How Long Does It Take to Sell a Detached House in Durham Region?


Durham Region has steadily gained popularity among prospective home buyers in recent years, and for good reason. Highly accessible to both public transit and car commuters via the Go Transit Lakeshore East rail corridor and several major highways, the municipalities located within are known for their convenient proximity to the City of Toronto, while also offering smaller-town charm. 

As well, as the region is wedged between Lake Simcoe to the north and Lake Ontario to the south, many residents enjoy close beachfront access, nature trails, and active outdoor lifestyles in addition to major downtown shopping and dining amenities.

Buyers Drawn to Great Real Estate Value in Durham Region

A major draw to Durham, however, is unarguably its value; home prices there are some of the most affordable in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, especially compared to nearby major urban centres. For example, the average price for a Durham Region home was $613,606 in October according to the Toronto Real Estate Board, and just $625,000 for a detached house. In contrast, buyers could expect to pay an average of $925,498 for City of Toronto real estate, and a whopping $1,323,015 for a detached property.

Market Still Lags Behind 2016 Peak

However, as is the case for markets across Ontario, sales demand in Durham is still lagging where it was in 2016, when activity was ramping up to the market’s peak. For example, October sales remain 36.9% lower than they were in June of that year, which the busiest month for demand in the region; at the time, homes sat on the market for an average of just 12 days.

Robin Pacquing, a Zoocasa real estate agent in the Durham Region, notes that market trends in 2016 were an introduction to the record-breaking year that followed. The market has comparatively settled down in 2019, but there is still a lot of activity across Durham Region; according to the Durham Region Association of Realtors, sales rose 21% year over year last month with 968 transactions. 

Pacquing says that this is in part due to high demand for housing in municipalities across the region, as more buyers and investors recognize that their dollar goes much further than it would in Toronto. Lifestyle-driven infrastructure improvements, including updates along highways 407 and 412, allow buyers to enjoy a high quality of life while remaining in close proximity to Toronto.

How Long to Sell a Home in Durham Region?

When it comes to days on market (DoM), one of the key differences Pacquing notes is that in 2016, buyers were more likely to see offer dates set in place than they are today, noting that there was more heated competition for buyers at the time. The advantage of longer DoM conditions in 2019 is that it allows buyers to conduct more in-depth due diligence and include conditions such as home inspections and financing in their offers. This relieves some pressure for buyers, particularly first-time buyers, who may otherwise feel compelled to sacrifice these conditions to make their offer stand out among competing offers.

With this in mind, what kind of timeline can Durham sellers expect when listing their properties for sale today? To find out, Zoocasa compared the average DoM in 2019 to 2016 in the eight municipalities across the region, including detached houses for sale in Oshawa, Uxbridge, Brock, Scugog, Clarington, Pickering, Whitby, and Ajax.

DoM data was sourced from the Toronto Real Estate Board, and is defined as the average number of listing days on the market for firm transactions entered onto the TREB MLS between the first and last day of the month.

It should also be noted that DoM also includes properties that have been relisted; under current real estate disclosure rules, sellers can choose to remove their listing from MLS at any time and repost it at a later date, with a new MLS identification number and price. Doing so is often a common marketing tactic in a slower market, as it allows the listing to draw fresh attention from a buyer pool at a different price point.

Whitby, Ajax Homes Sell the Fastest

The data reveals that, overall, detached houses listed for sale in Durham remained on the market for an average of 23 days last month, compared to just 11 in October 2016. 

The township of Uxbridge has seen the longest extension in the average timeline for home sales, with houses remaining on the market for 53 days, compared to the previous 16. That’s followed up by the similarly rural markets of Brock and Scugog, where houses linger for 47 and 39 days, up from 22 and 21, respectively. 

Those with houses for sale in Whitby and Ajax real estate listings face the shortest timelines to offload their properties. Both cities are among the most populated in the region, and have a greater proportion of city commuters; there, the average DoM are 19 and 18 days, up from nine and 10 in 2016, respectively.

Check out the infographic below to see how DoM has changed between 2016 and 2019 across Durham municipalities.


Tips For Durham Region Home Buyers and Sellers

Here are Pacquing’s top three tips for buyers and sellers in Durham Region. 

  • Remember than DoM is one of several metrics to consider along with price changes, list sale percentages, location, proximity and more. It helps to work with a local realtor who is familiar with the area to compare these different metrics against each other and get a well-rounded perspective on market activity. 
  • Regardless of the type of property they’re purchasing, first-time buyers in particular will gain more context about specific listings by working with their agent to understand the property history for individual listings. For example, it could be helpful to know whether a property that is currently listed on the market was listed previously at a different price or earlier in the year and then compare this information to averages for the area.
  • Move-up buyers who also plan to sell their current homes need to pay attention to market activity to help them understand whether they should buy a new property first or sell their current property before buying. Pacquing notes that there is a delicate balance at play in Durham Region today, and buyers may choose to either sell or buy first depending on what is motivating their move. She feels that if move-up buyers are organized with their finances and do the due diligence to ensure their property for sale is priced appropriately, it is possible to manage the process of buying and selling simultaneously. 

Methodology

Days on market data for Durham Region and Durham Region municipalities were sourced from the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).

Days on market is defined as the average number of listing days on the market for firm transactions entered into the TREB MLS system between the first and last day of the period being reported.

About Zoocasa

Zoocasa is a full-service brokerage that offers advanced online search tools to empower Canadians with the data and expertise they need to make more successful real estate decisions. View real estate listings at zoocasa.com or download our free iOS app.

About Penelope Graham

Penelope Graham is the Managing Editor at Zoocasa, and has over a decade of experience covering real estate, mortgage, and personal finance topics. Her commentary on the housing market is frequently featured on both national and local media outlets including BNN Bloomberg, CBC, The Toronto Star, National Post, and The Huffington Post. When not keeping an eye on Toronto's hot housing market, she can be found brunching in one of the city's many vibrant neighbourhoods, travelling abroad, or in the dance studio.