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June sees big bump in residential transactions

Real estate transactions increased 66 per cent in Durham Region in June. Local realtor Linda Parritt says this may be due to the restrictions being lifted.

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Durham Region saw a 66 per cent increase in residential transactions in June, according to the Durham Region Association of Realtors (DRAR).

According to a DRAR press releases, there were 1,281 residential transactions in Durham last month, representing a 66 per cent increase over May.

Residential transactions also saw a 17 per cent increase year-over-year in June.

The number of new listings in Durham increased by 1,857 in June, which was a 63 per cent increase over May.

However, on a year-over-year basis, listings were down 20 per cent when compared to June 2019, which saw 2,320 across the region.

According to Century 21 realtor Linda Porritt, the reason for the increase is due to restrictions being lifted, as she notes transactions were down 50 per cent in May.

She says the fact listings were down 20 per cent when compared to last year, leads her to believe there will not be a “real estate bubble.”

“It’s kind of salacious to compare it to May, because we know what restrictions we were under then,” she says.

Ultimately she believes once certain parts of Ontario started moving into Phase 2 of the COVID-19 recovery plan, people became less nervous.

“People became a little less reluctant to put their homes on the market, so our inventory started to go up a little bit,” she says.

She also notes 60 to 70 per cent of transactions are getting multiple offers in Oshawa due to a “pent up” group of buyers.

She notes while there are so many buyers competing with one another, there’s “no craziness happening” in terms of people paying more than properties are worth.

“I think one of the things you see are that buyers are taking a look at a lot of properties before they buy, so they may be going through twice as many homes as they might have before. They’re just trying to get comfortable with the prices,” says Porritt.

Part of why she believes there won’t be a real estate bubble is because of the number of days houses have been on the market recently.

“Our days on market has not gone to a really remarkably low level… we’re still sitting, I think, at 15 to 20 days on the market,” she says.

She adds this means houses are getting a lot of exposure, and buyers are continuing to go through individual properties.

“Once a house gets an offer, and people are sitting out there and they are interested and haven’t put their offer in, obviously they know that’s the time to do it,” she says.

However, the increase is a positive, according to Porritt, and DRAR President Vicki Sweeney agrees.

“The increase in activity is a very positive result for Durham Region, as home sales aid other local businesses. The housing market is an important driver of overall economic recovery for the region,” says Sweeney.

The average price for a home in Durham has also risen 10 per cent compared to this time last year, sitting at $685,655.