Collingwood Real Estate Market Update FALL 2012

With the release of the real estate statistics by the Georgian Triangle Association of REALTORS® (“GTAR”) for the month of September, it would seem “fall” is definitely the operative word for all indicators as they relate to the housing market in the Georgian Triangle. While in no way remarkable or dramatic, the performance of real estate in the area appears to be consistent with what the industry and commentators are calling for generally for the rest of the year and into 2013 as sales and prices cool and moderate but do not veer into significant correction territory. Rather with the healthy pace of sales established to date, this year is expected to end on a comparatively healthy and positive note when measured against the previous years’ performance, but 2012 may well already have its best months of activity behind it, with the rest of the year looking potentially a little lacklustre in comparison.



September racked up 159 sales, a 10% decline from the 176 recorded in September of 2011 and 10 fewer than the same month two years previous. As set out above, however, year to date sales remain 8% ahead of last year at this time with a total of 1520 properties changing hands compared to 1410 last year at this time. Total dollar volume reveals more of the same, only more so, with numbers coming in 14% behind last September’s total, though year to date figures remain 6% ahead of last year due to the robust market experienced in the Georgian Triangle this year up to this point.


Listings too were down significantly from last year with only 529 new properties coming onto the market. This is 19% fewer than the 650 new listings which came out last year in September, resulting in a tighter market with fewer active listings recorded (2476 compared to 2501 last year at this time). As a result the sales to listing ratio is actually higher this September than last coming in at 30.06 compared to 27.08 one year ago. Year to date 5316 new properties have come onto the MLS® system, 1% more than the 5252 listings recorded last year at this time.


Prices continue to stagnate in negative territory, continuing a trend established in previous months despite the healthy pace of sales. The average sale price in September for single family residential property came in at $319,643, 11% less than one year ago when the average sale price for the same category of properties was $359,611. Measured over a twelve month period the negative differential shrinks to 3% with the latest sale price averaging over that period coming in at $315,086 compared to $326,048 for the same period the year previous. Year to date the average residential sale price is 3.7% less than it was last year at this time coming in at $315,284 compared to $327,556.


As adverted to in earlier reports, commentators are calling for  a moderating real estate market as we move towards the end of this year and into the next as lending regimes tighten in response to national regulatory initiatives to address increasing household debt loads and a perceived overheated and overvalued real estate market. As further indicated in previous reports, the Georgian Triangle has in large part avoided many of these problems, however, no market is immune to broader economic forces, and thus is inevitably caught up at least to some extent with the trends and influences experienced elsewhere.  It should be noted, however, that the net result of these competing economic and regulatory forces is difficult to measure. While Europe continues to stagger under the economic burden of its financial crisis, the American housing market is finally showing real signs of life and contributing to consumer confidence in the United States which may well be extending to the broader economic climate, leading some to be more optimistic regarding real economic recovery south of the border.  This in turn is a positive factor in assessing the future prospects for our own economy and the domestic real estate market both nationally and in the Georgian Triangle. Interesting times lie ahead but at this point with so many variables at play both at home and abroad it is difficult to be definitive as to what the market holds until some of these forces play themselves out.


Prepared by: Richard Stewart, VP and Legal Counsel Chestnut Park properties in the Collingwood area