November 2018 was the best November on record in the Guelph real estate market. Overall sales increasing over 3% vs 2017 and overall unit sales relatively flat. This excludes new homes in Guelph.

The average sale price in November 2018 was just over $500,000. That brings the overall year-to-date Guelph home price average to flat vs 2017, +21% vs 2016 and +36% vs 2015.

It would be easy to assume that with the price of homes increasing, more houses (and more expensive houses) are driving up real estate prices in Guelph. But in reality, the number of houses sold in Guelph in 2018 is actually declining versus prior years. W

Yes, fewer houses have sold this year, but there have also been new houses in Guelph.

So, what’s happening? After the wild Guelph real estate ride of 2017, we’ve moved to a more rational and sustainable market,. This is healthier for both buyers and sellers. Also, the Bank of Canada has also increased interest rates 5 times since the summer of 2017 and tightened up mortgage rules.

But we’ve taken a brief breather: On December 5th , the Bank of Canada left its interest rate unchanged at 1.75%. This indicates the number of future hikes will depend on a variety of factors including the job market, inflation and more.

Although, at this point, you can still expect up to 3 interest rate hikes in 2019.

Competition tightens for homes in the $500,000 range

If you look at the different price brackets within Guelph, you’ll notice something. Homes under $300,000 and homes over $900,000 aren’t changing very much as a percentage of total sales (excluding new homes in Guelph). It’s the numbers in between that are slowly ratcheting upwards and becoming far more competitive.

If you’re considering purchasing a home in the range of $450,000-$500,000 in Guelph, it’s more competitive. Over 36% of homes in this bracket have sold at or above the asking price this year. It is now one of the most competitive ranges in Guelph as it increases as a % of total sales. There are many new homes in Guelph in this price range being built.

From a neighbourhood perspective, if you’re considering buying a house in either the Grange Rd area or Pineridge/ Westminster neighbourhoods, you’re in luck: sales in these two areas alone equate to over 30% of sales in Guelph year-to-date. And, like in 2017 if you are searching for a home in the General Hospital area, you’ll need some patience as it is the area with the least sales in 2018.

Investors and the rental market

Residential investors may also be exploring other options when considering purchasing a home in Guelph. The challenge is finding a property that maintains positive cash flow (the property shows a profit after all expenses are deducted). Substantial home price increases along with Ontario Rent Guidelines creates a widening gap and cash flow challenges.

Landlords are having to pay more for a home but may be challenged to cover all costs with the going rate rent. Landlords need to come up with more creative options for investing. The City of Guelph needs to develop more rental options for a growing market.

The rental market in Guelph remains tight, with a vacancy rate in the 1-1.5% range. If you are renting it may currently be difficult to find a suitable home that meets your needs. There may be few homes available in your desired Guelph neighbourhoods.

Overall, the Guelph market is proving resilient and continues to be a City where people want to live, work and invest.

For more information on the Guelph real estate market, feel free to contact us!