Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Upper End Home Sales Continue to Drive Area Real Estate Sales Upward

Although we continue to have a cold snowy winter, certain aspects of the real estate market have really started to heat up early in 2011 most notably the upper end of the market.
  To date we have had 3 sales (that I am aware of) ranging in price from $1.8 to $3.25 million.  One of those was a property not listed on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS® which I sold myself for over $2.7 million.  Further, two adjoining waterfront properties one of which was a vacant lot sold to the same buyer for $900,000 each so that too was essentially a $1.8 million dollar sale.  Three of these upper end sales were waterfront properties in the Blue Mountains.  In 2009 and 2010, higher end waterfront properties languished on the market.  Now barely six weeks into the new year with the beach areas buried under ice and snow not visible for the buyers to inspect and they are selling quite briskly.
  January sales reported through the MLS® system of the Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board (GTREB) were $22.7 million up 11% from $20.5 million in January 2010.  Not included in the January 2011 results was the aforementioned sale of over $2.7 million which did not go through GTREB's MLS®.  Unit sales in Janaury 2011 actually dropped from the prior year 77 versus 81 sold in January 2010 so the revenue increase was driven purely by the sale of more expensive properties.  The Municipality of Meaford and the Blue Mountains are the only two municipalities showing an increase in unit sales for January.
  People keep talking about it being a buyer's market but I for one am not buying into the notion.  Sure, the number of new MLS® listings this year through the end of January are up 5% but in any given price range, property type or area the selection is quite slim.  I have buyers ready and willing to make a purchase right now, we just can't find the right property. All of the aforementioned million dollar sales were at prices that exceeded 90% of their respective asking prices so there were hardly "given away."
  One month certainly does not make a year but improving economic conditions, renewed consumer confidence and the threat of higher interest rates down the road are bringing people back into the real estate buying mode, some in a very big way.  As the saying goes "an ill wind always blows someone some good."  The abundance of snow this winter resulting in fabulous ski, snowboard and snowmobiling conditions is bringing people to the area in droves. This in turn stimulates the local economy including real estate activity so in addition improved economic conditions, Mother Nature deserves some credit as well.

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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.