Welcome to Southern Georgian Bay Carriage Trade Properties

The southern Georgian Bay region is renowned for its natural beauty, the Niagara Escarpment, crystal clear blue water, the world’s longest freshwater beach and unparalleled recreational amenities from boating to private ski clubs and world class golf courses. Long known as the ski capital of Ontario, southern Georgian Bay has been transformed into one of Canada’s premier four season recreational playgrounds offering the coveted lifestyle sought by many luxury home buyers seeking the relaxed sophistication reflected in the ultimate recreational or retirement residence.

Real estate Broker Rick Crouch with Royal LePAGE Locations North Realty represents discriminating buyers and sellers in their quest to buy and sell premium properties around southern Georgian Bay including Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, the Blue Mountains, Grey Highlands and Clearview.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Home & Condo Sales Over $1 Million Nearly Triple in 2017

  As in many markets across Canada, real estate sales across the Southern Georgian Bay region in 2017 have been very robust with multiple offers and properties selling for over their asking prices the order of the day.  Nonetheless, MLS® unit sales which total 1,392 properties sold to the end of June and up a modest 1% over 2016.  MLS® dollar volume however is up 27%!  Why the disparity between MLS® unit and dollars results?  It's upper end home sales.

  For the first six months of 2017, residential home and condominium sales in our market valued at $750,000 and above total 139 properties.  This represents a 107% increase over the 67 properties sold in the first six months of 2016.  More significantly sales over $1 million in the first six months of this year are essentially triple that of one year ago.  Through the end of June there have been 74 sales over $1 million compared to just 26 sales in the same period last year.  In addition to this impressive increase in the number of resale properties sold through the MLS® valued above $750,000 there is also a significant number of new builds in areas such as Nipissing Ridge at Blue Mountain, Lora Bay west of Thornbury and elsewhere many of which are well over the $750,000 mark not including the land.

  The municipality of the Blue Mountains continues to be the dominant location for upper end residential properties.  Many of the buyers for expensive homes and chalets in the area are members of the private ski clubs and it is often their desire to be located close to their respective clubs.  Of the 139 MLS® sales year-to-date over $750,000, 55 of those (40%) are in the Blue Mountains.  The average sale price of these 55 properties is just over $1.2 million.

  The Town of Collingwood  comes in second in terms of the number of upper end homes sales year-to-date with 28 sales so far this year compared to just 10 in 2016, an increase of 180%.  To illustrate just how much our market has changed, in 2009 there were just two MLS® sales in Collingwood over $750,000, in 2016 there were a total of 32 and this year we are on track to see upwards of 60. 

  Upper end home and condo sales in the remaining municipalities throughout our region year-to-date round out as follows:  Clearview Township 27 sales up 69%, Wasaga Beach 12 sales up 50%, Grey Highlands 11 sales up 83% and the Municipality of Meaford 5 sales up 67% from one year ago.  

  It will be interesting to watch this segment of the market through the balance of 2017.  As of June we have already seen the overall market slow down from the frantic pace of sales we experienced in the first five months of this year.  Unlike the overall market where the number of new MLS® listings is down 16% year-to-date which is suppressing sales somewhat, there remains a significant supply of listings on our MLS® system over $750,000.  As of this posting there are currently 173 homes and condominiums listed for sale over $750,000 which represents a 7.5 month supply based on the current pace of sales.

  In my next post I will discuss upper end property pricing throughout the various municipalities in our region.  As with real estate overall, locations plays a key role relative to pricing and the luxury, upper end segment of the market is no different. 

  For a confidential no obligation consultation of your luxury home/condominium selling or buying objectives, please do not hesitate to Contact Me.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

High End Home & Condo Sales Up 73% in 1st Quarter

  As with the local real estate market overall, luxury, upper end home and condominium sales have been very robust in the first quarter of 2017.  MLS® sales of properties valued over $750,000 are up 73% during the first three months of this year compared to the first quarter of 2016.

  Sales reported through the MLS® system of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS (SGBAR) for the first quarter total 52 properties valued at $750,000 and higher compared to 30 sales in the first quarter of 2016.  The total value of these 52 sales is $55.6 million compared to $35.2 million in ales last year during the same quarter an increase of 58%.  Despite the significant increase in sales, inventory levels of properties over $750,000 have increased.  As of this post there are 150 active MLS® listings for properties priced above $750,000 up from 138 listings at the start of the year.  The total value of these listed properties is $214.4 million.

  The Blue Mountains remains the major area where the bulk of higher end homes and condominiums are sold.  1st Quarter MLS® sales in the Blue Mountains totals 24 units with a combined value of $29.5 million.  These 24 sales in the Blue Mountains represent 46% all all higher end property sales in our market for the first quarter of 2017 followed by Clearview Township with 13 sales totalling $13.6 million.  1st quarter MLS sales in Collingwood amounted to 6 properties with 5 in Grey Highlands and 4 sales in Wasaga Beach.  No sales above $750,000 in either the Municipality of Meaford or Mulmur Township were reported during the first quarter.

  As previously mentioned the inventory of higher priced homes and condominiums is on the rise and I suspect we will see this trend continue. Why?  Over the past year or so we have seen a dramatic increase in vacant lot sales most of these in the Blue Mountains.  Buyers of higher priced homes and condominiums in the area are often private ski club members with a desire to be close to their respective club.  Of the 96 vacant lots sold through MLS® in the 1st quarter, 58 of those (60%) were in the Blue Mountains.  Building versus buying a resale home looks very attractive to many affluent Buyers allowing them to build exactly what they want.  This might help to explain why the inventory level of properties over $750,000 is on the rise.  I will be watching these statistics closely over the next several months and will report regularly as to what is happening.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Are Canadians In Need of Panic Rooms Yet?

According to an article featured by an organization I am a member of, the  Institute of Luxury Home Marketing, panic rooms are becoming increasingly popular with affluent home buyers.  That begs the question are we ready or in need of such a household amenity here in Canada?

  There is no question that in many parts of the world, celebrities, politicians, senior executives and others are at risk from terrorists, or just run of the mill burglars and kidnappers looking to make a quick buck.  We've all seen movies attesting to this and Jodi Foster in the movie Panic Room is probably the best example.  Canada has always been regarded as a safe haven but how long will it be until we start to see our fair share of lunatics such as the gunman in Ottawa a couple of years back.  We are also seeing a greater influx of offshore buyers for Canadian real estate.  Many of these buyers are coming from parts of the world where crime is more prevalent so security may be more of priority with them when it comes to their place of residence.

 Today panic rooms may be nothing more than something to brag about at cocktail parties but I am sure they will become more prevalent in larger Canadian cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver in the years ahead.  Unfortunately the age of innocence as depicted in television shows such Leave It To Beaver (I am dating myself) is over.  Even in the southern Georgina Bay regions we are seeing more and more homes with elaborate alarm systems and web based camera monitoring both inside and out.

Read the full article on panic rooms as featured in Architectural Digest magazine.