Southern Georgian Bay home sales stable at average levels in December.
Supply still historically low
In a press release, Matthew Lidbetter, President of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of Realtors stated that residential sales recorded through the MLS® System of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® came in below levels recorded a year earlier in December 2017.
Lidbetter stated home sales numbered 128 units in December 2017, down 12.9% from December 2016 but on par with the 10-year average for the month.
Annual home sales for 2017 numbered 3,333 units. While this was down 16.2% from the record set in 2016, it was the second highest annual level on record.
The Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® comprises two distinctive markets.
Home sales in the Western Region, which includes Wasaga Beach, Clearview Township, Collingwood, The Blue Mountains and portions of the Municipality of Meaford and Grey Highlands, fell 8.8% on a year-over-year basis to 83 units in December 2017. Annual home sales in the Western Region numbered 2,081 units, down 13.6% from all of 2016.
Meanwhile, home sales in the Eastern Region, encompassing the Towns of Midland and Penetanguishene, the Townships of Tay and Tiny and portions of Severn and Georgian Bay Townships, totaled 45 units in December. This stood 19.6% below December 2016. Annual home sales in the Eastern Region numbered 1,252 units, sitting 20.3% below all of 2016.
“Following a very active spring, activity cooled off over the summer and was more or less stable at fairly average levels over the entire second half of 2017,” said Matthew Lidbetter, President of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®.
“That said, inventories have also declined further and are now at all-time lows. This should serve to support prices in 2018 even with demand having returned to more normal levels.”
The number of new residential listings in December 2017 was 115 units, down 16.7% from a year earlier. This was the lowest reading for this month in almost three decades.
Overall supply remains near record lows. There were just 506 active residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System at the end of December 2017, down 14.5% from year-ago levels and one of the lowest level since the early 1990s.
There were just four months of inventory at the end of December, unchanged from the end of December 2016 and still well below the long-run average for this time of year. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.
The value of all residential transactions in December was $54.4 million, falling 7% from December 2016. This was still the second highest level on record for the month behind 2016.
Sales of all types of properties numbered 148 units in December, a decline of 17.3% compared to the same month in 2016. The total value of all properties sold in December 2017 was $62.3 million, down 7.6% from December 2016.
The Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® represents over 550 REALTORS® registered with its member offices. The geographical area served by the Association includes the Towns of Midland and Penetanguishene, the Townships of Tay and Tiny and parts of Severn and Georgian Bay Townships; Wasaga Beach, Clearview Township, Collingwood, The Blue Mountains and portions of the Municipality of Meaford and Grey Highlands.
John Kirby has been a part of the Collingwood real estate scene for many years. He is currently a Sales Representative, Advisor with Engel & Völkers Collingwood Muskoka and feels demand will continue to be strong in 2018.
“2018 promises to be another interesting year for real estate in South Georgian Bay communities. The demand will still be strong because of two reasons; firstly low interest rates will continue, (although expect the Bank of Canada to raise its benchmark rate during the year); and secondly, this area is still the prime retirement/semi-retirement/four seasons recreation area in Ontario so new residents will continue the trek north.
Kirby says the main issue to temper real estate growth this year will be the new stress tests for borrowers.
“These will definitely impact first time buyers which will in turn, affect current home owners who wish to “move up” in the market (larger home, lot, etc.), resulting in fewer listings. The rental market will continue to have low vacancy rates as would-be buyers will be forced to “pass the stress test!” This will be good news for investors in residential real estate for rental purposes.
Therefore, my crystal ball predicts that prices will remain high due to strong demand and low supply.”
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