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Sellers' housing market expected for 2016 in Windsor-Essex

The local housing market is expected to record another banner year thanks to a strong economy and influx of first-time homebuyers, the Windsor-Essex County Association of Realtors (WECAR) said Wednesday.

The upcoming year will see a larger percentage of 25-to-34 year olds purchasing their first homes, association president Norman Langlois said in a statement. Job growth and lower unemployment rates also will fuel housing demand, Langlois said. Over the last three months the average sales price increased 11.7 per cent; in January the average sales price was $205,967, according to the association.

Figures compiled by WECAR showed that listings fell an average 5.68 per cent, while sales rose an average 21 per cent over the last three months. “This has made for a very tight market, which in turn has been driving the average sales price up, making it a good sellers market,” said Langlois.

Total housing starts are expected to increase by six per cent this year, MLS listings are expected to jump 1.5 per cent, and the average vacancy rate is expected to fall 3.8 per cent. “These are all optimistic figures,” he said.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the 2016 one-year mortgage rate is expected to be in the three to 3.8 per cent range, while the five-year rate is forecast to be within the 4.70 to six per cent range.

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