With half of 2012 now behind us, I thought it might be a good idea to take a deeper look at the real estate market performance this year.
The number of new listings was down 21% in the month of June compared to May with 576 new listings in the Georgian Triangle area. Year-to-date listings are still up by 6.7% over 2011. A deeper analysis shows something interesting.
Based on the number of sales this year and the number of currently available properties for sale, Collingwood in particular is moving into a situation of tightening inventory while the other areas are still very much in a buyer’s market position with inventory surpluses.
I also did a bit of “Googling” to see what I could find in the way of For Sale By Owners and notice there are about a dozen in Collingwood and Blue Mountain combined with more than that in Wasaga Beach. There are also many new home developments still offering up new inventory and, there were about 2,600 properties of all kinds listed for sale through-out the Georgian Triangle on our MLS® system. Of these, about 1200 are residential listings in the six key areas of Collingwood, Clearview, Wasaga Beach, Blue Mountains, Grey Highlands and Meaford. In other words, it is a VERY competitive buyer’s market in most areas.
The number of sales in June was down 18% from May and 15% from June 2011 which was the peak sales month last year. Year-to-date, there have been 977 sales which is up 9.6% over the same period last year but much of that increased demand was seen in the early months of the year.
Is this an early sign of some softening in the market? It’s hard to say but with the mortgage changes coming into effect on July 9th, it may be. The tightening of available inventory however, means that our sales to listings ratios are still holding for now and the next quarter should provide clarity.
While the average sale price appears to be down in most areas except for Meaford and Wasaga Beach, I think the reality is that they are actually up a bit when we take a closer look. Our MLS® reporting system looks at AVERAGE and not MEDIAN price. With far fewer sales over $700,000 this year (28 versus 39 this time last year), the average is lower. I took a closer look and did a search of specifically, 3 bedroom detached homes with garages, full basements and on town services. By doing that search, I found prices were actually up in most area except for Meaford and Clearview where averages were down slightly.
As condominiums represent a large percentage of the sales in Collingwood and Blue Mountains, they are a bit of a market unto themselves. The chart below illustrates some of the changes in the condominium market over the last year. It’s very difficult to interpret the results as you can see. In general and based on anecdotal evidence, the condo market is quite soft at the moment and especially in and around the Village and Blue Mountain Resort. Most of the gains have been seen in the more residential offerings (versus investment or recreational) in Collingwood.
With less than 1 in 3 properties selling in most areas of the Georgian Triangle, Sellers really need to understand that this is not the time to test the market. Homes must be properly priced, in excellent showing condition and well presented in order to sell.
Buyers need to look beyond the decorating and make careful decisions based on market values, resale values and emotion in order to make a solid investment in real estate that will bring peace of mind and enjoyment for years to come. Having a REALTOR® who really understands the market and process is key for both buyers and sellers.
It’s always a pleasure to meet new people and to assist them in meeting their real estate goals. If you would like to schedule a buyer or seller consultation with me, please feel free to contact me anytime at 705-446-1762 or send me an email.
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