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Waterfront and Residential Non-Waterfront Sales Activity Slow Down in Muskoka and Orillia

Waterfront and Residential non-waterfront sales activity recorded through the MLS® system of Muskoka Haliburton Orillia – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® numbered 111 units in November 2017. This was down 28.8% from last November’s record high for the month.

On a year-to-date basis, residential non-waterfront sales were running 3.9% below the first 11 months of 2016 but remained above all other years going back to 2003.

Sales of waterfront properties came in 64.9% below last November. On a year-to-date basis, waterfront sales were down 17.2% from the first 11 months of 2016. Both the waterfront and non-waterfront sales figures for November 2017 stood in below the five and 10-year averages for the month of November.

“While activity always slows down at this time of year, sales in November 2017 were quieter than normal,” said Mike Stahls, President of Muskoka Haliburton Orillia – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®. “Even so, because of how strong the market was earlier this year, particularly the residential non-waterfront segment, 2017 will still be one of the best years on record for sales in the region.”

The median price for residential non-waterfront property sales was a record $340,000 in November 2017, an increase of 30.8% from November 2016. The median price for waterfront sales was $460,000 in November 2017, rising 12.2% from November 2016.

The dollar value of all residential non-waterfront sales in November 2017 totalled $38.2 million, falling 18.2% from November 2016. This was however the second highest dollar volume of any November on record. The total value of waterfront sales was $21.6 million, down 62.3% from November 2016.

Smart buyers see the Waterfront and Residential non-waterfront sales activity slow down as an opportunity to negotiate better pricing for the available properties.

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The Canadian Housing Market: When the Fog Clears by Benjamin Tal

Benjamin Tal, the chief analyst recently wrote about the Canadian housing market saying,”The level of activity is likely to stabilize and perhaps soften in the coming quarters as markets adjust to recent and upcoming regulatory changes. But when the fog clears it will become evident that the long-term trajectory of the market will show even tighter conditions. The supply issues facing centres such as Toronto and Vancouver will worsen and demand is routinely understated. Short of a significant change in housing policies and preferences, there is nothing in the pipeline to alleviate the pressure.”

Housing market Correlated CitiesCertainly, in 2017, the Toronto and Vancouver housing market has been the driving force behind the economics in recent years with no real change in store. Tal goes on to say, “The affordability issue in those cities that are leading to the “drive until you qualify” phenomena works to amplify their influence on neighbouring real estate markets.” In other words, more and more homebuyers are looking further and further outside of Toronto and Vancouver for more affordable real estate options. This only drives up prices not only in the suburbs but in towns and cities within 1 to 2 hours drive of the major centres.

The knock-on effect relative to Toronto is that homebuyers are looking to our region in and around Orillia, Barrie and Midland. These buyers are typically well paid and can afford to pay more for a home than their counterparts who live and work in the region. This complicates and inflates the cost of living for many more local residents looking to either get in or move up in the home buying market. This is continuing good news for home sellers in our region but not at all good for many families looking to buy.

A qualified real estate representative who is on top of the local and national market trends is still the best choice to provide homebuyers with accurate data to buy or sell in this foggy market. We at Lakeview Realty Inc. would be pleased to discuss your real estate needs.

Benjamin Tal’s complete article on the Canadian housing market can be read at CIBC World Market In Focus.