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Fewer homes for buyers to pick from in Hamilton's hot market

Home prices continued rising in July, according to new numbers published Thursday by the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington. And sales continued at a steady pace in another month of a housing market that favours sellers and tests buyers' patience.

Median sale price in Hamilton and Burlington up 9.6 per cent from July 2014

Metro Vancouver mayors are exploring different options to cool the region's red hot housing market. (Associated Press)

Home prices continued rising in July, according to new numbers published Thursday by the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington. And sales continued at a steady pace in another month of a housing market that favours sellers and tests buyers' patience. 

The median sale price for a residential property sold in July (both detached and condos) was $375,000. That's a 9.6 per cent increase over last July.

There were 1,564 homes sold in the Hamilton and Burlington region, about 5 per cent more than July 2014.

It took fewer days to sell a house and a condo in July than it did the same month a year earlier. While there were more sales, there were fewer homes to choose from — the "inventory" of homes for sale is 14 per cent lower at the end of July than the same time last year.

Realtors use a ratio to measure how tight a market is by looking at the number of sales in a month compared to the number of listings in the inventory. That ratio is tight for both freestanding homes and condos, but especially tight — 96 per cent — for condos. That means nearly all of the condos on the market could sell out within a month if no new ones were listing.

For freehold houses, that ratio is at two months. 

"It's still all about lack of inventory," said the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington CEO Ross Godsoe in a statement with the new numbers. "After three record-breaking months in a row, there is just over two months of listing inventory – a sure indicator of a continued seller's market." 

The biggest price jumps out of the 14 sub-regions in the RAHB numbers were in Hamilton Centre and Ancaster. Average prices for homes sold in July were 24 per cent higher in Hamilton Centre ($251,082) and 28.5 per cent higher in Ancaster ($588,873) than the average price for sales there in July 2014. 

Average prices tend to reflect general market trends but outlier expensive or inexpensive sales can skew the numbers for a particular month.

Here's a look at those average prices in July 2014 compared to July 2015:

(Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington)

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