Housing Market Cools in March

We may have had a warmer than normal February but the housing market appears to have cooled, at least for the time being.

The Southern Georgian Bay Association of Realtors says residential sales recorded through the Ontario Collective MLS® system for the Southern Georgian Bay region came in well below levels recorded a year earlier in February 2018.

The association says home sales numbered 123 units in February 2018, down 43.8% from a very strong February in 2017. Year-to-date home sales numbered 260 units, down 27.4% from this time last year.

The Southern Georgian Bay region is made up of two distinctive East and West 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 46.5% on a year-over-year basis to 76 units in February 2018.

Year-to-date home sales in the Western Region numbered 173 units, down 26.7% from this time last year.

Meanwhile, home sales in the Eastern Region, including the Towns of Midland and Penetanguishene, the Townships of Tay and Tiny and portions of Severn and Georgian Bay Townships, totaled 47 units in February. This stood 39% below February 2017.

Year-to-date home sales in the Eastern Region numbered 87 units, down 28.7% from this time last year.

Matthew Lidbetter is the President of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of Realtors. Lidbetter says home buyers appear to be adjusting to new programs and rising interest rates.

“We’re still in the volatile period immediately following the introduction of the new stress test along with a rate hike in mid-January. Additionally, we are also still in the winter, so it takes a smaller number of sales being shifted around by irregular factors like a policy change to produce a large yearover-year change. The picture will become clearer over the next few months as things start to settle down.”

While home sales have slowed to begin the new year, the overall inventory supply remains near record lows. There were just 591 active residential listings in the region at the end of February 2018, up just 3.5% from year-ago levels.

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