Here are some things that are good to know for the next time that someone starts talking to you about the real estate market, you’re going to look real good. You can say things like, “Did you know that 40% of all residential properties sold in Collingwood are condominiums?”
I’m happy to report that the real estate market is alive and well in Canada including here in the Collingwood – Blue Mountain and area marketplace. 2011 followed very similar patterns to other economic sectors with a slow start in the first half of the year and a gradual improvement leading to a pretty strong finish in the last quarter.
The economic turbulence that we are witnessing around the world did not lead to a retreat in residential sales and prices. While we are not immune to the effects of global turmoil, Canadians seem to be proactive in advance of rising housing values and expected rising interest rates ahead. Here’s how things looked locally.
There were a total of 1869 sales of all types in all areas reporting on the Georgian Triangle Association of REALTORS® MLS® system. In addition to 1161 single family home sales, there were also 352 condo sales, 127 vacant land sales and 35 sales of industrial or commercial land and buildings
(Point of Interest: There were an average of less than 10 sale ends per REALTOR®)
Of the 1869 total sales:
• 584 (31.2%) were under $200,00
• 686 sales (36.7%) were between $200-$300,000
• 422 Sales (22.6%) were priced between $300-$500,000
• Almost 68% of all sales were below $300,000
• 177 (9.5%) were over $500,000 representing the top tier of the Georgian Triangle marketplace. There were 29 sales over the one million dollar mark including 7 over 1.5 million.
Here is a chart showing the number of sales, of all types, in the full area month by month:
While the year started out well behind 2010, by the final quarter, sales in 2011 pulled well ahead of 2010 with a strong finish in the month of December.
At the end of December, there were 1722 properties listed for sale compared to 1592 in December 2010. So while we are seeing an increase in demand, we also have increased supply which has the effect of holding the sales-to-listing ratio below 30%. This means that it is still Buyer’s market conditions in most areas.
The Georgian Triangle reporting area includes several communities that overlap with other reporting areas such as Essa, Tiny, Mulmur, Springwater and areas completely outside of our board area. These are all included in the statistics yet may not present an accurate view of those communities.
Below is a breakdown of sales data for the six KEY areas of the Georgian Triangle including Collingwood, Blue Mountain, Wasaga Beach, Meaford, Clearview and Grey Highlands.
Note: 2007 was a peak year that was followed by a recession in mid 2008- mid 2009. You can see by the charts that the recovery has been slow but steady. I wouldn’t say we aspire to reach 2007 levels again soon as it was an inflated boom year. Despite that, average sale prices have clearly risen well beyond that point.
Here is a breakdown showing the 12 month average, single family residential sale price (Number of Sales By Area)
Collingwood $289,747 (303)
Blue Mountains $552,280 (153)
Wasaga Beach $276,400 (385)
Clearview $293,098 (155)
Meaford $288,991 (88)
Grey Highlands $325,521 (77)
Condominiums represent a large part of the market – especially in Collingwood and Blue Mountain were 93% of all area condo sales take place. Condominiums in fact represented 40% of all dwelling units sold in Collingwood in 2011 and 45% of dwelling unit sales in the Town of Blue Mountains. Here is a chart with a breakdown of sales and average sale prices:
It looks like I was lucky AGAIN with my predictions last year for the 2011 market since they turned out as I had projected. At this point, I feel like I’m tempting fate to go for another year but hey, what’s the worst that can happen? I’ll never hold as bad a record as poor Garth Turner!
– I think we’ll see a slowdown in local housing starts with some new development plans shelved for awhile due to a continued over-supply in the new home market
– Continued stability and momentum for at least the 1st half of 2012. After that, potential interest rate hikes and global market instability could moderately cool the housing market if at all
– I suspect we will see an increase of about 1% in average sale prices due to the continued strength in the upper tier market. This does not translate to a general increase in residential median prices
– It’s possible that the combination of high consumer debt loads and slower economic growth may lead to a new round of tightened mortgage regulations but any impact of that, if any, is impossible to predict without knowing what those changes might be.
– Consumer confidence in Canada has remained surprisingly high and investors are anxious to increase their real estate holdings while money is cheap and other financial markets generate poor returns. As people continue to buy to get ahead of potential rising interest rates and prices, this area in particular is poised to remain stable.
– Unless there is a significant shift in economic policies or crisis in the global markets, I would expect that the number of sales in 2012 will be at least equal to 2011 or more likely, slightly higher than in 2011.
So here we go. Let the buying and selling begin. Happy New Year!
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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