Monday, October 29, 2018

How's The Real Estate Market

  Real estate sales activity in many markets across Canada continues to remain significantly below the frantic level of sales that we experienced in 2016 and during the first 4 to 5 months of 2017.  I don't profess to be the smartest guy but in order to counsel my buyer and seller clients I make a concentrated effort to be informed and to stay abreast of what's happening and I follow market activity in our market and others closely.  Whether I am grocery shopping or just bump into people on the street, the most common question I get is "how's the real estate market?"

  My initial response this year is that we are down in terms of MLS dollar and unit sales from last year.  People are generally surprised as for the most part, the media tends to provide less coverage of real estate sales activity when the market weakens than they do when the market is booming.  In the past couple of years print, online and radio/television media touted how robust the market was.  Often you heard about the property that drew 20 or 30 offers and sold for $100,000, $200,000 or more over list price.  When have we ever heard about the home that languished on the market for a year or two and finally sold for 25%, 30% or more below the original asking price?

  Year-to-date MLS real estate sales as reported by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS to the end of September are down 17% in terms of dollars sold.  MLS dollar volume for the first three quarters of 2017 totalled $859.7 million whereas for 2018 sales are $714.8 million.  As was the case in 2016 we ended 2017 with MLS sales over the $1 billion mark at just under $1.1 billion and th4ese sales did not include sales of new homes and or condominiums by developers.  Given the fact we are well off that pace through September  I forecast total MLS sales for 2018 will be in the $925 to $950 million range roughly 15% to 18% below 2017.

  Year-to-date MLS unit sales through the end of September total 1,460 properties which is 20% fewer sales than in the same period last year.  New listing activity has increased in recent months but the number of new listings this year is still running 6% less than the same time frame in 2017.  The average number of days-on-market has crept up this year to 47 compared to 40 last year and I believe we will see this number increase.

  Sales in virtually every price segment of the market are below 2017 especially at the upper end where year-to-date sales between $1.5 and $2 million are 56% below last year.  Sales in our area under the $300,000 mark are down 41% while sales between $300,000 and $500,000 are down 15% from last year.  In my next post I will summarise market activity across the various municipalities in our region but the results are similar, unit sales are down 14% to as much as 25% from one year ago in every municipality that makes up our market area.

  So collectively what does all this information tell us? With sales down both in terms of dollars and the number of properties sold along with an increase in the number of days it takes to sell a property, we have clearly entered a new era one where buyers, the banks and other lenders are getting increasingly cautious. 

  Our market like many across Canada is or has shifted to one that is balanced more evenly between sellers and buyers and I see this trend continuing.  Buyers who are willing to wait will no doubt benefit with more properties coming to market and lower prices. In future posts I will explain why.

  In the meantime please do not hesitate to Contact Me if you have questions or to have a no obligation consultation regarding your personal real estate needs and or goals.

Friday, October 19, 2018

It's Municipal Election Time - Have You Voted?

  Great article on the democratic election process by Ian Adams and well worth the read.

  I ran in the last municipal election for Collingwood Council and I am not afraid to admit that the 38 vote shortfall Ian mentions in this article between getting elected and not was me.  While I was disappointed at the time I took pride in my campaign efforts and the contribution I made in bringing forth change to the town's municipal government.

  People that supported my efforts last time have asked why I did not run in this election.  The simple reason is having sold my home earlier this year I no longer live or own property in Collingwood and now reside in Clarksburg.  Nonetheless my interest in this community, province and country have not diminished and I have actively but quietly followed the current election process.  My children were both born in Collingwood.. My son and his girlfriend have just moved back to Collingwood so like everyone I have a vested interest in the well being and future of the communities I am affiliated with. 

  I have cast my vote in both the Blue Mountains as well as on Manitoulin Island where I own properties.  I did my research of the candidates which isn't hard and asked questions when needed.

  On Monday it will be interesting to see if my choices made a difference in helping those I voted for get elected.  More importantly it will be interesting to follow the process to see if those elected to their Council positions serve their respective communities in the best interest of the public at large during the next four years.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Thinking Of The Future

  As a real estate Broker for over 17 years I know from experience that it is not often we handle a real estate transaction for ourselves.  Normally we work on behalf of our valued Seller and or Buyer clients so it is fun when we get to engage in some real estate business on behalf of ourselves.

  Earlier this year I sold my own house in Collingwood and moved to the Thornbury/Clarksburg area.  This move was part of a grander plan that my spouse and I came up with thinking about the future in terms of where and what we would like to doing in five or ten years.  I love my work in real estate serving my clients and I see myself working for many more years.  Nonetheless we are all getting older and it is never too early to think about the future and the possibility for me of working in a different real estate market than southern Georgian Bay.

  Those that know me are aware that I have a passion for and a deep connection with Manitoulin Island.  My brother and I jointly own a cottage property there which we have had for 45 years.  Our mother was born and raised on Manitoulin, we have family there as well as a lifetime of memories from our many summers spent there.  My two children aged 28 and 30 also share the same enthusiasm and love for Manitoulin and its unique lifestyle.  My daughter, son-in-law and 11 month old granddaughter Ivy just spent time there with us during their three week visit from home which is the island of Maui, Hawaii.  As my daughter always says, "Dad, Manitoulin is still my favourite island, it's a very special place."

  As of today my spouse and I own an additional piece of Manitoulin Island.  In addition to the cottage property I already own and have enjoyed, we purchased a 1.5 acre waterfront lot on one of the inland lake, Lake Manitou.  Besides being a lovely treed, private property on which to potentially build our dream home for the future, it has the added distinction of being located on the largest lake (40 square miles) on the largest freshwater island in the world.  Very cool!

  Although there is no home currently on the property, the driveway and hydro is already installed and there is an excellent building site with a view of the lake.  In addition there is a recently built garage perfect for storing my 30 boat trailer this winter plus a variety of other vehicles etc.  Two additional spaces under roof on each side of the garage can easily be enclosed providing over 1,500 square feet of garage space, a shop or for other storage uses.  It's the garage I was always going to built, now I don't have to.

  Dreams do come true but it doesn't just happen.  It takes vision, hard work and the support of a loving partner that shares your passion for similar things in life and is not afraid to work for them.  I am in trouble as she is already going through home plans.  It looks like I will be working for a few years yet and that in my books is just fine.

  If you have dreams as well that involve real estate be it an in town, rural or waterfront property, I would be delighted to share my experience to help you in achieving whatever goals and or dreams you may have.  The southern Georgian Bay market offers a variety of options whether it is for full or past time use

Contact me and I would be happy to have a no obligation consultation as to where you would like to be further down the road of life.

Contact Me

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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