Friday, July 11, 2014

57% of Ontarians Optimistic About Real Estate

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA)  has partnered with market research firm Ipsos Reid to conduct a semi-annual province-wide research study that reflects how residents in Ontario view the current the residential real estate market. 

 For several years, various self proclaimed experts have touted  throughout the media that Canada's real estate market was over-heated, that the bubble was about to burst and Canadian homeowners should prepare themselves to see 15% to 20% or more of their home equity erased.  Such has yet to happen yet with a seemingly constant barrage of negative news about the Canadian real estate market you'd think the mood of consumers would be somber.

  The accompanying infographic (click on to enlarge) is the first release of the new OREA, Ispos Reid study.  Overall, Ontarians appear to feel optimistic about both the market outlook and home ownership.  Study results reflect that 57% feel this way with 34% believing the Ontario market will be even stronger next year.

In central Ontario where we are, 54% feel favourable towards the current market while 40% believe that conditions will be even better next year.  How this translates into the southern Georgina Bay region remains to be seen.  Many buyers in our market do not currently reside here.  Their purchasing motivation is often drive more by their desire to purchase a recreational property or on for retirement purposes.  I am sure that those living locally and employed in the retail or service sector would be far less optimistic that about a real estate purchase that someone from the Greater Toronto Area looking to invest in property in the area.

  This brings up two important issues relative to the future of Collingwood and the surrounding area especially in view of the upcoming municipal election this fall.  The first is economic development/job creation while the second is the question of affordable housing.   I will speak to these two issues in future posts.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

MLS® Area Real Estate Sales Up 41% in June

 Following a sluggish market January through the end of March, area real estate sales rebounded very strongly in the second quarter ending with a blockbuster month in June, where MLS® dollar volume reached the highest level ever.

  MLS® unit sales in June were 30% higher than June of 2013 with 248 sales reported compared to 191 in June 2014.  MLS® dollar volume in June was $78.1 million, an increase of 41% over the $55.3 million worth of properties sold in June 2013 and the highest month on record for our area. 
 
  MLS® unit sales during the 2nd quarter of 680 properties represented an increase of 11% over the number of properties sold in 2nd quarter 2013.  Meanwhile, 2nd quarter MLS® dollar volume of $213.8 million reflected a 20% increase over the first six months of 2013.  Based on the strong sales performance during the 2nd quarter, we have erased the 6% year-to-date shortfall in sales revenue that existed at the end of March.  Year-to-date sales of $326.9 million, represents a 9% increase from the first six months of 2013 while year-to-date MLS® unit sales for individual properties is up increase of just 1% from one year ago.  The primary weakness in unit sales activity has been in the single family home segment of the market.  With the exception of Grey Highlands up 17% and the Municipality of Meaford which is up 28%, all other area municipalities are showing a reduction in single family home sales year-over-year.  Condominium sales overall have been very strong in 2014 with 196 MLS® condo re-sales reported year-to-date compared to 175 one year ago, an increase of 6%.
 
  During the first half of the year we have seen robust sales activity in the $500,000 to $1 million price range.  Sales between $500,000 and $750,000 are up 26% while sales in the $750,000 to $1 million price range are up 20% over last year.  At the lower end of the pricing scale, sales in the $200,000 to $350,000 price range are reflecting a 10% gain over last year with quality listings in the $300,000 to $350,000 range selling quickly.

  There continues to be an ongoing reduction in available inventory with the number of new listings year-to-date down 2%.  The number of expired listings has dropped 10% from one year ago as sellers either reduce their prices to induce a sale or they are simply taking their properties off the market having failed to attract a buyer.

 My own personal forecast is that we will continue to see strong sales activity through the balance of 2014.  As is often the case, the slowdown in sales activity that we experienced in the first three months of the year which was seemingly weather related, has served to create a pent up demand which explains the very strong sales activity that we experienced in the 2nd quarter.   




Thursday, June 12, 2014

Why People Move

If you have your property currently listed for sale, and you are frustrated with the lack of progress in securing a Buyer there may be a number of reasons.  One of the key factors affecting our area unlike other markets such as the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is Buyer motivation.

  Most of you will agree that our lifestyle here in Canada is not much different than our counterparts in the U.S.  I can personally attest to that as I lived in the Chicago area for 4 years and travelled extensively through many of the 50 states.  I just read an article that was titled "More Americans Move for Families and Jobs."  I suspect the same applies here in Canada but not so much in our market.

  The article was based on a recent survey by the U.S. Census Bureau reflected that 48% of Americans make a move for housing related reasons.  This was down from almost 53% in 2004.  The other reasons (more than 50%) for a move were job related approximately 20% and family related 30%. 

  The report reflected than 5% choose to make a move simply to be closer to their work lessening their commute, this was up from 3% in 1993.  I am not surprised by this.  Commuting to work gets more onerous with each passing year, many Buyers are basing their purchasing decisions in the GTA in relation to their work location.  Adding to this is another report I recently read which indicated about 50% of “millennials,” those around 18+ years of age did not even have a driver’s license.  Seemingly their work and personal lives are intertwined in the city so “why do I need a car?” 

  In 1999, approximately 21% of Americans moved because they wanted a better house.  The latest report shows that this has dropped to 15% and I suspect an aging population wishing to down-size may have something to with it.  The same applies here in Canada.

 Buyer motivation in our area is quite different than in the GTA for example.  Moving to be closer to work is hardly a factor and in the absence of any strong economic development initiatives moving here for work is even less of a factor.  With the arrival of low interest rates, we have seen more people making a move to a larger/better home because they want or need one.

 So why are the majority of people buying here?  As a REALTOR® I can state with some authority that a great number of the Buyers we deal with are moving to the area for retirement purposes or to buy some recreational property.  Neither are terribly motivating factors and they are certainly not factors that require a sense of urgency which helps to explain why the number of “days-on-market” for properties in our area are much longer than in a market such as the GTA.  Many Buyers in this area are making a potential purchase or move simply because they want to.  Their move is not work related or even family related where it is tied into the end of a school year for example. 


  Once you eliminate the family and job related reasons for a move, you have effectively reduced the number of potential Buyers for our area which in turns adds to the time it takes to secure a Buyer for your property.

Contact Me

Royal LePAGE Locations North (Brokerage)

330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4



Email:
rickcrouch@propertycollingwood.com



Direct: 705-443-1037



Office: 705-445-5520 ext 230




Website:
www.propertycollingwood.com















My Profile

Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.