronavirus pandemic, the Windsor real estate market was one of the quieter ones within the broader Ontario housing market. But, as the COVID-19 public health crisis came to show, anything can happen! Today, the Windsor housing market has grown into one of the province’s sizzling markets to watch.
The pandemic prompted a widespread trend of out-of-town buyers flooding local markets, including the Windsor housing market. High demand and low supply saw all available housing inventory scooped up faster than it could be replenished.
Now that the demand has subsided somewhat and supply is increasing ever so slightly, has the housing boom in Windsor reached its peak? What do the numbers show? And, just as important, how are Windsor sellers and real estate agents responding to the latest developments? One thing is for certain: Windsor has climbed the ranks to become an attractive destination for young families and professionals – and buyers here continue to enjoy housing affordability.
How many other housing markets in Canada can lay claim to that fact?
A Cooling of the Windsor Housing Market
According to the Windsor-Essex County Association of REALTORS®, residential sales declined 7.1 per cent year-over-year in October, totalling 733 units. Despite the slowdown in sales activity, this was still the second-best performance for the month of October in Windsor’s housing industry.
Year-to-date, home sales in the Windsor real estate market advanced at an annualized rate of 15.9 per cent, recording a little more than 7,000 units. Residential transactions were also 7.4 per cent above the five-year average for the month of October.
Although sales activity seems to have cooled off a bit, the average price of homes sold in October surged 28.5 per cent year-over-year, to $544,671.
“Home sales may not have reached the astronomical levels of yesteryear, but we still came in a lot stronger than expected, all things considered,” said Damon Winney, President of the Windsor-Essex County Association of REALTORS®, in a news release. “The highest number of new listings in any October since 2007 was a very welcome sight to our market, as many other regions in the province are currently starving for any small influx of new supply. If this persists, we may see some semblance of balance return to the market next year, although one month on its own doesn’t mark a trend, so this is something we’ll have to keep an eye on.”
With that being said, inventory levels are showing signs of slight improvement.
The number of new listings rose 3.7 per cent in October from the same time a year ago, to 928 units. This represents the largest total of new listings added in October in about 10 years. New listings were also 8.6 per cent above the five-year average.
Meanwhile, active residential listings fell 12.6 per cent at the end of October, with 645 units for sale on the Windsor housing market. This was the lowest figure in the month of October in roughly three decades. Plus, active listings were 33.3 per cent below the five-year average.
The months of inventory totalled 0.9 at the end of October, unchanged from the same time a year ago. But it was below the long-run average of three months for the month of October. This measurement is important for industry observers because it represents the number of months it would take to exhaust current housing inventory at the present rate of sales activity.
Meanwhile, new housing construction has levelled off in Windsor. According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), housing starts totalled 157 units in November, down from 232 the month prior. On a year-to-date basis, housing starts numbered 1,354 units at the end of November, compared to 1,442 during the same period in 2020.
What’s Next for the Windsor Real Estate Market?
Has the Windsor housing market reached its peak? If so, homeowners may have to employ different tactics to maximize sales and profits. No longer will just having a residential property on the market be enough to generate top dollar.
Homeowners and real estate agents have soon be resorting to good old-fashioned salesmanship to attract homebuyers in, as the city potentially waves goodbye to the buying frenzy experienced over the last 12 months. As more inventory comes online, listing strategies and tools like staging, videography and photography help ensure the home is getting the attention it deserves.
Still, despite the modest slowdown and tactics being used, the Windsor real estate market is tilted in the seller’s favour. Moreover, unlike many other home-buying destinations in the nation’s most populous province, Windsor continues to be one of the most affordable housing markets in Ontario today.