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.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Upper Tier Luxury Home and Condo Sales Increase 54% in 2016

  The sale of upper tier homes and condominiums in the southern Georgian Bay area continues to be an increasingly significant segment of the local real estate market.  MLS® sales in this niche were up 54% in 2016 having a profound effect on total MLS® dollar sales.  For the purpose of defining luxury or upper end real estate, we consider anything priced over $750,000 as properties in this value range represent approximately the top 10% of the local market.

  A total of 162 sales were reported over $750,000 during 2016 on the MLS® system of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS (SGBAR).   Total dollar sales in this segment were $187.4 million which represents 18% of all MLS® sales in the region for 2016.   It is important to note that this does not include any private sales, or sales made directly by builders and others that did not go through the MLS® system.

The Blue Mountains continues to lead other area municipalities by almost 50% with respect to the number of annual upper end home and condominium sales.  A total of 60 properties sold in the Blue Mountains last year with prices ranging from $751,000 for a property in Thornbury to a $3.945 million waterfront estate near Georgian Peaks. MLS® residential sales in the Blue Mountains for these 60 properties totalled just under $76 million which is 37% of the total region's upper end market during 2016 both in terms of units sold and dollar volume.  Buyers for these properties are often members of the area's private ski and golf clubs and these Buyers have a strong desire to be close to their respective clubs in developments such as Nipissing Ridge, Lora Bay, Windrose Estates and others.  The Blue Mountains is also home to some of the area's finest waterfront properties.

  Not so many years ago, it was hard to find a house priced above $750,000 in Collingwood.  In 2009 I sold a non-listed home for $1.1 million.  That same year there was only one MLS® sale in Collingwood of a residential property over $750,000.  Times have changed as in 2016 there were 31 sales in the municipality placing Collingwood in the number two position in terms of unit MLS® sales for high end properties in the region.  Sales prices ranged from $749,000 for a new home at the south end of Town to $2.33 million for a waterfront home in Princeton Shores.  These 31 MLS® sales totalled $29.8 million and amounted to 19% of the region's upper end market.  Of the seven municipalities covered in my analysis, Collingwood ranks 5th in average price for upper end homes sales with an average selling price for 2016 of $960,000.

  During 2016, Clearview Township came in third in terms of the number of MLS® listings sold with 29 residential sales ranging from $760,000 to $2.9 million.  Many of these sales were properties with larger acreages and highly sought after views of the surrounding countryside and or Georgian Bay.  Although Clearview Township trails the Blue Mountains by over 50% in terms of the number of high end properties sold, Clearview is home to the highest average sale price in the upper tier market segment at $1.328 million which is primarily due to the larger property sizes associated with these homes.

  The remaining municipalities of Grey Highlands, Meaford, Mulmur and Wasaga Beach each have their own share of higher priced residential properties and combined they accounted for a total of 42 MLS® sales in 2016, 26% of the overall market with a combined sales value of $42.3 million.  These areas continue to grow in stature in terms of being desirable locations for more expensive residential properties and this trend will no doubt continue. For the foreseeable future however they will continue to play a smaller, less significant role in the rapidly growing demand for higher end homes and condominiums than we are experiencing in areas like the Blue Mountains and Collingwood stemming from vast array of recreational, cultural and other amenities that these municipalities offer.

  As of this posting there are 134 active listings on the MLS® system of SGBAR which represents almost 10 months of available inventory based on the current annual rate of sales.  Sales in this segment of the market naturally take longer, require added marketing emphasis and can not be treated the same as the sale of a run-of-the mill property typically found in  large subdivisions.  More on this in future posts.

 If you are looking to list your current high end luxury home/condo or are contemplating the purchase of a special property, please feel free to Contact Me for a confidential discussion of your particular real estate needs and objectives and put my expertise to work for you.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Special Properties - Warrant Special Marketing

  Marketing your luxury home, condo or cottage is not a process to be taken lightly.  Most properties at the upper end of the real estate market are unique.  Many have been lovingly designed and created by their owners and as such, they appeal to a select group of buyers each motivated by their own specific and often particular tastes.  
  Higher end luxury properties typically take longer to sell.  Buyers in this realm of real estate are obviously are not as prevalent as those looking for a $300,000 or $400,000 home and it is not at all uncommon for a $2 or $3 million property to be on the market for a year or two before attracting a worthy buyer.  Simply pounding a For Sale sign in the front lawn is not enough and doing nothing more will result in frustration for the seller(s) and listing REALTOR alike.  There are many initiatives that can be implemented to effective market a luxury, high-end property and I will share some of them in upcoming posts.  One however that I would like to touch on herein is the use of aerial photography.  

 Traditionally, taking aerial photos required engaging a photographer and a pilot with a plane or a helicopter to circle a subject property for the purpose of taking photos.  These were typically somewhat distant shots given the ceiling restrictions that exist for conventional aircraft.  All that has changed however with the advent of small unmanned drones with cameras and video recorders that can capture photos and video footage from a few feet above the ground to as high as 400 feet or more.   

 I started using this photographic technique back in 2012 as did some of my Royal LePAGE colleagues.  The quality of the photos was and is superb and the fact that they are captured at a relatively low altitude makes them even more unique.  The drone in the accompanying photo is the latest generation of these devices and was used to take the photos of this waterfront property that I have just brought to market.  The operator is a very skilled pilot who has shot hundreds of photos including homes, cottages, condos, gold courses and more.  He is licensed and fully insured should something go wrong.  

  This type of photography not only goes a long way in highlighting the features of a special property from a unique perspective literally, but also serves to give potential buyers a glimpse of the surrounding neighbourhood or area.  Online photos play a huge role in attracting buyers.  Many times, the properties that a buyer(s) selects to view first hand is determined by the number and quality of photos they view looking at listings online.  As such, I am fussy about the photos taken of my listings both inside and out which is why I am committed to using drone photography wherever it is appropriate. 


  Exterior photos is not the only area where advancements in  technology have had an impact.  In my next posting I will cover what we are doing with respect to interior shots that best serves to show our seller clients homes in their best light.

  If you are thinking of selling your property and would like to discuss how photos of the type shown here could be used highlight your home and property, please do not hesitate to Contact Me.  As always I remain committed to "Redefining Your Real Estate Experience."  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Upper End MLS® Home Sales Up 42% in 2015

  As in prior years, upper end, luxury home sales continue to play a significant role in driving total MLS® dollar sales throughout the Southern Georgian Bay area in 2015 with sales up 42% over the same time last year.

  Through the end of May there have been 40 sales reported though the MLS® system of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® above $750,000 compared to 28 sales in the same period last year.  The Blue Mountains continues to be the hot bed for luxury upper end home sales with most buyers having a strong preference to be located close to Blue Mountain and the area's private ski clubs.  Collingwood, and the Municipalities of Grey Highlands and Meaford are the other three areas where upper end home sales are currently the most prevalent.  Sales in the $800,000 to $900,000 range are the most active this year with 12 sales through the end of May representing a 140% increase over the same period last year.  Sales between $1 and $1.5 million total 9 properties year-to-date up 80% from the 5 sales in the first 5 months of 2014 while sales between $700,000 and $800,000 are up 50% year-to-date

  As with other segments of the market, we have seen a reduction in the number of new MLS® listings coming onto the market for upper end properties.  As of this posting, there are 185 listings currently active on our local MLS® system above $750,000,  This represents approximately 23 months of inventory based on the current rate of sales and clearly illustrates why upper end properties take longer to sell.  By comparison, 100 of the current 185 listings over $750,000 are priced over $1 million.  With $1 million plus sales currently running at a rate of just three per month, the currently inventory level represents 33 month supply of properties to be absorbed in the $1 million plus category.  While recently pricing out a luxury high end waterfront property which I have just listed for sale, I viewed several relevant sales in excess of $1 million and noted that days-on-market for these properties often stretched from 1 to over 3 years.  As such, no where is the element of accurately pricing upper end homes more important.

  In my next post I will talk further about the issue of pricing high end properties in order to attract a willing buyer.