Tuesday, October 18, 2016

You Can Help Save The Nottawasaga Lighthouse

As many of you may be aware, there has been a movement afoot for a number of years now by a dedicated and passionate group of volunteers to acquire and restore the Nottawasaga Lighthouse. Originally initiated by the late Jim Kilgour, this project was stalled due to Jim's untimely passing and was subsequently resurrected by Krista King and a following of eager and passionate individuals that are strong advocates of seeing this iconic structure restored to its former glory.
 
  I am an avid boater and have spent my entire life travelling on Georgian Bay and northern Lake Huron based from cottage at South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island.  I have a great appreciation for and fascination with lighthouses, both as navigational aids while boating as well as the unique architectural and historical significance they represent  My great grandfather was the lightkeeper of two range lights at South Baymouth one of which is pictured here so there is also some family connection to these unique structures.

  The Nottawasaga Lighthouse was one of six "Imperial" towers built between 1855 and 1858.  Ironically, our own Nottawasaga Lighthouse went into service in 1858, the very same year that the Town of Collingwood was incorporated.   All six of the towers are still in existence today, unfortunately the Nottawasaga Lighthouse is in the worst shape stemming from years of neglect as the light was decommissioned in 2003 after which it was subsequently struck by lightning causing further damage.  For a complete history of the lighthouse and other information please visit the Nottawasaga Lighthouse Preservation Society (NLPS) website.

  This past June I was elected to the NLPS Board of Directors and humbly assumed the position of Chairman.  Collectively the Board has worked very hard through the summer months and this week we are in the process of taking the first step in what we hope will be a successful and historically correct restoration of the tower and eventually the rebuilding of the lightkeeper's house.  The accompanying picture is one of the six Imperial towers, this one on Cove Island off Tobermory.  One day the Nottawasga Lighthouse will stand as proudly as this one.  Over the next four to six weeks we will be shrink wrapping the tower to help prevent any further degradation of the structure while we raise the necessary funds for its restoration.  While this work is underway you too can help.

  Aviva Canada is one of the leading casualty and property insurers in Canada.  Each year the Aviva Community Fund provides $1 million in funding for special community projects across the country and this year the Nottawasaga Lighthouse has made their list of contenders for up to $100,000 in funding.  You can help by casting you vote to save our "Light."  To date we have over 9,300 votes but many more are needed.  Please visit Aviva's "Help Save The Nottawasaga Lighthouse" webpage or the NLPS website to cast your vote and encourage your friends to do likewise.  Each person can cast 18 votes, it's quick and easy yet will potentially mean a great deal in helping us to secure this funding opportunity.

  In the coming weeks I will endeavour to keep you apprised of the shrink wrapping process as we race against the weather to complete the work.  If you have any questions and or to offer your support in any way, we are always looking for volunteers in various capacities so feel free to contact me at 705-443-1037 or via email at rrcrouch@rogers.com

  

Friday, October 7, 2016

Area MLS® Real Estate Sales Could Hit $1 Billion in 2016

 MLS® sales in September as reported by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS (SGBAR) continued at a record pace bringing us one step closer to realizing $1 billion in MLS® sales volume for 2016.

  MLS® dollar sales in September totalled $94.3 million, an increase of 18% from one year ago when sales reached $80.0 million. A total of 243 properties sold in September through our local MLS® system which was actually a decrease in unit sales of 2% from September of last year when 249 properties sold.  As I have said in prior posts, the only real threat to sales is the lack of properties listed for sale.  New listings during September declined a staggering 27% with 292 new MLS® listing reported in September compared to 399 in September of last year.  Year-to-date, new MLS® listing activity is down 9% while sales are at record levels.  There remains an abundance of buyers with far too few properties listed for sale to satisfy the demand.

Year-to-date MLS® unit sales for the first nine months of 2016 now total 2,188 properties, an increase of 18% over last year.  MLS® dollar volume for the year now stands at $812.2 million, 30% higher than the same time last year.  Total MLS® dollar volume in 2008 totalled $489.2 million and here we are on the threshold of breaking the $1 billion barrier for 2016 a mere 8 years later.

  The growth in area condominium sales are outpacing the sales of single family homes.  Through the end of September condo sales are up 21% from last year with 440 MLS® sales year-to-date.  MLS® single family home sales totalling 1,442 properties reflects a 15% over the 1,255 home sold in the first nine months of 2015.  After two or three slow years, we have seen a very strong resurgence in vacant land sales. Year-to-date there have been 201 vacant lot sales compared to 150 last year, an increase of 34%.  Clearly the shortage of finished homes listed for sale has helped to drive the sale of vacant lots with buyers electing to build in a market where there clearly a shortage of homes to choose from.


 Not all areas of our market are performing equally as well in this robust market. Clearview Township continues to lead all area municipalities in terms of the largest increase in single family home sales year-over-year with 159 sales through the end of September marking a 28%% increase over 2015. Single family home sales in Wasaga Beach are up 23% this year with 546 MLS® sales reported compared to 443 one year ago.  Sales of single family homes in Collingwood are up a more modest 10% year-to-date while sales in the Municipality of Meaford and Grey Highlands are up 14% and 20% respectively.  Lastly single family home sales in the Blue Mountains are down this year with 159 sales reflecting a 2% decrease from one year ago.  New home building activity in the Blue Mountains is very strong which has no doubt played a role in the reduced sales activity of exiting homes in the municipality.  Vacant land sales in the Blue Mountains this year are up 36% with 72 lot sales so far this year.

  As we head into the final stretch of the year, it would appear that the insufficient supply of properties on the market is going to have an adverse impact on sales activity during the final quarter.  For those looking to sell, the timing right now could never be better to maximize the equity in your property.

  Selling or buying in this hyper active market has its challenges.  For a confidential no obligation  discussion about your real estate goals or needs please feel free to Contact Me.






Area MLS® Real Estate Sales Could Hit $1 Billion in 2016

 MLS® sales in September as reported by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS (SGBAR) continued at a record pace bringing us one step closer to realizing $1 billion in MLS® sales volume for 2016.

  MLS® dollar sales in September totalled $94.3 million, an increase of 18% from one year ago when sales reached $80.0 million. A total of 243 properties sold in September through our local MLS® system which was actually a decrease in unit sales of 2% from September of last year when 249 properties sold.  As I have said in prior posts, the only real threat to sales is the lack of properties listed for sale.  New listings during September declined a staggering 27% with 292 new MLS® listing reported in September compared to 399 in September of last year.  Year-to-date, new MLS® listing activity is down 9% while sales are at record levels.  There remains an abundance of buyers with far too few properties listed for sale to satisfy the demand.

Year-to-date MLS® unit sales for the first nine months of 2016 now total 2,188 properties, an increase of 18% over last year.  MLS® dollar volume for the year now stands at $812.2 million, 30% higher than the same time last year.  Total MLS® dollar volume in 2008 totalled $489.2 million and here we are on the threshold of breaking the $1 billion barrier for 2016 a mere 8 years later.

  The growth in area condominium sales are outpacing the sales of single family homes.  Through the end of September condo sales are up 21% from last year with 440 MLS® sales year-to-date.  MLS® single family home sales totalling 1,442 properties reflects a 15% over the 1,255 home sold in the first nine months of 2015.  After two or three slow years, we have seen a very strong resurgence in vacant land sales. Year-to-date there have been 201 vacant lot sales compared to 150 last year, an increase of 34%.  Clearly the shortage of finished homes listed for sale has helped to drive the sale of vacant lots with buyers electing to build in a market where there clearly a shortage of homes to choose from.


 Not all areas of our market are performing equally as well in this robust market. Clearview Township continues to lead all area municipalities in terms of the largest increase in single family home sales year-over-year with 159 sales through the end of September marking a 28%% increase over 2015. Single family home sales in Wasaga Beach are up 23% this year with 546 MLS® sales reported compared to 443 one year ago.  Sales of single family homes in Collingwood are up a more modest 10% year-to-date while sales in the Municipality of Meaford and Grey Highlands are up 14% and 20% respectively.  Lastly single family home sales in the Blue Mountains are down this year with 159 sales reflecting a 2% decrease from one year ago.  New home building activity in the Blue Mountains is very strong which has no doubt played a role in the reduced sales activity of exiting homes in the municipality.  Vacant land sales in the Blue Mountains this year are up 36% with 72 sales in the first

  As we head into the final stretch of the year, it would appear that the significant insufficient supply of properties on the market is going to have an adverse impact on sales activity.  For those looking to sell, the timing right now could never be better to maximize the equity in your property and this is especially true for those that do not need to immediately replace their current property with another one.

  Selling or buying in this hyper active market has its challenges.  For a confidential no obligation  discussion about your real estate goals or needs please feel free to Contact Me.






Area MLS® Real Estate Sales Could Hit $1 Billion in 2016

 MLS® sales in September as reported by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS (SGBAR) continued at a record pace bringing us one step closer to realizing $1 billion in MLS® sales volume for 2016.

  MLS® dollar sales in September totalled $94.3 million, an increase of 18% from one year ago when sales reached $80.0 million. A total of 243 properties sold in September through our local MLS® system which was actually a decrease in unit sales of 2% from September of last year when 249 properties sold.  As I have said in prior posts, the only real threat to sales is the lack of properties listed for sale.  New listings during September declined a staggering 27% with 292 new MLS® listing reported in September compared to 399 in September of last year.  Year-to-date, new MLS® listing activity is down 9% while sales are at record levels.  There remains an abundance of buyers with far too few properties listed for sale to satisfy the demand.

Year-to-date MLS® unit sales for the first nine months of 2016 now total 2,188 properties, an increase of 18% over last year.  MLS® dollar volume for the year now stands at $812.2 million, 30% higher than the same time last year.  Total MLS® dollar volume in 2008 totalled $489.2 million and here we are on the threshold of breaking the $1 billion barrier for 2016.

  The growth in area condominium sales are outpacing the sales of single family homes.  Through the end of September condo sales are up 21% from last year with 440 MLS® sales year-to-date.  MLS® single family home sales totalling 1,442 properties reflects a 15% over the 1,255 home sold in the first nine months of 2015.  After two or three slow years, we have seen a very strong resurgence in vacant land sales. Year-to-date there have been 201 vacant lot sales compared to 150 last year, an increase of 34%.  Clearly the shortage of finished homes listed for sale has helped to drive the sale of vacant lots with buyers electing to build in a market where there clearly a shortage of homes to choose from.


 Not all areas of our market are performing equally as well in this robust market. Clearview Township continues to lead all area municipalities in terms of the largest increase in single family home sales year-over-year with 159 sales through the end of September marking a 28%% increase over 2015. Single family home sales in Wasaga Beach are up 23% this year with 546 MLS® sales reported compared to 443 one year ago.  Sales of single family homes in Collingwood are up a more modest 10% year-to-date while sales in the Municipality of Meaford and Grey Highlands are up 14% and 20% respectively.  Lastly single family home sales in the Blue Mountains are down this year with 159 sales reflecting a 2% decrease from one year ago.  New home building activity in the Blue Mountains is very strong which has no doubt played a role in the reduced sales activity of exiting homes in the municipality.  Vacant land sales in the Blue Mountains this year are up 36% with 72 sales in the first

  As we head into the final stretch of the year, it would appear that the significant insufficient supply of properties on the market is going to have an adverse impact on sales activity.  For those looking to sell, the timing right now could never be better to maximize the equity in your property and this is especially true for those that do not need to immediately replace their current property with another one.

  Selling or buying in this hyper active market has its challenges.  For a confidential no obligation  discussion about your real estate goals or needs please feel free to Contact Me.






Thursday, October 6, 2016

Generation X Driving Increased Demand for Recreational Properties

Once again this year I was asked to assist Royal LePage Canada as an advisor with the preparation of their annual Recreational Property Report.  The report is now complete and the following is a Press Release that is was issued which summarizes the findings of this year's report.

Generation X buyers of cottages, cabins and chalets across Canada outnumber Baby Boomers by almost two to one, according to the Royal LePage 2016 Canadian Recreational Housing Report released today. Still, planning for retirement living is among the most common reasons potential buyers give for the purchase of a recreational property.  The annual report compiles information from a cross-Canada survey of real estate advisors who specialize in recreational property sales.

The survey found that 65 per cent of advisers polled indicated that potential purchasers were considering their retirement needs in deciding to buy a recreational property, while a significant number of respondents (88 per cent) said that potential purchasers identified desired lifestyle and vacationing as their main purpose. Just under half of respondents (49 per cent) said that clients wanted a recreational property as an investment and a little over a third (37 per cent) indicated that low interest rates were a deciding factor.

The family status of the typical recreational property buyer is a couple with children, according to 76 per cent of survey respondents. When asked about the most prevalent age range of current buyers, 63 per cent of respondents identified Gen Xers (36 to 51 years old), almost double the 33 per cent who identified Baby Boomers (52 to 70 years old).

“We found it interesting that a majority of respondents identified retirement as a driving factor for a recreational property purchase consideration, but Gen Xers, still decades from retirement, were identified as the typical buyer in the current market,” said Phil Soper, president and chief executive officer, Royal LePage. “This cohort, having reached a place of stability, and often owners of primary residences in the country’s city centres, is making recreational property purchases for family enjoyment in the near-term and as a key strategy for retirement.”

“Canada’s extended low interest rate environment has clearly provided buyers with the confidence they need to invest in a cottage or cabin,” added Soper. “In contrast to urban home purchase decisions, buying a property on a lakefront or mountainside is much less about interest rates, and more about enhancing lifestyle. Cash savings trump mortgage financing when it comes to how people are acquiring recreational property.”

To view the entire Recreational Property Report report Click Here.  If I can be of any assistance in helping you with respect to your recreational property needs either buying or selling, please do not hesitate to Contact Me, my information and expertise is offered without obligation.



Friday, May 6, 2016

Area MLS® Real Estate Sales Approach $100 Million in April

The demand for area real estate shows no sign of abating and even the cooler, wet spring weather can't seem to quench the appetite for properties across Southern Georgian Bay with April posting a 35% increase in MLS® sales in April as reported by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS (SGBAR) nudging up towards $100 million.  Sales in April were $99.8 million for the month which represents a 40% increase in dollar sales over April of last year.  Year-to-date MLS® sales of $252.2 million for the first four months of 2016 is a 27% increase year over year while MLS® unit sales are up 21%.
  Not all market areas in our region are reflecting the same level of demand however.  Single family home sales in Clearview are up 108% over the same time last year with 73 MLS® sales reported this year compared to 35 in the first four months of 2015.  Wasaga Beach is also seeing a strong demand for single family homes with year-to-date sales of 199 homes representing a 40% increase over last year.  Sales of single family homes in Collingwood are up a modest 12% this year with 96 homes sold versus 86 last year.  All other municipalities are showing decreases in MLS® single family home sales for the first four months of 2016.  The Blue Mountains -10%, Municipality of Meaford - 11% and Grey Highlands is down 35%.  

  Some of the above mentioned sales decreases are stemming at least in part from an absence of inventory.  Year-to-date MLS® listings in our market are down 9% with 1,378 new MLS® listings reported to date compared to 1,522 in the first four months of 2015.  In over 15 years of selling area real estate I have never seen market conditions like the ones we are experiencing right now.  Given the shortage of properties listed for sale, multiple offers, a trait very common in the Greater Toronto Area have become quite commonplace in our market with properties selling for their full list price or more. Since the spring of 2014 we have steadily moved from a Buyer's to a Seller's market with 1 out of every 1.8 properties listed for sale selling.  In contrast, two years ago at this time only one out of every 3.5 properties listed for sale sold. 

  Overall single family home sales are up 19% with 582 MLS® sales reported to the end of April.  Area condominium sales are also very bullish up 17% with 158 sales year-to-date compared to 135 in 2015,  As with single family homes, some area condominiums have been selling in a matter of days versus weeks again with strong prices being paid,  Sales are the strongest in the $350,000 to $499,999 and $500,000 to $799,999 price ranges up 30% and 39% respectively.  Residential sales year-to-date over $1 million total 17 properties, an increase of 41% from last year when 12 sales over $1 million were reported.
  After a couple of soft years, MLS® vacant land sales continue to show a resurgence driven at least in part by the absence of available existing home inventory listed for sale.  April year-to-date sales of 85 vacant lots is a 77% increase over the 48 MLS® vacant land sales reported in the first four months of 2015.

  It would appear the only real threat to the continuation of record sales across our region is a shortage of inventory especially in the low to mid price ranges, $200,000 to $500,000.  Now that better weather has arrived, we may see an update in the number of new MLS® listings coming to market but I suspect inventory will still be an issue in the month's ahead meaning we will no doubt remain in a strong seller's market.








Thursday, March 17, 2016

Area Real Estate Sales Up 44% in February

The momentum we experienced in the local real estate market in 2015 has carried over into 2016 with year-to-date area real estate sales to the end of February posting a significant gain over the first two months of last year.

  Unit MLS® sales as reported by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® for the first two months of 2016 are up 26% with 288 sales made compared to 229 last year.  MLS® dollar volume is up even higher reflecting a 30% increase with $106 million in properties sold year-to-date.  Whiles sales in January were equal to the prior year.  MLS® unit and dollar sales in February were up a healthy 44% and 55% respectively.  It is worth noting that due to the severity of last winter, sales during the first two months of 2015 were depressed due to bad weather and driving conditions making property showings difficult and on some occasions the ability to get here from outside the area all but impossible. The weather this winter has been the polar opposite thus helping to better facilitate real estate showings thus stimulating sales activity.   

  As we have mentioned previously, with a healthy economy, low interest rates and positive consumer confidence, the only significant threat to area real estate sales is the apparent lack of inventory.  Despite a 15% increase in MLS® unit sales during 2015, the number of new MLS® listings that came to market in 2015 was down 15%.  This same trend has carried over into 2016 with new MLS® listing activity down 14% for the first two months of the year.  For sellers, there has never been a better time to list their homes for sale.  While less frequent than a few months ago, multiple offers are still prevalent especially in the high demand lower price ranges.  Overall, strong prices at all levels of the market are being paid for properties that are well priced and present themselves favourably.  

  Year-to-date MLS® sales are particular strong in the $200,000 to $500,000 price ranges.  MLS® unit sales between $200,000 and $350,000 are up 42% through the end of February with 128 properties sold, sales of 61 properties in the $350,000 to $500,000 ranges also reflects a 42% increase over the first two months of last year.   Sales of properties in the upper end price ranges continue to remain very robust especially in the $800,000 to $1 million range with year-to-date sales of 7 properties compared top just 3 in the same time period last year.  Sales over $1 million are slightly ahead of 2015 with 8 MLS® sales reported compared to 7 during the first two months of 2015.

  Year-to-date MLS® single family home sales are up 15% to the end of February, condominium sales are running slightly ahead of last year up 3% while vacant land sales have risen have 56%.  Vacant land sales during the past year have turned around significantly no doubt due in part to the lack of available housing inventory listed for sale.

  In terms of MLS® listed residential single family home sales, not all area municipalities are experiencing the same degree of demand.  Clearview Township is experiencing a very strong demand with year-to-date sales of 19 homes reflecting a 137% increase over last year.  Sales in Wasaga Beach are up 70% while Collingwood has posted a 14% increase.  Year-to-date, MLS® single family home sales in all other area municipalities are below where they were at this time last year.  Municipality of Meaford sales are down 64%, Grey Highlands sales are down 50% and sales in the Blue Mountains are down 29% from one year ago.


  With spring fast approaching, we will see the typical seasonal upturn in MLS® listing activity.  Many sellers firmly believe their property show more favourable in the better weather and rightly so.  Hopefully the coming months will see a closer relationship of new listings to sales as the lack of properties listed for sale is the only real threat we currently see that could derail the current insatiable demand for southern Georgian Bay area real estate. 







Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Why You Should Ignore Average Home Prices Reported By The Media

  I must confess that ever since I got into real estate I have had a love affair with statistics.  In my prior corporate jobs I was expected every month to know and explain the "numbers" for the businesses that I was running from sales budgets to profit or loss statements.  Since entering real estate, I am always being stopped in the grocery store or on the street by people asking how's the real estate market and most of my peers regard me as being the "stats guy."  When asked about how the market is performing I feel people are entitled to more than just an unsubstantiated answer such as "great" or "it's booming" or "things are a little slow right now" and so on.  That's why my Facebook page and this blog will always contain a fair amount of statistical information about both local real market activity and the market across Canada as well.
  For years I have had a real problem with the term "average price."  It's a meaningless number yet it is a number touted all too often by the media. In my opinion it misleads the public about the equity they have in their homes suggesting that changes to "average" home prices in various markets reflects increases or decreases in the value people have in their houses. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Our local real estate association the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which I am a Past President has always refrained from including "average" pricing statistics in our media releases.
  The average price is simply obtained by dividing the total dollar volume of sales for a given period such as a month by the number of sales in the month. Example:  During this past January there were 24 single family homes sold in Collingwood yielding an "average" sale price of $409,127, which represents a 2.1% increase over the "average" price from December.  If I merely add two more sales to January one at $250,000 and one at $300,000, the "average" price slips from $409,127 to $398,800.  That's a drop in the "average" price of 2.5%.  Does than mean your Collingwood home dropped in value by 2.5% or over $10,000?  Of course not thus this highlights the pointless nature of discussing "average" prices.  
  To better address the issue of price appreciation or depreciation, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) developed the MLS® HPI (Home Price Index), a concept modelled after the Consumer Price Index.  The MLS® HPI measures the rate at which housing prices change over time taking into account the type of homes sold. Before the original HPI was introduced in 1996,  REALTORS® and the public relied on monthly average pricing statistics to understand trends in housing prices.  Averages, however, can be very misleading as I have demonstrated since the quantity and quality of the properties sold in any given area change over time for any number of reasons.  As a result, average prices can fluctuate dramatically, making the housing market appear unstable. 

  The next time you hear the media talking about "average" home prices as television newscasts often do, my recommendation is to change the channel.  Your home is perhaps the most valuable asset you own.  To get a true sense as to it's current value, contact a REALTOR® and ask them to prepare a detailed comparable market analysis showing you what you home is worth based on other comparable sales in your area.  The MLS® Home Price Index is a good indicator as to the changes taking place in the market but even then it's changes over time and one or two months doesn't reflect a trend that you should be concerned with.   
  If you have any question about this topic and any other real estate related issues, please feel free to Contact Me, I would love to offer you help without obligation in meeting your real estate goals.   

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Camera Drones - A Cool Gadget But It Comes With Potential Liabilities

  As with many things if life these days, real estate is an ever changing entity.  Shifting economic and market conditions, revised legislative requirements and the changing whims of buyers and sellers all play a role in impacting how we market and sell properties. 

  Perhaps the biggest change of all in our industry however has come from advances in technology.  One of the latest technological breakthroughs has been the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's) commonly referred to as drones.   Much the same as the GoPro camera craze that hit the market a few years ago, drones are quickly becoming the rage with photo enthusiasts looking to take their picture taking creativity to new heights and they were one of the hot gift items this past Christmas.

  Myself along with others in my office were some of the early adopters in using drone photography to market properties.  The picture on the header of this blog site was shot with a drone and the accompanying photo is a drone hovering in the yard of one of my listings.  Drones are excellent way to not only showcase a home, but they also serve to show the home's neighbourhood and surrounding area which is especially effective in a rural setting.  There is a dark side however to using drones commercially and this comes in the form of potential liabilities for property and or other damages resulting from the improper use of drones.

  If you are thinking about purchasing a drone here are some things to consider. First Transport Canada requires that any person(s) using a drone for commercial purposes such as aerial real estate photography must apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate and these are apparently not easy to get.  Transport Canada also requires that you have a minimum of $100,000 in liability insurance which in today's world is a pittance, $1 million in liability insurance would be better.  As REALTORS® we are required by law to carry Errors and Omissions insurance and this does not cover drones.

  Even if you are thinking about getting a drone for recreational or pleasure use, don't be taken in by all the hype, online videos etc.  There is a new drone coming to market available for pre-order now by the name of Lily.  To launch the Lily drone you simply toss it into the air and it will follow you down a ski slope or trail on your dirt bike.  It sounds cool right? The only problem is, most ski resorts including our own Blue Mountain has strictly banned the use of personal drones on the property and commercially flown drones require their consent. 


  Camera drones open up a whole new world of picture and video taking possibilities. Our real estate brokerage Royal LePAGE Locations North has decided that drone photography is best left to the experts, those that adhere to all of the legislative and insurance requirements that have been established governing this new device.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

2015 Another Record Year For Area Real Estate

  During 2015, real estate activity across southern Georgian Bay remained very robust.  Despite a sluggish first quarter due to the severity of our 2014/2015 winter and a significant reduction in the amount of inventory listed for sale, 2015 was another year of record MLS® sales in our region.  

  MLS® sales for 2015 reported by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® for the markets we serve totalled $804.9 million, an increase of 21% over 2014.  Individual unit sales reflected a 15% increase with 2,386 properties sold in 2015 compared to 2,080 in 2014.  During the past year, we continued to see considerable strength in the upper end price segments of our market which explains why the increase in dollar sales of 21% outpaced the unit sales increase of 15%.  Sales over $500,000 were up 26% in 2015 with a total of 327 properties sold compared to 260 sold in 2014.  Of particular note, MLS® unit sales between $600,000 & $700,000 increased 36% with 80 sales reported.  MLS® sales between $800,000 & $900,000 totalled 32 properties, an increase of 39% while sales over $1 million of 48 properties reflected a 23% increased over the prior year and we expect this trend will continue.
 Conversely to the 15% increase we saw in MLS® sales during 2015, the number of new MLS® listings that came onto the market in 2015 reflected a 15% decrease from one year ago.  During 2015, a total of 4,347 new MLS® listings came to market compared to 5,129 in 2014.  To put this in perspective, 55% of the properties listed for sale on our local MLS® system sold in 2015 compared to 40% of MLS® listed properties selling in 2014.  On numerous occasions, properties that were well priced drew multiple offers sometimes selling for their full list price or higher.  This was particularly prevalent in the $250,000 to $400,000 price range where demand seemed to be the strongest.  This phenomena is more commonly found in the hyper active Greater Toronto real estate market but with a strong demand and reduced housing inventory, the scenario played out often in our area last year shifting the market more in favour of sellers than buyers.

 Single family home sales across our region were up 11% in 2015 with 1,742 MLS® sales reported while area MLS® sales for condominiums of 474 units represented a 7% increase over 2014.  Vacant land MLS® sales which had been languishing in recent years saw a resurgence as well in 2015 with total MLS® vacant land sales up 30% from the prior year.   

  Most area municipalities saw a year-over-year increase is single family home sales, most notable of which was WasagaBeach.  MLS® sales in Wasaga Beach totalled 568 homes, an increase of 28% from 2014.  This was followed by MLS® home sales in the Blue Mountains which were up 17%.   The Municipality of Meaford saw a 12% increase while single family home sales in Collingwood were up a more modest 5%.  By comparison, Clearview Township and the Municipality of Grey Highlands had decreased single family home sales of -5% and -14%  respectively in 2015.  


  It is important to note that the aforementioned statistics reflect MLS® market activity as reported by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® and do not include sales made directly by builders and or developers of non-MLS® listed properties.  Most area municipalities have new single family home and or condominium projects currently under way which when added to the strong MLS® sales activity we are experiencing, further illustrates the allure our area has.  This will further serve to drive the demand for real estate as we head into 2016.  Notwithstanding a downturn in our overall economy, significantly higher interest rates or other as yet unforeseen factors, the only issue we seemingly face which could slow down sales is the lack of available inventory to meet the growing demand.  

There has never been a better time to maximize the equity you have in your area property. Contact me for a no obligation assessment as to the value of your home, chalet or condominium.







Contact Me

Royal LePAGE Locations North (Brokerage)

330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4



Email:
rickcrouch@propertycollingwood.com



Direct: 705-443-1037



Office: 705-445-5520 ext 230




Website:
www.rickcrouch.realtor















My Profile

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.