This report summarizes the monthly statistics for the Western Region of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® (SGBAR). The SGBAR trading area also includes the Eastern Region of Southern Georgian Bay due to an amalgamation of the Midland Real Estate Board and the Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board in 2014. However, this report is restricted to the Western Region, formerly known as the Georgian Triangle Association of REALTORS®.
The continuing story of the demand for housing exceeding supply did not change in March 2017! And so, even with the consistently low inventory, sales for March 2017 were up an astonishing 48% over March 2016 with 275 sales vs 186 in March 2016. Year To Date (YTD), 560 sales were reported vs 472 for March 2016, marking a 19% increase.
And yet again, listings are down 20% year over year with 341 new listings reported in March 2017 vs 426 in March 2016. YTD, 748 listings were reported vs 948 in March 2016, noting a 21% decrease.
The total Sales Dollar Volume for March 2017 was up an extraordinary 67% over March 2016. YTD, the Total Sales Dollar Volume was up 41% over last March 2016. The lack of supply is clearly one of the underlying causes of the soaring price increases. With more Buyers than inventory, which has led to shorter days on market for many homes in the area, offer presentation dates have become more common in Southern Georgian Bay (SGB), giving Buyers the opportunity to view the property prior to o ers being reviewed by the Seller. This process often leads to multiple offers, raising the sale price above list.
Another factor in uencing higher sale prices in our region is the lack of inventory in the lower price ranges. Many Sellers are choosing to stay put if they aren’t in a position to take on more mortgage debt to purchase a more expensive home. With the exception of a slight increase between sales of properties from $150,000 to $199,999, sales of all properties from $100,000 to $299,999 are down from last March.
However, Buyers from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) who can’t jump into that heated market are findding greater affordability in SGB, and are therefore likely contributing to the number of properties of all types sold in March 2017 between $300,000 and $1,499,999 to exceed the number of sales in March 2016.
The average sale price of residential single family homes in the Western Region always varies from town to town. The Town of Collingwood experienced a significant 19.9% increase from $382,105 to $458,150 March 2017 over March 2016. The Municipality of Meaford saw a 15.2 % increase year over year, $313,198 in March 2016 vs $360,800 in March 2017. Grey Highlands reported a 28.7% increase with the average sale price reported at $401,792 in March 2016 vs $517,247 in March 2017. The average price in The Blue Mountains increased 6.4% from $645,806 to $687,079 in March 2017.
Looking at the forces driving market conditions beyond Southern Georgian Bay, the ongoing shortage of listings has been attributed to several factors such as lack of available land to develop due to restrictive land use policies, although others argue that there is still plenty of room to grow; the composition of the housing market with insuffcient traditional detached homes in the larger urban areas forcing many Buyers to relocate; and the many foreign buyers and speculators, although often foreign buyers are looking to purchase for their own personal use or for a family member.
The debate about whether governments should step in to cool overheated markets continues. With low interest rates, nancing remains a ordable and relatively easy to obtain. However, as time goes on many Buyers may be forced out of the current market if they can’t qualify for nancing for higher priced homes. We are all waiting to see how this perplexing market plays out over the coming months.
Prepared by: Diana Lea Berdini, Broker/Office Manager Collingwood/Owen Sound Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage