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®.
Current real estate market conditions continue to confound Sellers, Buyers and Realtors®. With inventory at an all-time low, it’s not surprising that listings were down 11% year over year with 381 new listings reported in April 2017 vs 427 in April 2016. Year-To-Date (YTD), 1129 listings were reported vs 1375 in April 2016, marking an 18% decrease. And even though Buyers were still anxious to purchase a home, many Sellers were reluctant to sell as they lacked the confidence that there would be something affordable for them to buy or rent once their home sold firm.
Sales in April 2017 were down 5% over April 2016 with 270 sales vs 285 sales reported, but due to a strong first quarter sales were still up YTD, with 829 sales reported vs 757 for April 2016 marking a 10% increase. The affordability factor in Southern Georgian Bay (SGB) vs the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) continued to attract a multitude of first time Buyers, retirees and families looking for a change in lifestyle or housing with a more modest price tag. Interesting to note that of the 270 sales in April 2017, 53 sales represented farm or vacant land which offered an alternative option for some Buyers who possibly preferred not to compete in a frenzied and frustrating marketplace for a residential single family home.
And as those determined Buyers both local and from out of town competed in bidding wars to secure their new homes, the laws of supply and demand continued to drive prices up in April. The average sale price of a residential single family home in Collingwood in April 2017 was up 21.8%, $472,982 vs $388,293 in April 2016. The number of sales in Collingwood was down 3.1% year over year. The Blue Mountains reported a 10.5% increase in average sale price, $704,500 vs $637,485 year over year, with a 42.6% increase in the number of homes sold in April 2017 vs April 2016. Prices were up 20.2% in The Municipality of Meaford with April 2017 reporting an average sale price of $373,350 vs $310,711 in April 2016. The number of sales increased 8.8% year over year. The average sale price in Grey Highlands jumped 29.8%, with the April 2017 price coming in at $541,294 vs $416,946 in April 2016. The number of sales increased 26.7%.
And although price increases did vary throughout the Municipalities that make up the Western Region of SGB, the average price of a residential single family home across the board showed an increase April 2017 over April 2016. The Total Sales Dollar Volume for April 2017 rose a significant 32% over April 2016. YTD, the Total Sales Dollar Volume was up 37% over April 2016.
With the exception of a few price categories where the number of sales was equal to April 2016, sales of all properties from $350,000 to $3,000,000 were up from last April. The number of properties sold between $100,000 and $349,999 was down from April 2016, likely due to limited inventory which forced Buyers into the higher priced properties.
A ratio known as the Sales-To-Listings Ratio is one way to measure market activity. The ratio compares the number of sales to the number of listings in any given market. A Seller’s market occurs when the Sales-To-Listings Ratio reaches 55% or more, or approximately 3 sales to every 5 listings. A Buyer’s market occurs when the Sales-To-Listings Ratio is 35% or less, or approximately 7 sales to every 20 listings. The Monthly Sales-To-Listings Ratio was 70.87 in April 2017 compared to 66.74 in April 2016, reinforcing the ongoing Seller’s market that exists in the Western Region of SGB.
With the Provincial Government hoping to help with affordability, protect Buyers and Renters and bring stability to the real estate market with a 15 % non-resident speculation tax on the price of homes in the GGH, Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan was introduced April 20th, 2017. It is much too early to determine whether it will work and what the impact will be on the real estate industry. A slight cooling o in certain segments of the market in the early days of May could possibly be due to the new legislation or simply fatigued Buyers and Sellers taking a break from it all.
Prepared by: Diana Lea Berdini, Broker/Office Manager Collingwood/Owen Sound Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage