Woodstock Market Report - February 2022

By: Ben Sage

Woodstock Market Report - February 2022

Tags: Woodstock, Stats, Statistics, Real Estate, House, For Sale, Sold, Market

 
 
Happy March! 

Spring is just around the corner - I can already feel it in the air!! 

February was once again a crazy month for Real Estate sales all across Canada, but signs in our biggest local market, the GTA. were pointing to some slowing activity.   That has yet to travel down the highway to affect Woodstock, as February proved to be yet another super hot month for sellers in the Woodstock real estate market! With continued extremely low inventory and lots of buyer activity, it may yet prove to be the hottest month of the year for Woodstock Sellers.  Time will tell, but I am predicting that we have now closed the book on the best month to be a seller in Woodstock in 2022.  

Unfortunately in late-February, a long-anticipated military action in Ukraine began, which caused some well-deserved fear in the market, and along with interest rate hikes, stock market worries, and inflation, we just may see some cooling in the coming weeks.  In chatting with some of my real estate colleagues, it truly seems that those who choose to list in ADVANCE of the traditional spring rush are set to capitalize the most on the current market conditions.  Obviously it remains to be seen what the rest of the year will look like, but there is evidence of huge early success for those who are listing their homes right now. 

Let's take a closer look at some details from February 2022.....
 
 

Average Sale Price:

Predictably, average sale price in Woodstock is up.  WAY up, this month! 

In the month of February 2022, the average residential property purchase price in Woodstock (including all residential property sales reported on the Woodstock-Ingersoll District Real Estate Board MLS system) was a truly JAW DROPPING $842,602. This is an increase from last month's average sale price of 14.1%.





This chart shows a 20 year history of average sale price (Red line) and annual increase (percentage over prior year, grey bars). 


Average Sale Price (Detached)

I like to track the benchmark "detached" home sale price, to give me an idea of how that compares with attached and semi-detached homes.  

In February, the average sale price of Detached homes in Woodstock was up over $100,000 from last month, to $928,212.  This was up 13% over last month, and is quite honestly, an unimaginable amount of money! 


Number of Sales

Basically everything that gets listed, gets sold, provided that the sellers have realistic expectations of value.  With the culture of working from home continuing for many, Ontario homeowners are increasingly realizing that they no longer need to live within "short commute" distance from their employers. That has made smaller communities like Woodstock a very attractive proposition for those who enjoy the luxury of "work from home."  

February showed a very high level of activity, with 78 homes changing hands in the city of Woodstock. This is up four units from January, and well over double and 13% higher than February last year. 

Average Days on Market

This metric is probably the most artificially manipulated measurement in the market currently, but I do follow its trend.  What I am seeing nowdays is that sellers will list a property, and state that they will hold back offers for a specified period of time, yet remain open to an early offer under certain circumstances.  This is commonly known as a "bully" offer, though I prefer the term "pre-emptive" offer. 

I think frustrated buyers making huge, early offers have contributed to the decrease in this metric, from 14 last month, down to 9 days this month. 

So once again, this metric doesn't mean much, but I felt it should be included.  At the very least, it prompts a conversation about speed in the market. 


Number of Active Listings

I keep waiting for the number of homes on the market to increase, but truthfully, everything listed is sold in a matter of days, so the inventory never really grows.  Additionally, what I am seeing more commonly now is the practice of canceling and re-listing at a higher price, if you fail to attract a strong offer on your first listing period. 

Wait, what?

Yep, that's right.  If a property is listed at what is thought to be an "aggressively low" price, yet fails to produce a satisfactory offer (or offers!) on the "offer day," it is becoming more-common practice to cancel that lower-priced listing, and re-list the home for sale at a price that is more reflective of the sellers actual expectations.  

The number of active listings at the end of the month doesn't show the number of homes that were canceled and re-listed.  Perhaps I need to start tracking that number as well, to measure the number of unsatisfied sellers in the market, as things begin to shift. 

For now, let's stick with active inventory. 

The number of homes for sale at the end of February 2022 was up a tiny bit, to 29. This is ten more homes than were available at the end of January. 

This number represents the largest frustration for buyers and their agents in the marketplace right now.  So many buyers are getting frustrated, having to write offer after offer and getting outbid every time.  The lack of available inventory is the leading story across every market in Ontario, and has been for years.  In tandem with record-low interest rates, lack of supply continues to drive home prices to ridiculous, unimaginable heights. 




This is historically low. Unbelievably low.  In fact, it's so low, I made a chart to SHOW you how low it is!  This chart Starts in January 2011, with just over 400 homes for sale, tops out in June 2011 at 550,  and ends at the end of January 2022, with 19!! Any wonder why prices are through the roof?

Check it out: 


 

Supply vs. Demand

Finally, the true measure of the trajectory of the market lies in how supply relates to demand.  I have charted this particular metric for the past 10 years.  As you saw earlier in this report, supply has ticked up slightly this month.  But, how does the demand stack up?  Have a look.  Keep in mind, the lower the line, the less supply exists relative to demand

February saw an slight rebound, to 0.37 months of inventory (yep, around 11 days). Yes, this means if nothing else is listed, and sales continue on current pace, there will LITERALLY be nothing to sell or buy in 11 days.

The Blue line represents 2022 YTD, Red is 2021, and Yellow is the past 5 year average.  

Please note: I have changed the scale on this image.  Since it has been years since we saw balanced market (5-6 months of inventory), this chart now displays 0-2 months of inventory. This was done so that we could more easily determine the best time to list a home for sale, or to be shopping for a home.  

Sellers always wonder "What is the best time to sell my house?" They seem to want to attach timing to a calendar.  We have been trained, for whatever reason, to believe that spring is always the right time to sell.  But I firmly believe the best time to sell something is when supply of that thing is low, and demand is high.  This is a pretty rudimentary concept.  The reason I put so much stock into this metric is because it allows me to answer that question with complete confidence.  

If you look at 2021, statistically speaking, the best time to sell was in February/March, and November/December.  Counterintuitive, right? 

I'm thinking that when we look back on 2022, the best time to have sold might have been January / February.  Time will tell I guess!

With some headwinds, as mentioned earlier (Interest rates, war, inflation, buyer fatigue, etc.) I am beginning to suspect that we might see a more balanced, steady market for the remainder of 2022.  Maybe this is wishful thinking on behalf of my buyer clients?  I guess we will see! 

Do you need to make a Move?

If some kind of Real Estate move is in your plan for 2022, you can rest easy, and put my 14 years of experience to work for you. Every market presents its own opportunities and difficulties. Although extreme, this situation is navigable. 

If you are a Seller, having a strategy has never been more important. Here's how my sellers have maximized on the current market trends:
  • Staging: Yes, I am still recommending staging. This is an extraordinary opportunity to capitalize on market trends. Yes, you will likely sell if you don't stage, but there is a measurable difference in price and terms when buyers are climbing all over eachother to submit an offer on your home.  Why not take the time and make it look its absolute best before showcasing it to the market?
  • Pictures. My residential sellers ALWAYS get professional photos. Highlight the best features of your home with professionally staged and captured photography! Additional bonus, a keepsake. Your home has probably never looked better.  Keep these professional photos for posterity!
  • Virtual Tours. Essential in today's market. To limit in-person showings, and to embrace buyers who might be shopping from a couple of hours away, I always include a professional virtual tour.  Buyers can safely, and realistically tour your home from the comfort of their couch! 
  • Video Tours. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth millions! Moving camera open house tours of your home, on youtube for everyone to enjoy. Why not cater to the video loving public? 
  • Floor Plans. Not into pictures, virtual tours, or videos?  That's cool - buyers have the ability to print out my sellers' floor plans and determine "where the couch goes" or "will our king bed fit in this bedroom?" before darkening your doorstep! 
  • Offer Handling. We will work together to create a plan that works for you and your circumstances.  There is no "one size fits all" strategy. Throughout this sellers market, I have continued to hone the craft of maximizing the opportunity that sellers have in this market, to get you the best possible price and terms on your sale!
If you are a Buyer, things are going to be difficult for you, but there are great reasons to get into the market now!
  • Low Rates.  When I bought my first house, our mortgage rate was just over 5%.  The lender said he couldn't believe how low the rates had gotten, and that we were fortunate to get such a low rate!!  Well, as of today, the big banks variable mortgage rates are hovering around the 1.3%-1.6% range. For the math blessed, that's less than 1/3 the interest rate! Crazy! 
  • Appreciation. There's an old saying in the real estate world. "The best time to buy is 10 years ago.  The second best time is today."  I know prices seem high, and competing is scary and difficult, but if you can get in now, even if things take a bit of a dip in the short term, Real Estate is a long game anyway.  In a decade, a small blip won't make much difference to you. Buying today will get you:
    • Stability of Ownership. With trouble in the rental market (limited supply, landlord/tenant issues at an all time high, evictions happening like crazy), owning your own home, even if it's just a stepping stone towards your goal of ultimately buying your dream home, gives you the security that the landlord won't suddenly change their mind and sell the house, or require occupancy for themselves or a family member, or other issues associated with renting. 
    • An Iron in the Fire. Many home buyers over the years have had to make stepping stone purchases.  They buy something slightly less ideal than their dream home, with the hopes of improving it, and riding the wave of appreciation to their next home, eventually arriving at their dream home. It's unlikely you can save as much money as homes are going up in price currently, so one way to "hedge" against this inflation is to have an iron in the fire.
  • Off Market Opportunities. My buyer clients receive the additional benefit of off market opportunities. By the time a home is listed on MLS® it is already a feeding frenzy, competing with other buyers.  Some sellers don't want that feeding frenzy in their home, and would be happy to sell it to someone through an off-market transaction. People who are CLIENTS of mine, get shortlisted for those opportunities as they come along. I have other marketing techniques to locate off market opportunities for my buyers as well.  Rest assured, I'm working to find you a home, if you hire me to help!
 
 

Closing

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this market report. 

Unfortunately we can't control the market, but we can work as hard as possible to capitalize on what it provides! If a move is in your future, let's chat today to get you started on your plans. Even if you don't want to do anything until summer or fall, starting your project early is a great way to optimize your experience. 

If you're interested in a free, 15 minute video or phone chat with me to discuss your real estate plans, click here to book an appointment. 

Thanks again, and happy new year!