December, 2013

Collingwood Real Estate Market Update – November 2013

November marked another impressive performance by the Georgian Triangle real estate market as reported by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® “SGBAR” for the Western District (formerly the Georgian Triangle Association of REALTORS® known as GTAR) which, as the name suggests is the western portion of the newly formed entity resulting from the recent merger between the Southern Georgian Bay Real Estate Association and the Georgian Triangle Association of REALTORS®.  With only one month remaining in the year, it looks as though 2013 will end up with more sales recorded for any year since the bumper year of2007. And with an early start to the winter, and the ski season already underway, the area should be alive with activity showcasing its many attributes for which it is so well known. All this builds upon the strong momentum established in the area thus far this year and is one more positive ingredient contributing to the ongoing robustness of, and outlook for the real estate market for the area into the new year.

The SGBAR (Georgian Triangle) MLS® Statistic Report for the month of November indicates that 147 properties were recorded as sold this month, 9% more than the 135 properties sold last year. These latest sales bring the year to date total to 2009 which is 7% more than last year at this time when 1869 properties were sold. Total dollar volume has surged even more, coming in 19% higher than last November, reflecting the increased activity in the higher end market. In fact November’s numbers for all price categories above $800,000 surpassed those for properties sold in every category in this range for the same month last year. Activity was also strong in the $200,000-499,999 categories.

Listings were also up this month with 10% more new listings coming onto the market compared to last year (428 versus 389), bringing year to date totals to 6109, still 2% fewer than last year at this time when 6235 had been logged.  Inventory is actually relatively flat with 2042 active listings recorded on the MLS® system at the time of the report, compared to 2028 at this time in 2012.

Prices continue to rise moderately in the area with the average residential sale price year to date coming in at $333,442, 3.8% higher than last year at this time when it was calculated at $321,361. The average sale price for single family residential properties for the month of November was actually down approximately 1% from the year previous, $343,191 compared to $347,475 last year. Year to date figures for this category however, show a 3.5% increase coming in at $332,324 compared to $320,657. This relative price stability is a positive omen for ongoing sustainability in the market moving forward, preserving the comparative advantage and relative affordability of the area.

The fundamentals for a strong and stable market outlook for the Georgian Triangle appear to be in place through to the end of the year and into 2014. Interest rates are forecasted to remain low for the foreseeable future to shore up the still fragile recovery both here and south of the border thus contributing further to the affordability of real estate in the Georgian Triangle. Job creation and income growth are also positive forces that are supposed to assist the provincial economic outlook, but given that most commentators and regulators appear to share the view that the North American economy is not yet out of the woods, a healthy dose of caution is still necessary precluding many pundits from making any definitive market predictions at this stage. As stated, however, there are no obvious storm clouds on the horizon for the Georgian Triangle real estate market at this point so prospects for investing in the area continue to look positive and bode well for another good year.


Prepared by: Richard Stewart, VP and Legal Counsel at Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage

Green Condo Checklist

Green Condo Checklist

What is LEED?

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system promotes an integrated building design approach grounded in five key LEED® categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. Initially created by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has since modified the rating system to suit the specific concerns and requirements of buildings in Canada. LEED® is flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of green building strategies that best fit the constraints and goals of particular projects. For more information about LEED® programs in Canada, please visit

Buying a Green Condo Checklist


  • Look for recognized green building standards like LEED or BOMA BESt to ensure your condo is built according to verifiable sustainability standards.
  • Are water, electric and gas use individually metered? This results in dramatically increased self-imposed conservation in condo units when compared to common shared heating, electric and gas. Insist on a programmable thermostat and turn it down in the winter and up in the summer.


  • Is the condo located in close proximity to your place of work? can you walk to work? Is it near public transit? Is the neighborhood cyclist and pedestrian friendly?
  • Does the property include a variety of permeable surface areas like garden, lawn and water features?
  • Does the building include a green roof?

 Water and Energy

  • Are plumbing fixtures water-efficient?
  • Does the condo support the use of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal?
  • Are lighting fixtures energy efficient and using compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED bulbs?
  • Is waste-water or run-off water harvested and reused for non-potable uses? Is the outdoor environment landscaped to efficiently use irrigation water?
  • Does the condo support the use of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal?
  • Are lighting fixtures energy-efficient and using compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED bulbs?
  • Is waste-water or run-off water harvested and reused for non-potable uses? Is the outdoor environment landscaped to efficiently use irrigation water?
  • Are the included standard fixtures Energy Star® compliant? Are there incentives offered by the condo to purchase high-efficiency appliances?
  • Does the condo incorporate high efficiency windows and doors and are effective blinds pre-installed? Are they properly placed in the design of the condo unit?
  • What ratio of the outside walls are windows? In most buildings, 40% window to 60% wall provides the best balance of insulation and daylight and views.

Sustainable Materials

  • Are the materials used in construction or finishing of the condo such as cabinets, floors and furniture made from renewable resources? Do they have a high recycled content? Have the products been sourced locally?

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Are the flooring, paint and other finishes non toxic with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?
  • How is fresh air delivered to the suites? Is it delivered from the corridor under the doors of the suite, or is it ducted separately to each suite to minimize the risk of odour transfer?
  • Is energy recovered from the air exhausted from the suites (usually bathroom exhaust) before it is released outdoors? This is typically done in a dedicated suite heat recovery ventilator (HRV), or in a central energy recovery ventilator (ERV).

Green Condo Map

Greening Your Existing Condo

  • Where possible, replace existing light fixtures and bulbs with modern and energy efficient compact fluorescent (CFL) and LED bulbs to reap significant energy savings
  • Install Energy Star® lighting fixtures and appliances where possible
  •  Turn down your water heater to a reasonable temperature. Do you need near-boiling water on demand at all times?
  •  Install ceiling fans to circulate cool or warm air throughout your condo space. This can be particularly effective within new “loft style” condos with high ceilings.
  •  Use high efficiency LED lighting during the holidays and turn them off when you’re not enjoying them
  •  Use a programmable thermostat to reduce energy costs when you are away or at night when you are sleeping
  • Repair plumbing leaks and conserve water by selecting water-efficient plumbing products like faucets, shower heads and toilets and use less water when possible
  •  Choose natural or sustainable flooring products like FSC certified hardwood floors and non-off-gassing carpeting made from sustainable materials
  •  Institute waste reduction and recycling programs to reduce the costs associated with waste disposal and help to reduce overall waste to landfill
  •  Start a ‘Green Best Practices Committee’ to help your condo corporation and board focus on the greening of the common areas of your condominium

Provided by the Canada Green Building Council

About the Canada Green Building Council – Greater Toronto Chapter

The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) is a non-profit national organization formed to accelerate the design and construction of green buildings in Canada. The Council’s objective is to work with its partners in government and the private sector to accelerate the “mainstream adoption of green building principles, policies, practices, standards and tools.”

The Canada Green Building Council – Greater Toronto Chapter (CaGBC-GTC) was the first Chapter of the Canada Green Building Council. It is comprised of leading individuals from government, the building industry, suppliers and professionals, altogether representing the various segments of the design and building industry.

Together, the CaGBC and the Greater Toronto Chapter symbolize the broad interests that are necessary to come together and motivate change in the built environment.