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.