For the fifth consecutive month in a row, we saw the number of MLS® LISTINGS for the month drop below 2008 levels. For the third month in a row, the number of SALES for the month exceeded the previous year.
Sales in July (218 units) and August (217 units) are the highest number of sales we’ve seen by month since August 2007. With listings down by 4% over last year and sales up, the tell tale sales-to-listing ratio tells the story of a market quickly returning to balanced market conditions. Currently, the YTD ratio sits at 33.8% and the ratio for the month of August alone climbed to 48%.
Notice in this chart below that the narrowing of the two trend lines has started. As the gap closes, the market tightens because supply goes down while demand rises. We all know what happens then, right? Prices start to climb and as we can see, the trend has now commenced.
Looking strictly at year-to-date (YTD) figures for August, the average residential sale price in all areas reported was down about 0.3% compared to the same period as last year however, this is not an indication of actual values. The absence or presence of sales in the high or low ends of the market quickly impacts averages.
As has been the case for many months now, the majority of sales activity has taken place on properties priced below $300,000. Most sales (90) were between $150,000 to $250,000 followed by the $250,000 to $350,000 bracket with 50 sales. There were also 26 sales priced between $350,000 to $500,000. Sales over that level have remained roughly on par with one year ago although we are seeing some resurgence of interest and showings for properties priced in the upper tier.
Looking at individual areas is always interesting. YTD, Collingwood has the strongest sale-to-listing ratio at a fairly balanced 39%. Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford all have ratios over 33%. Only The Town of Blue Mountains remains firmly in sellers market territory at 25%.
Sales of condominiums have surged in the last two months to levels not seen since August 2007. After seeing sales of 20-25 units per month from March to June of this year, Sales of condominiums climbed to 38 units in July and 39 in August. Vacant land sales fluctuate up and down with 13 sales last month. Over-all, residential properties on average are selling at 95-96% of their asking price
Buyers are continuing to express confidence in the market. People who delayed purchasing last fall, have re-entered the real estate market in significant numbers. There is no question we have passed the bottom of the market and the only question that remains is how prolonged and how solid this recovery will be. I think interest rates will be a key factor in determining that outcome.
With over 1900 residential properties for sale in the area, it is still very important for sellers to ensure that their homes are well-priced and well presented as Buyers are looking for value and opportunity.
Note: All data was obtained from the MLS® statistics provided by the Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board.
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