The real estate market has been a perfect storm for sellers and a challenge for buyers. The Southern Georgian Bay area has felt the echo effect of an overheated GTA market and many Torontonians cashing out and moving to our lovely area resulting in record breaking sales figures for the year.
Sales this calendar year are estimated to reach $1Billion, based on unprecedented demand for real estate of all types. Land sales have lead to a number of new developments, which have been sold out. In-fill projects in the towns of Collingwood, Wasaga Beach and Thornbury have increased the quality of the housing stock.
Prices have made a steady increase of 12% over the entire region, with more desirable areas having insane increases from last year. The average price in the Southern Georgian Bay area is $377,024.Unfortunately, much of the rental accommodation has been sold and converted back to residential, creating a near zero vacancy rate.
This record breaking run bids the question “how long can we sustain this market?”
Data is from an internet survey conducted December 19, 2016. Rates may fluctuate or include special offers. Readers are encouraged to confirm the rates with the lending institution.
Will the Bubble Burst?
This is a great question. Without a crystal ball it is very hard to tell. The Bank of Canada plans to hold the course on interest rates, with a new economic statement is due in January. The influencing factors of inflation and the value of the Canadian dollar are trending to a hold off any increases in interest rates. Events south of the boarder may affect our rates but we have to wait and see.
The Canadian Real Estate Council is predicting a leveling off of prices for 2017, with moderate price increases this year. The changes to lending qualification and an introduction of taxes to non-resident buyers has slowed the overheated markets in the GTA and Vancouver. Locally however, our seller’s market could continue as many GTA sellers who have been sitting on the fence will decide to sell and make the move to our area, and people who have been priced out of the GTA market will look for affordable housing.
First Time Home Buyers
The Provincial Government has offered some hope for first time home buyers. To offset the increasing cost of home ownership they have increased the Land Transfer Tax Rebate to a maximum $4,000 for first time home buyers.
Simcoe County Home Ownership Program is a self-funding program that offers interest-free loans for anyone renting in Simcoe County, towards the down payment for the purchase of a home. Find more information on my blog.
According to the Bank of Canada, rates will remain steady and the Canadian Real Estate Association doesn’t expect the overwhelming demand as in 2016. Locally, we may still see some healthy increases in prices due to the desirable nature of our area.
Karl Hannan is a REALTOR® for Royal LePage Locations North and a Property Developer