After reviewing, crunching, tabulating and charting, I finally have a report to share on the 2008 Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board performance. The Georgian Triangle area traditionally includes Collingwood, Blue Mountain, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford however, the data in some cases captures a wider area that includes towns on the edges of our typical trading area.
It’s a tough undertaking to provide you with the fairest and most unbiased data because as Mark Twain once said, “Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.” The outcomes change depending on the data used and variables like areas, types of properties, time frames and values all change the picture. For this reason, I’ve used a variety of approaches and have provided data that you can interpret as you wish.
Three Important Points to Ponder:
1. Our MLS® system uses average sale prices rather than median prices. Neither is an exact science but when used comparatively, it gives us a general sense of trends only. For example, the absence or presence of very low or very high-end sales can dramatically alter averages within small sampling groups. In recent months, both TD and National Bank-Teranet have developed new way to measure house price indexes and the results showed dramatically different results from traditional measurements. What they did show is that house prices have not declined as much as believed in Canada.
2. 2008 data is being compared only to 2007. You should note that 2007 was a record sales year that represented the market peak.
3. The data on these charts is cumulative for the year and does not show trends. For example, most of the decline in prices occurred in the final quarter of 2008. That signals a new trend is underway. (December and 3rd quarter only data to follow in a post coming to you soon.)
Nonetheless, we have what we have. Below are data charts which you can click on to enlarge (‘cause who can read this little stuff?).
• Total sales activity has declined since May (not just the final quarter as believed)
• The total number of listings increased in every month of 2008 except for March
• The sales to listing ratio is firmly into the Buyer’s market zone. This ratio is measured by dividing the number of properties sold by the number listed. A ratio of under 40% suggests a Buyers market, 40-50% is a more balanced market and over 50% is typically considered to be a Sellers market.
• The 12 month average sale price for single family residential units in the major communities of the Georgian Triangle is down about 7.5% although Collingwood is actually up slightly. If you exclude sales under $100,000 and over $1 million, the pictures changes substantially with the average sale price in 2008 down just 1.9% over 2007 using the same parameters. In this case, the average sale prices are actually up in both Collingwood and Wasaga Beach.
• The average sale price of condos in the Georgian Triangle was up marginally for the year.
• There were 1634 active listings (all types) on the Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board MLS® at years end.
All in all, this is not as gloomy a picture as the media has portrayed. There has been more of a decline in the number of sales rather than price although, the trend is that prices are clearly moderating now. Stay tuned for the 4th quarter report examining this trend closer.
All MLS® data and/or statistics obtained from the Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board.
When it’s time to buy or sell real estate in the Collingwood, Blue Mountain or Georgian Triangle area, contact Marg, an experienced and competent Broker who’s ready whenever you are!
Marg Scheben-Edey is a Broker with RE/MAX four seasons realty limited, Brokerage in beautiful Collingwood, ON. With three decades of experience, Marg is a leader in the local real estate marketplace and is ready to help guide both Buyers and Sellers in achieving their real estate goals. Email Marg