London ball

House prices in London and the region continue to fall

Homebuyers resist until prices bottom out. This word Thursday coming from a former president of the London St. Thomas Association of Realtors.

“We have a few houses on the market now, that’s for sure,” Earl Taylor said, as the St. Thomas-based real estate agent pointed to a wall full of listings at his office. “Two years ago, a year ago, everything that came to market, seven days later, it was sold.”

He commented on the statistics published Wednesday by the association. According to LSTAR, home prices fell for the seventh consecutive month in September to an average of $635,256 from $648,036 in August.

Taylor said as the housing market continues to loosen, sellers find themselves in the position of having to lower prices.

“We see home sellers saying ‘we can’t change the condition of our house, we can’t change the location of our house, we can only change the price of our house,'” Taylor explained.

According to LSTAR, 497 homes changed hands in September, down 42% from the previous year, when 864 homes were sold. Taylor said the drop in sales can be attributed in part to a series of interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada this year.

“As interest rates rose, it reduced people’s ability to buy at whatever price they wanted,” he said.

Taylor also points out that while home prices are down, they’re still significantly higher than just a few years ago.

“I wish I had a crystal ball, but I don’t think we’ve hit rock bottom. But don’t forget that house prices are twice as high as they were five years ago. Sellers are still in a good position.