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®.
New listings were up from 381 in April 2017 to 472 in May 2017, easing some of the inventory shortage and giving Buyers a bit more to choose from however, new listings were down 11% year over year with 533 new listings reported in May 2016. Year-To-Date (YTD), 1601 listings were reported vs 1908 in May 2016, marking a 16% decrease. The short term effect of more listings available in May 2017 vs April 2017 could be attributed to some homeowners reacting to the strong price gains that have been reported earlier this year and hoping to benefit from a quick sale with a substantial profit. However, overall homeowners in the Southern Georgian Bay (SGB) Western Region have been reluctant to list their homes without a plan in place for an affordable home to buy or rent.
The Western Region of SGB continues to welcome new homebuyers as well as many families and retirees who have cashed out in the broader Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and are finding affordable housing along with an enhanced quality of life. Even though sales in May 2017 were up slightly, only 1% over May 2016 with 315 sales vs 313 sales reported, YTD 1139 sales were reported vs 1070 in May 2016 marking a 6% increase. Total Sales Dollar Volume for May 2017 was up 28% over May 2016. The Total Sales Dollar Volume YTD showed a substantial 34% increase. The YTD numbers highlight the particularly strong market evident in the earlier months of 2017.
Consistent with activity in previous months and most likely due to an ongoing insuficient supply in the lower price ranges and inflation in prices generally, the number of sales of properties sold between $50,000 and $349,000 is down May 2017 over May 2016. With the exception of properties priced from $2,000,000 to $3,000,000, where number of sales equaled last May, the number of properties sold between $350,000 to $1,999,999 exceeded the number of properties sold the previous May.
Not surprising, with ongoing demand and low inventory, the average sales price of a residential single family home was up across the Western Region May 2017 over May 2016. The average sale price of a residential single family home in Collingwood in May 2017 was up 22.7%, $486,804 vs $396,866 in May 2016. The number of sales in Collingwood was down 8.6% year over year. The Blue Mountains reported a 17.0% increase in average sale price, $726,964 vs $621,332 year over year, with a 38.4% increase in the number of homes sold in May 2017 vs May 2016. Prices were up 21.5% in The Municipality of Meaford with May 2017 reporting an average sale price of $379,098 vs $312,080 in May 2016. The number of sales increased 6% year over year. The average sale price in Grey Highlands jumped 31.7%, with the May 2017 price coming in at $552,507 vs $419,549 in May 2016. The number of sales increased 13.6%.
Months of Inventory is a measure of how long it would take to sell all the existing homes on the market (assuming that no more listings are added) at the current sales pace. The Seasonally Adjusted Months of Inventory for May 2017 was 1.7 down from 2.6 last May.
The monthly Sales-To-Listings Ratio was 66.74 for May 2017 compared to 58.72 in May 2016. 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 region continued to experience a Seller’s market.
Market conditions are close to reaching an unsustainable level at which point, we may be heading toward a more balanced market with more modest prices. It’s still too early to tell whether Buyer and Seller fatigue and uncertainty is creating the slight cooling and shifts occurring in the real estate market or whether the new reforms introduced in April 2017 by the Provincial Government to cool overheated markets has had any impact. The Ontario Fair Housing Plan which included a 15 per cent non-resident speculation tax on the price of homes in the GGH included Simcoe County but not Grey County. Other measures affecting the entire province included amendments to The Residential Tenancies Act expanding rent control to include buildings built after 1991, which will limit the increases that landlords can implement, potentially discouraging some investors from purchasing rental properties. Time will tell.
Prepared by: Diana Lea Berdini, Broker/Office Manager Collingwood/Owen Sound Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage