“How’s The Market?” The market is very healthy with momentum going into 2015. In 2014, 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.
The year started out weak due to the deep freeze we saw in the first several months of 2014. By May, sales rebounded and stayed above 2013 levels for each and every month through to years’ end resulting in the number of sales in the region were up by 4.7% over the previous year with dollar volumes up by 12%. The number of new listings declined by close to 5% putting upward pressure on prices in most of the areas we cover.
…the number of sales in the region were up by 4.7% over the previous year with dollar volumes up by 12%
Although we again saw a rise in the number of very high end sales, 82% of all sales in the area were still under $400,000. 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 $550,000 where we saw 350 sales last year representing an increase of 19.8% 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 with two subdivisions in the area completing their construction phases. 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 2208 sales of all types in all areas reported on the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® (SGBAR) MLS® system last year. In addition to approximately 1416 single family home, including modular and cottage resales in the 6 key areas, there were also 443 condo sales, 142 vacant land sales and 20 sales of industrial or commercial properties.
There were 5986 new listings in the greater area served in 2014 and, as of January 1st, there were just over 1400 residential and commercial properties still listed 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 months of inventory available in our key areas:As you can immediately see, inventory is tightest in Collingwood were just a 3 month supply of residential resale homes exists. 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 6 months.
We are sure to see price increases, competing offers and frustrated Buyers in Collingwood at least through the first 2 quarters on 2015 and likely beyond.
The year ended with a sales-to-listing ratio of 36.89% compared to 33% at the end of 2013. 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:
38% Grey Highlands
35% The Blue Mountains
43% Wasaga Beach
These ratios again confirm that market conditions will be tightest for Buyers in Collingwood where Sellers’ market conditions are firmly in place.
Below is a breakdown of sales data for the six KEY traditional trading areas including Collingwood, Blue Mountain, Wasaga Beach, Meaford, Clearview and Grey Highlands.
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 ten years.
Once again, Collingwood comes out clearly at the top with a 10 year appreciation of 59% followed by Clearview with 50%, Grey Highlands at 47%, Wasaga Beach at 34% and at the bottom, Town of Blue Mountains at 33%. I’ll bet you didn’t expect that last one did you? Neither did I.
Check back tomorrow for a recap of the 2014 condo market results.
* Note that all statistics were compiled from MLS® data of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®
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