Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Area Real Estate Sales Strengthen - But Buyers Remain Cautious

Area real estate sales reported through the MLS® system of the Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board during the month of August have rebounded strongly following disappointing sales in July. Sales on this last day of the month total $57 million have surpassed total sales for August 2009. 
Despite this positive level of activity, buyers remain cautious and are languishing over their purchase decisions forever fearful of overpaying should prices trend downward in the months ahead. Increasingly, we are seeing offers coming in well below the asking price.  Sellers are often offended by this but shouldn't be, it's just the nature of today's buyer(s) given the continuing uncertain economic and market conditions we face.
Typically the average list-to-sale price ratio for MLS® sales processed through the Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board is 95% provided the property is realistically priced.  An initial offer significantly below that will typically generate one of two results.  One the sellers will elect not to sign the offer back or two, the sign-back will be close to the asking price just to send a message.  Either way, this tactic creates a very adversarial environment for further negotiations and nobody wins.
Whether you are a seller or a buyer, it is imperative that you are working with a REALTOR® that can provide you with hard factual information regarding current market pricing.  Fact and accurate information based decision making are crucial in today's real estate market.  If we as professional  REALTORS® cannot provide this level of service to our clients then successful real estate transactions will elude, buyers, sellers and REALTORS® alike. 
To help you in selecting a REALTOR®  that will best meet your needs whether selling or buyer please refer to  my Home Cents Help Tip article "Interviewing Potential Realtors®."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Area Real Estate Sales Soften in July

After several consecutive months of robust sales following the slowdown we experienced in 2008, area real estate sales weakened in July versus the same month last year.  Unit sales as reported in the MLS® system of the Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board declined 25% in July compared to July 2009. A total of 162 sales were reported during the month down from the 217 properties sold in July 2009.  Sales revenue declined even further during the month as MLS® sales totaled $42.8 million down from the $62.0 million worth of properties sold in 2009 a decrease of 31%
Year-to-date 2010 sales still remain well above the total for the first seven months of  2009 (up 16%) while sales revenue for the year totals $324.1 million up 28% from the $252.5 million sold during the same period in 2009.  Sales in the upper price ranges continue to remain very strong.  Unit sales between $500,000 to $800,000 total 77 properties, an increase of 64% over 2009.  Similarly, sales over $1 million are up 78% with 16 sales reported above $1 million in 2010 versus 9 during the first seven months of 2009.
  The reasons for July's softer sales are no doubt varied.  Many buyers bought in the first half of the year to avoid potentially higher mortgage rates which were predicted to increase but essentially haven't to the levels forecasted.  The implementation of the harmonized sales tax (HST) on July 1st may also have prompted some purchases in the first half although the HST by-and-large does not affect resale real estate.
July and August can be very unpredictable months relative to overall market activity.  Many potential buyers are in "holiday mode" and do not resume their house hunting seriously until late August or early September.  In the past 10 to 14 days our office has seen a 40% increase in showing activity relative to our office's listings, a clear indication that Buyers are indeed out there viewing properties with the intention to purchase.
The remainder of 2010 should bring with it steady albeit somewhat softer level of sales activity.  Interest rates remain at very low levels and there is a great selection of available properties for would-be Buyers to choose from.  For details more specific to your particular market area and or situation, please feel free to contact me.

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Royal LePAGE Locations North (Brokerage)

330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4


Direct: 705-443-1037

Office: 705-445-5520 ext 230


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