The unrelenting pace and demand for housing generated a substantial 65.2 % increase over October 2019 with an impressive 309 sales reported vs 187 sales for the same period last year. Only 263 new listings came to market in October 2020 compared to 320 last October. This represented a 17.8 % decrease year over year and clearly illustrated the ongoing supply crunch the region has been experiencing. The result of sales increasing and fewer new listings coming to market drove active listings down 57.3 %, from 675 at month’s end in October 2019 to a meagre 288 in October 2020.
Months of Inventory was at a low of 0.9 months, further evidence of the historically low supply and very tight market conditions. Given the insufficient number of properties for sale vs the ongoing, frenzied demand, along with the appetite for many people with big budgets to purchase higher priced homes, it was no surprise that the average sale price in the Western Region reached a record high of $739,990 in October 2020, boasting a 29.4 % increase over last year’s already lofty average sale price. This trend of extraordinarily high sale prices combined with the persistent strong demand propelled the dollar volume for October up 113.9 % over last year. The Sales to New Listings Ratio doubled from a balanced market of 58.4 in October 2019 to 117.5, a true testimony that the red hot Seller’s market the Region has been experiencing this year was still at play. Buyers on the other hand were feeling the pressure, with the median days on market reported at 18 days.
Buyers were often forced to make quick decisions and submit unconditional offers while competing in multiple offer situations. With the pandemic creating such unprecedented conditions this year, the question that remains on everyone’s mind is how much sizzle is left in this market. There are forces currently at play such as low interest rates creating opportunity and desire for many to purchase in the Western Region of Southern Georgian Bay, counterbalanced by anxiety of what stricter measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus may bring. We will have to wait and see how people react in these precarious times.
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.