Last year at this time I was actively campaigning for a seat on Collingwood Council which I ultimately lost by a very narrow margin. I choose to throw my hat in the running for many reasons not the least of which was Collingwood's overall financial health. This included taxation, spending, job creation and affordable housing. As a full time REALTOR® I am well versed in these matters and as I reflect on current real estate market activity, I can't help but ask myself has Collingwood reached a tipping point in terms of being both an attractive and affordable place to live?
Year to date MLS® single family home sales in Collingwood to the end of September are up a mere 2.6% 278 this year compared to 271 in 2014 at a time when the total MLS® market is up 16.1%. By comparison single family home sales are up 12.7% in Clearview, 22.6% in the Blue Mountains and 30.2% in Wasaga Beach. There have been 15% fewer homes MLS® listed for sale in Collingwood in 2015 but this is consistent with the market overall. The fact is 66% of MLS® listed single family homes in Collingwood have sold in 2015 compared to a list-to-sale ratio of 55% in the market overall so the weak sales performance can't be blamed on lack of inventory. Lastly, the 12 month average price for a single family home in our overall market has risen 7.2% whereas in Collingwood the increase is just 5.2%. In every sense, MLS® real estate activity in Collingwood is lagging behind the overall market in a year when we are on track to have record MLS® sales activity.
The 12-month average price for a single family home in Collingwood at the end of September was $365,000. The 2015 tax bill for a house of this "assessed value" in Collingwood would be $4,543. For a home with this assessed value that's a property tax bill that is 10.8% more than Cleaview Township, 25.8% more than WasagaBeach and 33.9% higher than in the Blue Mountains. Could Collingwood's property taxes be playing a role in this year's lagging in-town real estate market? You tell me, I look forward to your comments.