Have you read the latest news about the housing market? Reports relating to sales activity in May reveal some interesting facts, for instance. The housing market in Guelph and Toronto are showing an increase in the average home price in Guelph for residential real estate.

Average prices in the City of Guelph hit 5-year highs for the period of January-May – over $520,000. This is an almost 5% increase over the same period in 2018.

But is this something homeowners across Guelph should be celebrating? Mainly, is this new high a warning sign of something beneath the surface?

What you should know about “average price” and real estate

A common metric used to measure real estate activity is the average home price in Guelph. It’s a term used to get a quick sound bite of how your local market may be performing.

There are so many different variables that play into average price.

Firstly, in retail business, the term “same-store sales” is used to compare stores that have been around more than a year, for instance.

Secondly, it eliminates new and closed stores, or “noise”that may artificially impact sales. As a result, it’s a way to compare apples to apples and understand whether a core market is strong.

With this mind, here’s a basic example of how the average home price in Guelph can be skewed.

2018:

100 homes that sold in Guelph
50 were existing homes with an average price of $500,000
50 of those were a brand-new development of entry-level townhomes selling at $350,000
2018 average price is: $425,000

2019:

100 homes sell in Guelph
50 were existing homes that still averaged a price of $500,000
50 were a new high-end condo development that sold for $600,000
2019 average price is $550,000

The number of existing homes didn’t change at all. As a result, this data would make it appear as if there was a 29% increase in average price.

Neighbourhoods also impact average home price in Guelph:

Just because the entire Guelph market is increasing, it doesn’t mean all things are equal across the city, for instance.

Buyers of downtown homes are not necessarily the same buyers of Westminster Woods or Victoria North homes. Yet, these neighbourhoods are typically grouped together in a “City of Guelph” number. Neighbourhood dynamics create a unique market with those interested in buying or selling in a specific area.

Here’s a look at how individual neighbourhoods are performing this year. It’s based on the percentage change versus 2018, ranked from highest increase to lowest:

St Patrick’s Ward (the Ward) +33%
Onward Willow +11.5%
General Hospital +11.3%
Dovercliffe/ Old University +10.5%
Willow West/ Sugarbush +10.4%
Victoria North +6.4%
Clairfields +6.2%
Downtown +6%
Grange Rd +2.7%
Exhibition Park +2.4%
Pineridge/ Westminster +1.9%
Kortright West +1.7%
Kortright Hills -0.8%
Riverside Park -1.9%
Village by the Arboretum -4.9%
St Georges -6.1%
Kortright East -8.4%

Other factors outside of an existing home that could impact averages are new or closing retail businesses in an area, schools, road closures and more.

The takeaway from all of this? Go deeper than the common news headline or report on averages, as an example. Each individual homeowner or buyer should consider more detailed trends in specific markets to ensure that they’re making the most informed decision available. Mainly, your Realtor® should have this information available for you when asked.

Beth and Ryan Waller are Sales Representatives with Home Group Realty. Feel free to contact them here

Source: GDAR data, 2018-2019. Excludes areas with less than 10 sales per year.