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Home sales almost double in March

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

The Durham Region housing market’s hot start to 2019 continued in March.

According to a report from the Durham Region Association of Realtors (DRAR), the region had 839 residential transactions in March, a 43 per cent increase over February.

“The spring market is heating up in Durham. It is encouraging to see a jump in sales on a month-over-month basis as we enter into a typically busier time of year during the spring and summer months,” stated Tina Sorichetti, DRAR president.

According to the report, there were 1,617 new listings in March, which was a 42 per cent increase over February’s 1,140.

However, it was still down from March 2018, which saw 1,755 new listings.

The average selling price in Durham also jumped in March to $604,796, an increase from $580,743 in February.

The average selling price for March also represented a slight increase over the last 12 months.

The organization is pleased with measures included in the 2019 federal budget which address housing affordability, as well as provide support for those who are first-time home buyers.

In particular, Sorichetti applauded the first-time home buyer’s incentive program, which increases the Home Buyer’s Plan withdrawal limit from $25,000 to $35,000.

“Realtors have been advocating for the modernization of the Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP) and we are very happy to see this included in the budget,” said Sorichetti in the report. “The mandated stress test continues to impact homebuyers’ ability to qualify for a mortgage and has pushed several potential buyers to the sidelines. The stress test has had a significant impact on the housing market and we are encouraged that the federal government is carefully monitoring its effect.”