Real estate sales edge 1% higher than year ago as summer season poised to ramp up

The local real estate association says it is pleased with sales figures reflecting a "fairly consistent" performance compared with the same-month sales in the last three years.

Donna Mathewson, president of the Sarnia-Lambton Real Estate Board, told reporters at a monthly review that sales in the month totalled nearly $36 million, a 1% increase over April 2011 and slightly more than the five year average. There were 6% more houses sold compared with a year earlier.

That amounts to a 10-year high.

Homes under $200,000 drove the market, said Mathewson, covering 120 of the 189 homes in total.

Having a "slow and steady" increase is good for the market, not unlike some of Canada's bigger cities where volatility can be an issue.

Mathewson said Realtors are pleased that the market has seen a "very strong" first quarter. "We are still on pace for the regular spring market," she added.

The average price of a home in Sarnia sold in April was $199,828; just slightly lower ($199,778) in the county.

Mathewson said the number of homes on the market is "holding steady" at 1,047.

"Interest rates are still unbelievably low; housing prices are still very attractive," she added.

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