A continued lack of supply is likely the culprit as house sale activity and prices in the Guelph area continue to rise.

The Guelph and District Association of Realtors says 156 properties changed hands in December, representing a 4.7 per cent increase over December 2016.

December’s 156 sales brought the total for 2017 to 3,213 – a 6.5 per cent decrease from 2016, and a slight decrease from 2015, but more than were recorded in any earlier year.

The average sale price in 2017 was 20 per cent higher than the value recorded in 2016.

Rapid increases in house sale prices were seen across areas on the fringe of the Greater Golden Horseshoe in 2017, particularly in the first half of the year. This phenomenon was seen in Guelph as well, with experts chalking it up to a combination of high demand and low supply.

While supply did rise later in the year, the realtors’ association says it remains below normal levels. 2017 ended with 239 properties on the market in the area, well below the year-end figure for every previous year except 2016.

The Guelph and District Association of Realtors handles real estate transactions in Guelph, Centre Wellington, Guelph/Eramosa, Mapleton, Puslinch, Wellington North and a rural section of Milton.