MLS® sales activity reported by the Southern Georgian BayAssociation of REALTORS® have been very strong during 2013 and it would appear that we are heading for a record year in terms of dollar sales volume as reported through our local MLS® system.
Attached is a graph I have prepared which summarizes MLS® unit sales on an annual basis over the past 10 years. Despite the fact that we had seen a significant increase in annual dollar sales volume during this period, annual MLS® unit sales of individual properties have for the most part remained flat and are in fact trending downward. For the most part, MLS® sales do not include the sale of new homes in the various subdivisions around our market area. These sales are for the most part, handled by sales personnel working strictly on behalf of the builder/developer. Many of the area’s larger subdivisions such as Creekside and Georgian Meadows in Collingwood have enjoyed very strong sales activity. For every new home sold, that is essentially one less resale home sale going through the local MLS® system. Eventually these new homes will change hands and no doubt as the result of a MLS® sale transaction, but for now, new homes sales are to a reasonable degree, stifling any significant increases in annual MLS® sales.
Where we are seeing significant growth is in the sale of higher priced homes and this is what is fueling the dollar volume increases we are seeing through our MLS® system. Year-to-date sales of homes above $1.5 million during the first nine months of 2013 total 7 properties whereas last year during the same time there were just 3. Similarly there has been a significant increase in sales between $350,000 to $500,000, and also between $500,000 to $800,000 with sales in both of these price ranges up 17% year-to-date. With the migration of retirees to our area just in the early stages combined with further expansion of the recreational housing market, I expect we will continue to see sales in these upper price ranges increase annually thus driving both higher MLS® sales volume as well as continued increases in the average residential price for homes in the area.