As has been reported in past editions of our monthly Market Report the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® (known as SGBAR) is an amalgamated association of two former real estate boards including the Georgian Triangle Association of REALTORS® (formerly known as GTAR) which included for statistical reporting purposes the communities of Collingwood, the Blue Mountains, Meaford, Grey Highlands, Clearview Township, Creemore and Wasaga Beach. The second association was known as SGBAR which included the communities of Georgian Bay Township, Midland, Penetanguishene, Tiny and Tay Townships and others.
With the merger, the use of GTAR was phased out and SGBAR was adopted to represent both geographical territories for the two former associations. With the merger there have been a number of benefits realized by the membership that ultimately will translate into better service for our clients. However, with any merger there are challenges. As has been reported in previous Market Updates the statistical data when merged reflected the association as a whole and what was lost was the ability to report monthly statistics for the various communities and regions that make up the new association. This oversight has been rectified.
Why is this important? Real estate is local and although there are broad trends that effect a nation, province or region as a whole (the Canadian dollar, interest rates etc.) the fluctuations of markets can be very specific and reflective of issues and trends that directly reflect local markets. Therefore, although there are benefits to the association members to merge, one of them is not statistical reporting. The markets of Midland and Penetanguishene are very different from Collingwood, the Blue Mountains and Meaford and vice versa.
We are therefore pleased to report that moving forward statistical reporting pre-merger has been restored and that we will be able to present detailed information for the communities that Chestnut Park actively serves. Moving forward we will be able to provide you, our clients and customers with timely, accurate and detailed information that is reflective of the former “western” region formerly known as GTAR.
For the month of October 2014 we saw positive numbers for the Western region as a whole as compared to the same time period a year ago. Specifically the number of sales for October (for residential activity) was 221 units representing a 2% increase (216 units) over October 2013. Year to Date (YTD) for the first 10 months of 2014 sales are up 3% (1930 units) over the same YTD time period for 2013 (1873 units). Total sales dollars for the month of October totaled $73,055,840.00 and represented a 13% increase over October 2013.
Total sales dollars YTD ending for the month of October totaled $619,319,634.00 and represented an 11.2% increase YTD versus the first ten months of 2013. At the same time the percentage of sales to listings for both the month of October (month over month) and year to year continue to track upward. For the month of October 2014 the percentage of sales to listings was 47.63% versus 42.52% for the month of October 2013 and YTD 35.81% for 2014 versus 33.26% YTD for 2013. The higher the percentage the stronger and more balanced the market.
For the month of October YTD residential single-family sales saw average price increases lead in Grey Highlands (22.4%) followed by Collingwood (15%) and then Meaford at 11.2% respectively. These are for communities with 70+ sales. The only community with 70+ transactions that had a decline in average sale price was the Blue Mountains with a 3.4% drop. Although there was a slight pullback in the average sale price for the Blue Mountains the total number of units sold for the month of October 2014 was up 7.4% over October 2013. Of the 221 total residential sales for the month of October, the bulk (101 units) sold between $150,000.00 to $249,999.00 and 75 units sold from $250,000.00 to $349,000.00 for the Western district.
What is not included in the monthly statistics are the number of ski season rental transactions that have taken place this Fall in anticipation of another solid winter provided by mother nature. Anecdotally, we have a number of REALTORS® within our office that service the communities within the Village at Blue, along the base of the escarpment and the Beaver Valley and all have indicated a strong demand for seasonal product this season.
As reported last month, the local marketplace for Collingwood and neighbouring communities that make up the Southern Georgian Bay area remain active, healthy and in good shape as we continue to march forward to the end of the calendar year and the winter months ahead.