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, 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.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Upper End Home Sales Off to a Robust Start in 2017

  As covered in my regular blog, real estate activity across Southern Georgian Bay has gotten off to a very strong start for 2017 despite the ongoing lack of inventory and the upper end luxury home and condominium market is no exception.

 MLS® unit sales of residential properties priced $750,000 and higher are up 73% for the first two months of 2017.  Through the end of February there have been 33 MLS® sales reported by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® (SGBAR) compared to just 19 sales in the first two months of 2016 at 73% increase.  What is perhaps of even greater significance is the fact that these 33 sales represent over 30% of the total MLS® dollar volume in the area for the first two months of the year.  The strong sales of higher priced properties is really serving to prop up MLS® dollar sales stemming from lagging sales due to low inventory in the lower price points.

  The Blue Mountains remains the stronghold for upper tier home sales in the area with 16 sales to date representing close to 50% of the market.  As I have stated before, Buyers in this segment are often private ski and or golf club members who prefer to be located near to their respective clubs. Collingwood and Clearview Township come in tied for second place with 7 sales above $750,000 in each of these two municipalities for the first two months of the year.

Selling a higher priced upper tier property in our market has typically been a long process and in the past it has not been uncommon to have two years or more inventory listed for sale priced above $750,000.  At the start of 2017 there were 134 properties listed for sale on our local MLS® system priced over the $750,000 mark which represented 9.9 months worth of inventory.  Currently that inventory has risen to 138 active listings as of this posting however based on the strong sales activity we have seen in the first two months of the year, the inventory supply number has dropped to 8.4 months.   Buyers in the upper end price ranges often prefer to build exactly what they want provided there is available land to do so.  The availability of vacant lots has not been an issue in recent years but we have seen a real run on vacant land sales over the past few months particular in the Blue Mountains in fully serviced subdivisions such as Nipissing Ridge 3 and Lendway Valley.

  Selling an upper end home in a market with abundant inventory takes more than placing a sign on the lawn and listing the property on MLS® and it starts with the appropriate pricing in order to drive showing activity and a potential Buyer.  As a Market Value Appraiser and Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist I can assist you in establishing a pricing and marketing strategy that will generate results.  Whether buying or selling, Contact Me for a no obligation and confidential discussion about your specific real estate needs or goals.

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.