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.

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.

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.