Well, if you participated in the real estate market last year and/or keep up on reading our newsletter, there will be absolutely zero surprises here!
The month of December’s results closed off the year similar to how it began = home sales down from prior year. In fact, home sales for December in Kingston and Area showed a decrease of 14.4% from December of 2017. There were 180 new residential listings in December 2018, that’s a decrease of 8.2% from the same month last year and was a 12 year low for the month, pushing the average price of homes sold up 2.8% for the last month of the year. (fourth quarter of the year)
Single detached home sales were down 2.9% from the fourth quarter of 2017 and despite a slightly more balanced quarterly market, they spent less time on market at 26.5 days vs. 29.5 days in Q4 of 2017.
The median sale price for single detached homes was up 6.7%, which set a new record for the quarter at $342, 350. Insult to injury for our first time home buyer’s who seem to be the most affected by the rate hikes and stress tests – single detached home sales activity had a significant decline in the $200,00-$300,00 price range at -16.6%. Yowza.
Sales activity for single detached homes in the range of $300,000-$400,00 was slightly up at 0.6%. Single detached homes priced in the range of $400,000-$500,000 showed an increase in activity at 1.3% and in the $500,000+ range posted an increase of 43.2% for the year.
Home sales for the year were down 9.8% from 2017 and record low inventory levels continued to drive average prices up to post the biggest annual gain in 13 years. Yep, that’s the biggest increase since 2005, which now posts the average price of a house in Kingston and Area at $365,146. Months of inventory numbered 5 at the end of the year, which is up from the end of 2017 (at 4 months) but significantly down from the average of 10.7 months for the same time of year. **The number of months of inventory is is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity**
Looks like much of the same here for 2019 in regards to inventory levels. The mortgage stress tests and promised interest rate hikes are looking to deliver on their mission again this year = slow the market down. Many are predicting more buyer’s being edged out of home ownership this year which will in turn, slow things down a little.
However, no one has a crystal ball and what we do know is – we have buyer’s and they’re motivated!!