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.
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.