Windsor’s hot real estate market is experiencing the kind of “feeding frenzy” common in such high-priced locales as Toronto and Vancouver, say local agents.
Earlier this week, a five-bedroom, four-bathroom home on Victoria Boulevard in South Windsor sold for $630,000 — more than $100,000 above the asking price of $528,800.
“The market is going crazy,” Tim Campbell, Remax real estate broker who negotiated the sale, said Thursday. “Thirty-eight years in this business and I have never seen a market like this; I’ve never seen a deal like this.”
Campbell said the property, which was listed March 23, drew 15 showings and multiple offers. “Needless to say, the sellers are very pleased.”
Bob Peters, sales representative at Remo Valente Real Estate, said housing selling 10 to 20 per cent above the asking price is becoming the norm.
While multiple offers are common for listings in South Windsor and parts of Riverside, the entire Windsor area is a seller’s market, said Peters.
“Everything is selling,” he said. “If you price anything fairly, it will sell, even in a not great area. It’s a feeding frenzy.”
Peters said the housing market is being fuelled by a number of factors, including a recovering economy, low interest rates, low inventory, consumer confidence and pent-up demand.
“We have a lot of buyers in the market, but not enough listings,” he said. “For every 10 properties I am bidding on for my clients, nine are multiple offers.”
Even a handyman’s special will garner competitive bids, he said, citing a house in South Windsor that listed for $167,900 and sold for $182,500. “It was an older home with the original kitchen and bathroom, and needed to be revamped.”
Norm Langlois, president of the Windsor-Essex County Association of Realtors, said the average price for resale homes has jumped to $208,000 from $150,000 three years ago.
“You have a lot of new buyers that are coming into the market, looking for a $150,000 home, but there’s not a lot available,” said Langlois. “The ones available are experiencing multiple offers.”
Langlois said the pace of price increases could slow along with an increase in listings, expected during the prime selling months of April, May and June. As well, the Bank of Canada could dampen demand if it chooses to raise interest rates, he said.
For the time being, properties, depending on the neighbourhood, are selling like hotcakes. “Today, the turnaround could be two or three days,” said Langlois. “We’re not talking about months anymore.”
Windsor also is drawing interest from out-of-town investors, said Peters. “Before, they would never look at Windsor. Now they’re all looking at Windsor,” he said.
In 2009, an apartment building in Windsor’s Olde Sandwich Towne would sell for $30,000 a unit. Today, “you’d get double that,” said Peters.
Those who are selling could find themselves on the other side of the fence, he noted.
“If you’re trading up, you’re going to get more for your house, but you’re going to pay more,” he said. “I have a lot of clients that would move if we could find a house that they want.”
Campbell said after years of depressed housing prices, brought on by the boom-and-bust nature of the local economy, Windsor is finally catching up to the rest of Canada.
“This is Windsor’s growth period,” Campbell said. “We’re catching up to the rest of the world.”