This fundamental shift in how and where people want to live and work has certainly driven many families, empty nesters, weekenders, investors and first time buyers to seek a real estate opportunity in the Western Region of Southern Georgian Bay. With most travel plans, weddings and family events on hold for the foreseeable future, the decision for many to re-allocate those funds to purchase a property likely helped push the number of sales in the Western Region up a staggering 70.8 % over July 2019, with 369 sales reported in July vs 216 sales for the same period last year. The dollar volume for July 2020 skyrocketed 110.9% over last July. As a result of this red-hot demand and short supply, the average sale price in the Western Region hit an all time record high of $686,430 in July 2020; up 23.5 % over last year.
Some potential sellers, however, saw the opportunity to strike while the iron was hot, driving new listings up 9.7% to 373 from 340 in July 2019. Nonetheless the Sales to New Listings Ratio was 98.9, up from 63.5 in July 2019, a true indication of ongoing seller’s market conditions. With so many properties selling, active listings were down 36.7 % over last July with 553 properties available vs 874 in July 2019, sending the Months of Inventory plummeting to a record low of 1.5 months.
The extraordinary pace and urgency of the market created conditions reminiscent of the 2017 market frenzy. At that time, the Government intervened with the Fair Housing Plan to cool the market. Currently, government assistance to soften the financial hardships from COVID-19 has created a temporary sense of security however, concern of a second wave of COVID-19, another lockdown and job instability may contribute to an adjustment in the market in the months ahead. For the time being though, pre existing pent up demand combined with exceptionally low inventory and low interest rates remain key factors in price strength and will likely continue over the summer and into the fall, making the Western Region of Southern Georgian Bay a desirable and safe place to invest.
As Ontario moved ahead cautiously to reopen the province, it appeared that many residents from the GTA took the opportunity to leave the city in order to find a safer haven in which to live and play.
And with travel plans on hold for many, the urgency to find a vacation home for the summer of 2020 created a super hot market in the Western Region of Southern Georgian Bay, ultimately driving the average price for the Western Region up to an almost record high of $628,202; up 18.5 % over last year. Likely due to more movement in higher priced proper-ties and incredibly short supply combined with strong demand, the Dollar Volume was pro-pelled to an astounding 82.0% increase over last June. Sales activity increased an astonishing 53.6 % with 281 sales reported in June vs 183 sales for the same period last year.The onset of the pandemic in March initially forced many potential sellers to hold back howev-er, the success of virtual showings and safety protocols for in-person showings over the past few months encouraged some sellers to jump into the market in June, slightly relieving an al-ready tight market. There was a modest 2.9% increase in new listings over last year, with 420 new listings reported at the end of June 2020 vs 408 in June 2019. With supply not keeping up with demand, it’s not surprising that active listings were the lowest they had been in the last decade. Active listings were down 28.4% over last June with 645 properties available vs 901 in June 2019 driving the Months of Inventory down to 2.3 months.The pandemic has certainly turned the world upside down, forcing many people to re-evaluate their priorities, including where they choose to live. If this trend continues, we should expect a strong outcome for 2020 – even with COVID-19 interrupting the market mid-March to end of May. The biggest challenges moving forward will be the ongoing supply issue that pre-existed COVID-19, and the uncertainty that lies ahead. We have not yet seen the full economic impact of COVID-19 however, it does seem safe to say that the Western Region of Southern Georgian Bay real estate market should remain strong for the foreseeable future with attractive and affordability options for those seeking a home in the region.
LOCAL FRESH! There are many Farmer’s Markets in Southern Georgian Bay scheduled from May long weekend or first week of June to Thanksgiving. Local markets are scheduled on different week days so you can shop them all!
Collingwood Farmers Market
Every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Corner of Second and Pine Streets, Collingwood
If you’re heading to the Collingwood Downtown Farmers’ Market please remember your mask 😷 as they are mandatory! 🍓🥒🍩 #ShopLocal vendors of organic vegetables and fruit, baking, meats and cheeses, flowers and trees, jams and preserves, handcrafted items and more.
You can pre-order at www.CollingwoodCommons.com
It’s open at 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. for pre-ordered items and seniors, and will continue to 1 p.m. 📍 located in the municipal parking lot at the corner of Second and Pine Streets.🐕 Please leave your dog at home as they are not allowed in the market. See you there, Collingwood! Stay up-to-date on their Facebook Page CollingwoodFarmersMarket
Creemore Farmers’ Market
Every Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Victoria Day to Thanksgiving
Creemore Springs Brewery
Corner of Mill and Edward St
2020 Update: Order in advance for pickup or shop in person.
Www.openfoodnetwork.ca/groups pick Creemore Farmers’ Market and then find your vendors.
Stay updated: https://www.facebook.com/CFM.marketmanager/
Winner of the 2001 Market of the Year, the Creemore Farmers’ Market aims to bring new experiences to it’s customers. Check out the selection of local vegetables, fresh baked goods, honey, syrup, meat, plants, crafts, and much more directly from producers that care. www.creemorefarmersmarket.ca
Stay up-to-date on their Facebook Page
Thornbury Farmers Market
Every Sunday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
30 Mill St. Thornbury
Order online and pickup your goodies at Smith Memorial parking lot Sunday between 11am – 1pm! https://www.localline.ca/thornbury-farmers-market
Fresh seasonal vegetables and fruit – including organics, baking, deli meats, frozen entrees & desserts, maple syrup, local honey, jellies, cut flowers, local crafts and more.
Look for the market along Hwy. 26 beside the The Blue Mountains Town Hall.
Stay up-to-date on their Facebook page Thornbury Farmers Market
Meaford Farmers Market
Every Friday from 3-7pm
1 St. Vincent St. Meaford Marina Park
The Meaford Farmers’ Market is temporarily closed due to COVID-19, however, you can still enjoy farm fresh and local products by placing orders with our vendors. Order Online for pick-up:
Produce, baked goods and more plus live music and activities for kids. Fresh, seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs, premium meats, preserves, honey and maple syrup, baked goods, art & crafts. All products are from a 100km radius of Meaford.Fun activities for kids at the Children’s Library Tent as well as other events for the whole family!
Stay up-to-date on their Facebook Page Meaford-Farmers-Market
New Lowell Farmers Market
Every Wednesday from 6pm-dusk – June 6 to August 29th
New Lowell Park Pavilion | 5212 County Road 9, New Lowell
2020 Update: Currently no information available.
Join local vendors under the New Lowell Park Pavilion for fresh in season produce and other other local products.
Stay up-to-date on their Facebook page New Lowell Farmers Market
Stayner Music Market and Park It
Every Thursday from 5:30-8:30pm from first week in June to end of August.
Station Park – 7259 Highway 26
2020 Update: Currently no information available.
Classic cars, live music and over 60 vendors. Come out and enjoy locally produced and prepared foods, fruits and vegetables, homemade crafts, live local music and a car show. For more details, visit Clearview.ca and click on events.
Beyond the ski hills of South Georgian Bay are some of Ontario’s most pristine freshwater beaches. Stretching from Meaford to Wasaga Beach are numerous beaches where you can canoe, kayak, swim, stroll the shores of Georgian Bay or simply enjoy the sunshine.
Listed below are the beaches and amenities at each area to make planning your day at a South Georgian Bay beach easier.
With over 14kms of white sand beach, Wasaga Beach has long been hailed one of Ontario’s premier tourist destinations. Here you can swim in shallow, warm, clean waters and enjoy the beautiful view of the mountains across the bay. Wasaga Beaches # 1, 2 & 5 are the first provincial park beaches in Canada to be awarded the “Blue Flag” designation for its clean, accessible beaches. For more information on this high safety standards eco-certification please visit Blue Flag. Because of its size, Wasaga Beach has been divided into six smaller beaches, as well as New Wasaga Beach, that has been divided off by beaches 1-6 by the Nottawasaga River. Further north is Allenwood Beach.
Boasting the best fries in town, Sunset Point Beach is in Collingwood’s east end just off Pretty River Parkway. It features a rock beach and large green space for biking or walking, Adjacent is Enviro-Park – an eco-themed playground enjoyed by young families.
This pristine park has no beach offering but is a popular place to jump off the pier into Georgian Bay. It is part of a vast waterfront area that include the Collingwood terminals. It offers both paved and natural trails for biking and walking.
Located across from the Heritage Depot in Craigleith on Highway 26, Northwinds Beach is a beautiful sandy beach. Located onsite is a non-motorized watercraft rental kiosk making this area a popular spot for kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing and stand up paddle boarding. Paddle board excursions to Mary Ward Shipwrecks are offered by Eagle Adventures and Free Spirit Tours and Blue Surf offers paddle lessons.
With views of the ski hills and Georgian Bay, this sandy pebble beach also offers swing sets, picnic tables and a portable toilet.
This pebble beach waterfront park is extremely popular with beach goers. It features a playground and a pier that is a great place to jump off into Georgian Bay. It is located within walking distance of the downtown Thornbury shopping area.
This sandy beach is located within a cove for protected swimming, kayaking and paddling, It is a small quiet beach just past the Lora Bay Golf Club
This family & pet friendly park features a pebble beach & playground. It is one of Thornbury’s favourite picnic areas because of its large covered pavilion and beautiful greenspaces. It is ideal for large family reunions, weddings and social gatherings.
Boasting an incredible view of Georgian Bay’s natural landscape is this quiet, sandy beach. It features shallow water that is perfect for families and young children. The beach stretches from Meaford to Thornbury at the end of Christie Beach Rd
A picturesque park & campground, Memorial Park, features 468 metres of beach with a ton of amenities. It features ample free parking, a pet friendly environment with a portion of the beach dedicated to dogs, picnic areas with a snack bar and 135 fully serviced campsites.
Adjacent to the Marina in Meaford, is David Johnson Park. This quiet beach features a mobi- matt allowing those with mobility challenges to access this waterfront location.
Minutes from Meaford’s downtown district is this smooth pebble beach. It is the hub of waterfront activities and features a wooden ship play structure with swings on one of the two public beach areas.
Located next to the Meaford Museum, McCarroll Park features a splash pad, picnic area, washrooms, a beautiful green space and parking
Notwithstanding that new listings were down 36.4 % over last year, with 273 new listings reported at the end of May 2020 vs 429 in May 2019, when comparing the market to the month before, The Western Region of Southern Georgian Bay demonstrated resiliency and actually showed strong signs of rising activity.
The onset of COVID-19 emergency measures implemented in early March created a few months of uncertainty and pause, however people seemed to have adjusted and adapted fairly quickly to the new protocols around showing property and many were ready to delve back into the market in May. With persistent housing shortages being a key driver of price, the average sale price for a residential home across The Western Region in May 2020 was a remarkable $591,352, up 13.3 % over last year. Sales activity declined 42.4 % with 121 sales reported in May vs 210 sales for the same period last year, clearly reflecting the lack of inventory, not the demand.
Active listings were down 19.2 % over last May with 632 properties available vs 782 in May 2019. And with fewer active listings, the competition for the few houses out there actually drove prices up in some areas across the region. It’s impossible to predict the future with so many factors at play and with such a wide range of forecasts and opinions from the experts. There will certainly be some peaks and valleys in the months ahead. However on the upside, low interest rates, ongoing demand for the lifestyle and more affordable housing options available in The Western Region of Southern Georgian Bay should help to buffer any negative impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are the April 2020 Real Estate Market stats for Collingwood and Southern Georgian Bay.
By the end of April 2020 the COVID-19 global health pandemic had certainly taken its toll. Many businesses were forced to shut down which led to mass lay offs across the country and around the world. The Western Region of Southern Georgian Bay felt the same repercussions as many global real estate markets. Real estate work was deemed an essential service in Ontario, but not “business as usual”. Strict protocols restricting activity were implemented, open houses were cancelled, lenders became more cautious and the fear of contracting the virus discouraged many from listing and buying homes. So, it is not surprising that new listings plunged 54.5 % over last year, with 161 new listings reported at the end of April 2020 vs 354 in April 2019. Active listings were down 16.9 % over last April with 565 properties available vs 680 in April 2019. With less competition among buyers and also fewer properties for sale, sales activity declined 64.9 % with 66 sales reported in April vs 188 sales for the same period last year. Yet, despite the steep drop in activity, the average sale price for a residential home in April 2020 was a healthy $510,367, down only 5.8 % over last year. With the province currently holding to state of emergency protocols, but starting to reopen the economy slowly and cautiously, we will have to see what the future holds. In the meantime, real estate professionals have adapted well, using innovative and creative technology platforms to allow homeowners to showcase their homes virtually. Everyone has adjusted to our new normal! Hopefully, pent up demand fueled by urban dwellers looking to relocate where they can enjoy more open air and private space along with low interest rates should eventually result in a return of homebuyers to the market.
In spite of the impact of COVID-19 around the world, March 2020 numbers stood up incredibly well in the Western Region of Southern Georgian Bay when comparing activity year over year.
The first half of the month is most likely responsible for the strong performance. New listings were up marginally, 1.7 % over last year, with 301 new listings reported at the end of March 2020 vs 296 in March 2019. Active listings were down 3.2 % over last March, with 574 properties available vs 593 in March 2019. With ongoing demand helping to drive prices up, the average sale price for a residential home in March 2020 remained close to record highs, coming in at a remarkable $588,997, up 7.0 % over last year.
With contributing factors such as the ongoing housing shortage across the country and low-interest rates stimulating Buyers to act, even in a somewhat confusing market, sales activity rose a 3.4 % with 151 sales reported in March vs 146 sales for the same period last year. We will likely see activity slow down in April as the extent of this pandemic takes its toll. Affordability has been an ongoing challenge, so we will have to wait and see if prices are impacted by COVID-19 in the months ahead. On the other hand, a pent up demand for housing may cause a quick rebound. In any event, it’s possible that any turmoil will be temporary as people continue to be drawn to the Western Region of Southern Georgian Bay due to the ability for many to work from home, the quality of life and active lifestyle available.