19 Jul 2019

Houses for sale in Sarnia up $20K over 2018

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Houses for sale in Sarnia up $20K over 2018

If you bought a house last year in this busy Sarnia real estate market, you have already earned some big money. Recent numbers released have said that back in 2018, houses for sale in Sarnia on average went for $309,000. This year, they are already at $331,000.

Simply put, demand is outpacing supply, and as we have talked about extensively, this market continues to be hot. And it’s only becoming harder for people to buy, especially first-time homebuyers. According to the Sarnia Observer, 10 years ago first-time buyers could get a place for around $200,000. Today, that price is now between $250,000 to $300,000.

For a first-time homebuyer who is looking at the houses for sale in Sarnia, that means they need more downpayment. At 5%, $10,000 was enough to get you in the door. However, in today’s Sarnia real estate market, you need $12,000 to $15,000 at the minimum downpayment. And because of short supply, some people are having to stretch their budget even further.

Sarnia-Lambton Real Estate Sales Increase

Sales across Sarnia-Lambton have increased over the past year as well. In the second quarter of 2019, 468 single detached homes sold at a median price of $299,900, according to the CREA. Compared that to the year before, where 438 units sold at a median sale price of $275,000. So, just in that year, median prices increased by over $24,000. That’s a total of a 6.8% increase from 2018.

This past June, $65.3 million in total sales was reported, the second-highest month on record. And considering how well the market did in May and April, it’s no question that heading into the summer months, prices are still moving upwards.

Over the year

Over the entire year so far, over $303 million of sales volume in Sarnia has been reported. As the Sarnia Observer reported, 10 years ago, the entire 12-month total was $301 million. So, needless to say, it’s a very different market than it was a decade ago. And first-time homebuyers and returning buyers are having a difficult time.

What should buyers look for when looking at houses for sale in Sarnia

It may seem like you will never get into the Sarnia real estate market, but there are always opportunities. What buyers need to be looking for now is value in the home they are looking to purchase. And they need to look at the condition of the home. The last thing you want to do is overspend on a property and then find out you have plenty of repairs to do. Especially if you are a first-time homebuyer who doesn’t have the money to put into renovations or repairs.

When looking at houses for sale in Sarnia, make sure you ask a lot of questions about the condition the house is in. When was the roof repaired? How old is the furnace? Has there been any water issues? With prices getting higher each month it seems, you need to stick to your core belief that you’re buying a house with value. While some sellers are just taking the great market for granted, buyers want to see well-maintained homes. Those will fetch the highest dollar and put buyers at ease about paying the higher price.

Under $150K hard to come by

What’s hurting a lot of first-time homebuyers from entering the market is the loss of the cheaper housing options. There aren’t as many houses for sale in Sarnia that are under $150,000 as there were over 10 years ago. According to CREA, in quarter 2, under 50 single detached homes were sold in Sarnia-Lambton that were listed below $150,000. Compare that to the same quarter in 2007, where over 200 homes sold in that price range.

Source: CREA

So, what price range has seen the highest jump? Unfortunately, the highest price ranges. The $350,000-$450,000 and over $450,000 prices ranges went from under 20 sales in 2007 to just under 100 in 2019. And where the most strength and stability are can be found in homes between $150,000-$250,000. That price range has become the new starter home market for those looking at houses for sale in Sarnia. Housing prices have increased over time, but it’s a sharp decline in sales in the lowest price range that has made it difficult for some buyers.

What can buyers do to get into the market?

If you want to get into the Sarnia real estate market, the first thing you need to do is save. Downpayment, even at the lowest percentage, has increased. But you also don’t want to leave yourself house broke, so buyers are spending even more time saving before entering the market. When you’re ready to enter the market, seek out a Sarnia real estate agent who is ready to work with buyers and find them the right value and condition in a home.

At Price & Associates Realty, we work with plenty of buyers in all prices ranges and in different points in their life. First-time buyers, family buyers, and forever home buyers all have different needs. But we make sure they go into buying with an education, so they can navigate this hot market. Many Realtors will say they want to find you your dream home. We prefer to be honest. And that your dream home may not be a possibility right now. Whether that’s because of price or availability, getting what you dream of might not be possible. So, we want to make sure to get the house that is right for you. One that won’t leave you house broke, that has value and comes in good condition.

Houses for sale in Sarnia today require a close eye from a real estate agent who is going to move on a moment’s notice. That’s because what you see today, maybe gone tomorrow. So, before you buy, we make sure to set out goals and get as much on your must-have list as possible. And then we find the house that is right for you.