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.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Area MLS® Real Estate Sales Set to Establish New Record For 2014

Area real estate sales through to the end of November remained at a record pace for 2014 with year-to-date MLS® sales setting another new record. 

 MLS® sales for the month of November as reported by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® reflected an increase of 3% with $49.5 million in sales for the month.  Individual MLS® unit sales totaled 163 properties an increase of 9% over November 2013. 

  Year-to-date MLS® sales of $666.5 million represents a 10% increase over the first eleven months of 2013, sales in 2014 have already eclipsed the entire total for last year.  MLS® unit sales for the year are up 3% with 2,091 individual property sales this year versus 2,022 during the first eleven months of last year.
  Sales over $500,000 continue to remain very strong in 2014 which is why the increase in total MLS® dollar sales exceeds the increase we are seeing in the number of properties being sold. Sales between $500,000 and $800,000 are up 15%, while sales in the $800,000 to $1 million range are up 33% with 44 sales this year compared to 33 in 2013.

  The area condominium market has been extremely strong throughout 2014.  Through the first eleven months of this year there have been 420 MLS® condo sales reported compared to 358 last year. This marks the first time that year-to-date MLS® condo sales have exceeded 400 units sold.  MLS® single family home sales of 1,368 properties, represents an increase of 4% over the number of single family homes sold year-to-date in 2013.

  As we head into the final month of 2014, market activity shows no sign of letting up.  As of this posting we are 10 days into December and MLS® sales total $24 million.  In December 2013 MLS® sales for the entire month were just $26 million so it would appear that another record month is shaping up which will see MLS® dollar sales for the year shatter another record with close to $700 million in MLS® sales reported for 2014.  

  For further information about market conditions that may affect your specific selling or buying real estate objectives, please do not hesitate to contact me for a no obligation discussions about  how I can help you to meet your goals.

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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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