2016 Georgian Triangle Real Estate Market Review

Southern Georgian Bay Market

Sales Volume: The Georgian Triangle market surpassed $1 Billion with $1,037,827,103 in sales for 2016.
That’s 29% more than 2015’s prior record of $804,882,436 and 56% more than 2014’s $666,340,488, which had also been a record. 
December 2016 was the region’s 33 rd consecutive record month for sales volume at $48,381,000, up 4% from last December’s record, while unit sales of 126 were down by 1 sale from a year ago.
Unit Sales: The number of unit sales of 2750 were up 15% and 32% from 2015 and 2014 respectively.
Listings Volume: 2016’s sales came on 9% fewer listings than 2015 and 23% fewer than 2014.
Average Sales Price: The region’s average sales price of $377,392 was up 12% and 18% from 2015 and 2014 respectively, in part due to the record number of multiple and overprice offers we saw in 2016. 

All these numbers – particularly the combination of stratospheric sales, far fewer listings, the many multiple and overprice offer situations, and the big jump in the average sales price – not only indicate that the regional demand for listings GREATLY exceeded the supply during 2016. These numbers indicate – as our REALTORS® said throughout the year – that the record sales would have been even higher had there been more homes on the market.

The Market In Detail

As Table 1 shows (below), 2016’s annual volume and unit sales translated directly into nearly all of the main market metrics. Sales were up from 2015 in all price ranges except $100K-$299K, where they were down 7%. The entire $300K+ range was up 39%, with huge gains of 55%, 55%, 59% and 94% in the $500K-$799K, $800K-$999K, $1M-$1.499M and $1.5M+ ranges respectively. Even the under $100K range – where sales are usually down each year due to fewer and fewer properties being listed at that price – was up 23% from 2015.

As Graph 4 shows, 2016’s dollar sales were up every month from 2015, with particularly big spikes through the spring, summer and fall. And as Graph 5 shows, 2016’s unit sales generally mirrored dollar sales, but were down slightly from 2015 in March, September and December.

A Few More Numbers To Fill In The Picture

2016’s metrics also translated into the details of residential home sales by community and property type. 
2016 Residential Unit Sales by Community:

  • Clearview was up 25% from 2015 and 24% from 2014
  • Grey Highlands was up 24% from 2015 and 4% from 2014
  • Wasaga Beach was up 18% from 2015 and 58% from 2014
  • The Blue Mountains was up 18% from 2015 and 26% from 2014
  • Meaford was up 9% from 2015 and 23% from 2014
  • Collingwood was up 4% from 2015 and 12% from 2014

Residential Dollar Sales by Property Type (see Graph 7):

  • Single family home sales were up 30% from 2015 and 55% from 2014
  • Condominium sales were up 26% from 2015 and 53% from 2014
  • Vacant land sales were up 66% from 2015 and 137% from 2014.

Analysis: What Made The 2016 Regional Market So Over The Top?

Well, aside from the fact that it was the area’s first $1 Billion+ sales year and that few, if any, could’ve imagined such phenomenal growth over the last 5-6 years, here are some key points:

  • Despite 2016’s dollar and unit sales being up 29% and 15% respectively from 2015’s, there were 411 – or 9% – fewer new listings on the market than in 2015.
  • 2016’s sales/listings ratio was an unheard-of 70% (with 1 month over 100%, 2 more over 90% and 2 more over 80%). To put that in perspective, 2015’s 55% ratio was the previous record, well above the year-in-year-out 30%-40%.
  • 2016 saw 1041 expired listings, 38% less than 2015’s 1683 and 57% less than 2014’s 2415. To put that in perspective, 2016’s 2750 sales mean its sales/expireds ratio was 264%, only the second year since the 1980’s – according to our long-time agents – that more regional MLS listings sold than expired. The first year was 2015, with a 142% ratio.
  • While there are no exact numbers, 2016 had even more multiple and overprice offers than 2015, and 2015 had far more than any other year our long-time agents can recall.
  • Generally, homes sold faster: 2016’s average days-on-market for residential homes was 58 days – nearly 3 weeks less than 2015 and nearly 4 weeks less than 2014.
  • Generally, homes sold for more: 2016’s average sales price of $377,392 was up a very happy 12% from 2015 and 18% from 2014.

The Takeaway

Since the first quarter of 2015 we’ve been drawing attention to the atypical and, in some ways, illogical combination of factors driving the Georgian Triangle real estate market to ever greater heights: consistently record-breaking sales; a dizzying number of multiple and overprice offer situations; many homes suddenly selling that had been on the market for years; a significant drop in the average days-on-market generally; a huge reduction in expired listings; steadily rising prices and . . . far fewer homes being put up for sale.
In fact, the 2016 market really wasn’t unprecedented. It was just like 2015 – only a lot more so.
And now, for the $1 Billion+ question: can this exceptionally robust market be sustained into 2017? We can only say that – barring macroeconomic surprises – the demographics, the demand, and the great possibilities of this beautiful region suggest that it can be sustained. Still, as our agents – many of whom have long lists of buyers trying to buy – keep saying again and again: the main factor currently limiting sales is not enough homes on the market.
If you’ve considered selling your home, now is a great time to do it. There continues to be a big demand for listings and your chances of getting a very good price in a timely manner are excellent. 
As to whether 2016’s record sales will continue into 2017 as more and more people discover the Georgian Triangle’s four-season lifestyle and great value, only time will tell. Please stay tuned as we regularly provide our Georgian Triangle Market Reports in order to help you make better-informed, real estate decisions.

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