Weather seems to be a great topic of conversation these days and while those who despise the winter are loathing it, winter sports enthusiasts are having the best winter in years. Our local economy is also a huge benefactor with the grocery stores, restaurants and other area retailers doing a brisk business especially on the weekends. Real estate activity on the other side was down significantly in January, primarily due to the cold snowy weather, Between the extremely cold weather, heavy snow squall activity and frequent road closures, overall showing activity for properties listed for sale were down sharply during the month. Property showings are the prelude to getting an offer and without them, sellers need to be patient.
Area real estate sales in January as reported through the MLS® system of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® were down 27% in terms of the number of properties sold. Sales volume in January of $26.3 million was down $10 million or 28% from January 2013. Sales in every municipality reflected a decrease in sales from last year. Similarly, every price range also showed fewer sales compared to one year ago.
New listings year-to-date which total 490 properties represents a 14% reduction in the number of properties listed for sale in January 2013. Expired listings this year are also down as some sellers having failed to attract a buyer have taken their properties off the market. This has lead to as was predicted, a more balanced market which benefits neither sellers nor buyers unduly. The attached graph illustrates how market activity in terms of sales and listings have been moving over the past three years as sales have increased while inventory has been reduced.
One month does not represent a trend and understandably, who wants to be out looking at properties when it’s -20 degrees? At the same time, recent Open Houses I have held have been attracting good attendance indicating the demand and interest in area properties is still very much there. With more moderate weather during the month of February, we can expect to see an increase is sales activity which is typical as we head into the Spring market.