Monday, January 19, 2015

Area MLS® Real Estate Sales Exceed $700 Million in 2014!

Another record year was recorded for area real estate sales in 2014 with total MLS® sales as reported by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® (SGBAR) topping $705 Million.  This marks a new benchmark high for annual MLS® sales volume and represents a 12% increase over 2013.

  Following the cold snowy weather of last winter, MLS® dollar sales at the end of the first quarter were down 6% while individual MLS® unit sales were 13% below the prior year.  As is often the case, slow sales activity in the first quarter of 2014 appeared to have created a pent-up demand as sales activity rebounded very strongly commencing in April.  This trend continued on into late spring and summer with MLS® sales in June 2014 exceeding $78 million, the
 highest level ever achieved in a one month period.
  Unit MLS® sales for 2014 were up 5% compared to 12% for dollar volume stemming from the fact that sales of higher priced properties were very robust throughout the year.  Sales from $300K to $500K were up 16% while sales in the $500K to $800 range posted a 13% gain over the prior year.  Sales between $800K and $1 million almost doubled from the prior year, with 47 sales reported in 2014 compared to 24 in 2013, an increase of 96%.  Lastly, sales above $1 million totaled 40 properties versus 34 in the prior year, a gain of 18%.

During the year we continued to see the market move into a balanced state stemming from the fact that new MLS® listings of 5,986 properties marked a reduction of 5% over 2013.  Expired listings also dropped with 2,734 expired MLS® listings in 2014 compared to 3,076 in 2013, a decrease of 11%.  Fewer new listings combined with increased sales resulted in less available MLS® inventory across the board thus leveling the playing field for sellers and buyers alike.  

  During 2014 we saw a very strong demand for area condominiums.  MLS® condominium sales in 2014 totaled 443 units, an increase of 18% over the 374 MLS® condominium sales reported in 2013.  Single family home sales for 2014 were up a more modest 6%  while the sale of vacant lots/land was actually below that of 2013 with 144 sales in 2014 compared to 154 the prior year.

 As we head into 2015, conditions point to another strong year in terms of the demand for area real estate.  For the most part there is a good selection of available inventory.  Prices and interest rates appeared poised to remain stable and with another great ski and snowboard season now underway, visitors are flocking to the area often resulting in their decision to make a property investment in the area.

 For a look at the luxury, high-end property market activity in 2014, see my Southern Georgian Bay Carriage Trade Homes blog.











    

Monday, December 29, 2014

What's Wrong Downtown

  During this fall's municipal election campaign two all candidates meetings were held by Collingwood's Business Improvement Association (BIA) pertaining to business the downtown core.  Candidates were asked what our “vision” was for Collingwood’s downtown.  While the answers were varied, the overall objective was how would we propose to stimulate economic growth in the downtown core?  We’ve all heard the concerns over paid parking, the big box retailers opening on the west side of town and a host of other reasons as to why businesses on Hurontario Street are having a difficult time prospering in a changing economy.  Ice sculptures and other initiatives aimed at drawing consumer traffic to Collingwood’s main street are fine but there’s an underlying problem that no one seems to want to address. 

  This morning, one of my real estate associates went downtown to make a purchase.  He visited three separate stores (all in the same business) before finally getting what he wanted.  He went to the first store their sign said open at 9:30am, but at 9:50am no one was there.  On to store number two.      By this time it’s nearing 10:00am.  Store two is slated to open at 10:00am, the place is in total darkness with no sign of any life whatsoever that would indicate they are eminently about to open so rather than wait around on he went to store number three.  Store three opens at 9:00am, half an hour to an hour before their competitors. By this time they’ve already been open for over an hour and guess what, they were very busy. 

  Three stores all identical relative to their businesses.  Three different opening times two of which had failed to open as per their posted hours.  Another business on Hurontario Street is closing offering up to 80% off, we all know which one.  I peered in their blackened window this morning as they are closed on Monday!  Closed on Monday?  You are closing for good.  You have inventory to liquidate.  The town is full of holiday visitors on what is one of the busiest retail weeks of the year and you are closed?


  Something has to change downtown and it’s not simply removing the parking meters.  I hope that our new Council along with partners such as the BIA and Chamber of Commerce establishes an economic development plan that will not only address attracting new employment to Collingwood, it will change the attitudes of some area business owners in order they are not the victim(s) of their own shortcomings.  Ice sculptures and bonfires etc. are all nice but ultimately people go downtown to shop.  We need to make to easy for residents and visitors alike to patronize the downtown businesses and seemingly, nobody needs to be reminded more of that than the businesses themselves.  




Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 Christmas Turkey Challenge

  Having served on the Board of Directors of our local Real Estate Association for a number of years including that of President (2008), I have been proud of the support that we as an organization have given to the community.

  On behalf of the Members of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® (SGBAR), the President of the Association, Wayne Cornfield, presented cheques to various local charities representing proceeds of over $7,000 from the Ontario REALTORS Care Foundation – Every REALTOR® Campaign. This year’s recipients were: Community Reach in Midland, Campbell House Hospice in Collingwood and the Housing Resource Centre.

  Each SGBAR Member contributes monthly through the Every REALTOR® Campaign. The Ontario REALTORS Care Foundation acts on behalf of Ontario REALTORS® in funding shelter-related charities across the province. Shelter is defined as a refuge, haven or protection that provides or improves quality of life from hunger, the elements, physical/psychological abuse, disabilities and illness. In 2014, the Foundation was able to provide over $800,000 in grants to more than 200 shelter-based organizations! “The Foundation is committed to contributing to its members’ communities,” says Cornfield. “It’s one of the ways our local REALTORS® can give back to the communities where they live, work and play.”

  This year we joined our colleagues from the Midland area in a "Christmas Turkey Challenge."  Collectively we raised over $5,000 and purchased 312 turkeys from Foodland and Freshco to distribute to less fortunate families throughout the Southern Georgian Bay area.

  From my perspective this is what Christmas should be all about.  I don't need gifts and for the most part neither does my family.  It's much more gratifying to give back to the very communities which we as REALTORS® make our livings from.  Congratulations and a heartfelt thanks to all of my real estate colleagues across Southern Georgian Bay.


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.rickcrouch.realtor















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.