Since the start of 2015 we’ve drawn attention to the pattern of record-setting sales despite far fewer homes being on the market than usual. Well, those record sales continued through the first quarter (Q1) of 2016, many involving multiple offers. However, in March the number of homes which came on the market was actually up over March 2015 – the first time since December 2014 that the number of new listings exceeded the same month of the prior year. So are we looking at a single wave or the beginning of a sea change? Time will tell . . .
As Table 1 shows (see below), 2016’s record pace is reflected in nearly all of March’s sales performance details. The month’s volume sales of $70,206,824 are up 9.9% from 2015’s previous March record, while unit sales of 188 tied last year’s record. With regard to unit sales activity in the various price ranges, 2016 is either up significantly or equal to 2015 in all ranges except $100K-$299K (down by 1 sale) and less-than-$100K (down 4 sales, mainly due to fewer homes listed). On the plus side, 2016 has enjoyed big gains in the $300K-$499K, $500K-$799K and $1.5M+ ranges (up 42.5%, 18.9% and 100% respectively), while sales of homes over $300K are up 34.1% overall. Lastly, Q1’s average sale price of $370,357 is up 6.3% from a year ago.
And now, regarding the new listings increase – as Table 1 shows, 429 listings came on market in March, a slight rise from last March’s 423. Not only that, but this March’s expired listings are down 37.1% from last March, and Q1’s expired listings are down 41.9% from Q1 of last year.
Q1’s market metrics generally translate into the details of Single-Family Home Sales (Graph 5) and Sales by Property Type (Graph 6). 2016’s single-family homes sales are up 14.5% from last year. The gains are mainly due to high-volume Wasaga Beach’s 37.3% increase, as well as to Clearview’s surprise doubling of its 2015 sales. Collingwood is also up slightly, while Grey Highlands, The Blue Mts. and Meaford are down 2.1%, 3.9% and 22.5% respectively so far this year. Lastly, 2016’s condo sales are up 1% from 2015, while vacant land sales are up 50%.
With the exception of March’s slight increase in new listings over last March, the first quarter of 2016 was, well . . . rather ho-hum, record-breaking business as usual.
But seriously folks, we’ve been on an incredible run here in the beautiful Georgian Triangle for two years – in fact, March was our 24th consecutive record sales month. And according to industry watchers, there is no obvious reason, short of something macroeconomic, why our regional market should not continue to perform well for some time.
So it continues to be a great time to be a home seller – and buyer – in the Georgian Triangle. Sales and prices continue to climb. And in response to our last Market Report’s question of whether we were heading into the same kinds of multiple o er situations that characterized last spring’s market, the answer so far is YES. Again, it’s safe to say that if you’ve considered selling your home your chances of getting a good price in a timely manner are excellent.
As to whether 2016’s record sales will be sustained throughout the year as more and more people discover and take advantage of 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.