As storms are brewing along the east coast and hurricanes are rushing onto shore from out in the Atlantic, a much sunnier and balmy tide appears to be sweeping across the Georgian Bay real estate market, building upon the positive surge that was first felt this year in May with its 11% gain in sales over last year’s numbers. With the release of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® (“SGBAR”) MLS® Statistic Report for the month of June it is clear that the barometer for the market is continuing its upward trend and is well entrenched in “high pressure” territory, drawing from the broader indicators of positive recovery and general economic bullishness. In fact with strength across the board and at all price points, June’s property market registered its best performance for the month since the lofty boom year of 2007 when 252 property sales were recorded in June of that year.
Sales for the month of June jumped a whopping 30% over last year’s figures which themselves were 16% better than June of 2012. Specifically 248 properties were sold in the month compared to 191 last year. One of the remarkable statistics is that sales came in either better or equal to last June’s numbers in every price category but one ($100,000-149,999). Buyers, therefore in all income brackets and price ranges appeared to have found the confidence and right property to help them transition from simply kicking tires to actually committing to move forward with a purchase. June’s sales numbers finally push year to date figures into positive territory bringing total sales so far in 2014 to 1032, 1% more than the 1021 sales recorded last year at this time, compensating for the weakness in sales experienced earlier in the year when the Georgian Triangle remained firmly locked in what seemed to be a permanent deep freeze straight jacket that was our brutal winter.
While potentially hard to fathom, total dollar volume figures were even more impressive than the unit sales report. Total sales in dollar volume showed a staggering 41% increase over last year’s figures, highlighting the ongoing relative strength of higher end properties, and bringing year to date totals to a 9% bump over last year’s numbers at this time.
Listings continue to follow suit, further fuelling the robust market with 597 new properties coming onto the market in June, 5% more than last year when 566 new listings were recorded. Year to date figures, however remain 2% behind last year with 3467 new listings being logged onto the MLS® so far this year compared to 3525 the year previous at this time. Interestingly, after months of reduced listings and a tight inventory, the number of active listings is approximately on par with last year for the first time in a long while with 2420 properties being reported on the MLS® system at the time that SGBAR’s report was created, versus 2427 last year at this time.
Not surprisingly in this strong market, prices are climbing. The average sale price of single family residential properties rose 10% year over year in June. The average recorded price for June was calculated by SGBAR to be $343,847 compared to $311,418 last year. Spread over a longer twelve month period the price jump was not as high, coming in at 4%, based on the $345,792 figure for this year compared to $332,123 for last. Year to date figures for the average residential sale price increased almost 8%, measured to be $355,754 so far this year compared to $330,269 at this time last year.
Despite the fact that we may be entering a busy storm and hurricane season from a meteorological perspective, there is no such indication on the real estate front. Rather real signs of recovery are being felt, particularly south of the border with strong employment growth and evidence that economic green shoots may actually be taking root. Canada’s news is not as dramatic but nor is there suggestion of a downturn or slippage in a negative direction. Interest rates remain stable and most commentators are calling for relatively smooth sailing in the months ahead. With that there is every reason to believe that we should have more fair days ahead in the Georgian Triangle real estate market, and a largely sunny forecast on the horizon.
Prepared by: Richard Stewart, Vice-President & Legal Counsel at Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage
Feature Image Credit: Chip Barkel, Sales Representative, Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage.