How’s The Market? The short answer is, GREAT if you are a Seller and FRUSTRATING if you are Buyer. If you are a person who needs facts and figures, then this post is for you.
The market is VERY active with significant momentum going into 2016. In 2015, we once again broke previous sales records for the Southern Georgian Bay area including in particular, the six key communities of Collingwood, Blue Mountain, Wasaga Beach, Meaford, Clearview and Grey Highlands.
Despite the cold temperatures, the year started out strong and in 2015, the number of monthly sales exceeded the number of sales in each and every month over the year before. From April to October, we consistently sold over 200 properties per month in our region with June having been the highest month with 275 sales. In the end, the number of sales in the region were up by a very remarkable 15% over the previous already strong year with dollar volumes up by 21%! The number of new listings in our area declined by about 15% over last year putting upward pressure on prices in the areas we cover.
High Demand + Low Supply = Price Increases
Although we again saw a rise in the number of very high end sales, 76% of all sales in the area were still under $400,000 compared to 82% last year marking an upward shift in average sale prices. Bear in mind, this includes vacant land and condominiums so, residential, single family homes may fall into a higher price band. The top 10% of the market here would be properties priced over $600,000 where we saw 220 sales last year representing an increase of 24% over the previous year.Nationally, continued growth in the economy as well as Canada’s fundamentals continued to attract foreign wealth and, interest rates did not climb as predicted. Locally, we saw strong sales in both the resale and new home markets. Like last year, we continued to see migration from the GTA, from the U.K. and, the early influence of echo boomers making their first home purchases.
There were a total of 2386 sales of all types in all areas reported on the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® (SGBAR) MLS® system last year for our region. In addition to approximately 1547 single family home sales in the 6 key areas, there were also 473 condo sales, 229 vacant land sales and 40 sales of industrial or commercial properties.
There were 4347 new listings in the greater area served in 2015 and, as of January 1st, there were just over 1500 properties available for sale. This raises the issue of “inventory” which is the number of properties available for sale. The fewer the units for sale, the greater the pressure on prices. Here is a look at the number of properties available in each of our key areas as of January 1, 2016:As you can immediately see, inventory is tightest in Collingwood. Given that over 80% of sales are under $400,000, these homes only have a current supply of under two months based on sales activity in the last 3 months.
If you are looking for a 3 bedroom house with at least 1,000 square feet and a garage priced below $350,000 in Collingwood, there are just 3 to choose from at the moment and one of those has a conditional offer pending.
If you skip the garage, the number climbs to 12 choices
The year ended with a sales-to-listing ratio of 56.8% for single family homes in our six key areas compared to 43.8% at the end of 2014. This number represents the percentage of listed homes that sell against the available inventory. Typically, a sale to listing ratio of under 40% is considered to be a Buyers’ market, 40-50% a balanced market and over 50% a Sellers’ market. In this market, the picture changes when you take a closer look specifically at residential properties in the six key areas we serve ended the year with YTD ratios as follows:
- 56% Clearview
- 72% Collingwood
- 47% Grey Highlands
- 52% Meaford
- 51% The Blue Mountains
- 63% Wasaga Beach
These ratios again confirm that market conditions will be tightest for Buyers in Collingwood and Wasaga Beach where very strong Sellers’ market conditions are firmly in place.
Below is a breakdown of sales data for the six KEY traditional trading areas.
You can see the average, 12 month, residential sale prices in the chart above. This got me to thinking about trends. Here is a chart that shows how much properties have appreciated in the six key areas over the past five years.
Once again, Collingwood comes out clearly at the top with a 5 year, average residential sale price appreciation of 34% followed by Grey Highlands with 25.4%, Town of the Blue Mountains at 21.5%, Meaford at 17.2% and Wasaga Beach at 16.7%. At the bottom of the list, the Township of Clearview which includes the communities of Stayner and Creemore came in at just 3.97%.
We are sure to see continued price increases, insufficient inventory, competing offers and frustrated Buyers in most areas, particularly Collingwood, through most of 2016.
Check back later this week for a recap of the 2015 condo market results and next week, my annual predications and forecast for 2016.
All data compiled from MLS® statistics of the South Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®
When you need an experienced and knowledgeable guide to real estate in South Georgian Bay, let’s meet for a coffee.
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