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.

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