The Niagara Association of Realtors information for August released this week, shows a 2.5 per cent increase in sales compared to a year ago. – Allan Benner

Niagara’s real estate market continued its upward trend in August, with increased sales as well as climbing property values.

The Niagara Association of Realtors released sales information for August this week, showing a 2.5 per cent increase in sales compared to August a year earlier, with a total of 649 properties changing hands.

At an average of $416,200, residential home prices increased by about 6.4 per cent, while the number of properties listed for sale increased by 28.3 per cent compared to the same time period a year earlier.

But it’s taking longer to sell those homes.

Average days on the market increased to 43, up from 31 last year, while condominiums took 39 days to sell, compared to 33 days in 2017.

In a media release, association president Stephen Oliver said the year-to-date statistics “are key when evaluating the market performance,” and since the start of 2018 the total number of sales has dropped to 4,447 compared to 5,381 in 2017.

Nevertheless, Oliver was encouraged by the prices Niagara homes are fetching.

“It is encouraging to note that residential home prices continue to hold as do the number of new listings,” Oliver said.

“As the market distances itself from 2017 and 2016 trends, the new normal for our market will continue to emerge.”

Wainfleet and Port Colborne had the least expensive average sale prices in the region last month, at $328,521; while Niagara-on-the-Lake continued to offer the most expensive real estate with an average sale price of $827,950.