Smaller cities and towns in Ontario have become increasingly more desirable over the last two years and the provincial real estate market is undeniably reflecting this trend. Typically, smaller more remote housing markets have offered a lower cost of living and below-average housing prices, while still offering access to the amenities that residents need and want. The COVID-19 pandemic only intensified the draw to these areas.
Buyers in the Tillsonburg real estate market are attracted to this small (but quickly growing) and tight-knit community, while maintaining proximity to larger Ontario cities such as London, Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph. Sitting just off a major highway, Tillsonburg, Ontario offers residents the opportunity to own more home for a lower price, while still being close enough to tap into the employment opportunities within the larger cities that surround it.
Sales in Tillsonburg have reflected growing interest in this market, as have inventory levels and prices, pushing the small-town market into strong sellers’ territory. While sales started to decline slightly toward the end of the year, the market remained in a strong position.
Sales Easing, But Tillsonburg Real Estate Still Above Average
After skyrocketing sales in October 2020, this past October saw sales fall 33.2 per cent on a year-over-year comparison. The Multiple Listing Service System of the Tillsonburg District Real Estate Board tallied 137 unit sales during October 2021. Even though this is far below 2020, it is still 5.3 per cent above the five-year average for the region. David Bennet, adds, “Sales activity was down from the blistering pace last October to levels more in line with the average for this time of year.”
While monthly sales on a year-over-year basis were down significantly, year-to-date sales were up. Even though this is a cumulative amount, make no mistake that the month of October contributed to this significant rise in sales. On a year-to-date basis, at the end of October the total number of home sales in Tillsonburg this year reached 1,727 units – a 10.1 per cent increase over the first 10 months of 2020.
With sales still remaining relatively stable, the Tillsonburg real estate market continues to burn hot, largely attributed to a shortage of new listings. During the month of October, just 171 residential homes were posted on the market. This is a substantial 23.7-peer-cent decrease year-over-year; it is also seven per cent below the five-year average and 11.6 per cent below the 10-year average for the month of October.
With new listings dropping, and sales remaining strong, active residential listings and months of inventory have also taken a dip. Just 183 units remained on the market at the end of October, down 23.4 per cent year-over-year. This is also the lowest number of residential listings on the market at the end of October in more than 30 years. Months of inventory at the end of October sat at just 1.3 months.
The decline in inventory is putting upward pressure on the market price. David Bennet, President of the Tillsonburg District Real Estate Board states, “New listings also took a step down, so the overall level of inventory on the market is still hovering near record lows. Despite the moderation in sales, we are still in a historically tight market, with benchmark prices rising to new highs at a pace of close to 40 per cent year-over-year.”
The Multiple Listing Service Home Price Index composite/single-family benchmark price was up 37.3 per cent when comparing October 2020 to 2021. The average price of a home sold in Tillsonburg in October 2021 was a new record of $670,185 – a steep increase of 30.9 per cent compared to this time last year.
While prices increased, the dip in home sales impacted the total dollar value of all home sales in October 2021 when compared to 2020. The total value of homes sold this past October was $91.8 million – down 12.5 per cent year-over-year.