After robust real estate sales in 2020, 2021 & a brisk start to 2022, MLS® condominium sales in the Southern Georgian Bay area as with the market overall have softened, due largely to higher interest rates, inflation and the looming potential of a recession.

March 2023 Year-To-Date (YTD) MLS® condo sales of 61 units are 52 fewer than 113 units sold in the 1st Quarter of 2022, a decrease of 46%.

1st Quarter 2023 YTD MLS® condo sales dollar volume of $36.3 million is 56% less than $82.9 million in 2022 and 11% less than the pandemic sales activity of $40.9 million we saw in 2020.

NOTE:  This data includes the municipalities of Clearview, Collingwood, Grey Highlands, Meaford Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach.  Sales of new condos made by developers which are substantial have not had a negative impact on the re-sale condo market and will in fact drive them higher over time once the current market slump is over. 

The median MLS® sale price for condo units had been rising steadily over the past several years, but with fewer sales especially in the upper price ranges the median sale price YTD of $548,300 is a decrease of 13% from the 1st Quarter of 2022.  The 2022 median MLS® sale price this time last year was $626,670 which was the highest median price for resale condominiums in the past 5 years, see chart below.

The median sale price has risen largely due to the types of condos being sold.  Today’s Buyers, many purchasing for full time use want larger units with garages, basements & high-end finishes.  Units currently listed for sale on the MLS® System are priced from $269,900 to $1.195 million.

NOTE:  The median sale price is the mid-point in pricing of all units sold year-to-date  whereas average sale price is determined by dividing total sales dollars by the number of units sold. This can change dramatically on a month-to-month basis

 Condominium sales remain concentrated in the Blue Mountains & Collingwood.  YTD these two municipalities represent 88% with Meaford coming in at just under 5% in terms of the total number of units sold through the MLS® System.  It is worth noting that at the end of 2022, condo sales in Blue Mountains for the year represented 38% of the market.  For the 1st Quarter of 2023 that percentage has increased to almost 51% of the market.

As of this report there are currently 77 condo units listed for sale on the MLS® System of the Lakelands Association of REALTORS® up from just 28 active condo listings a year ago an increase of 182%.  With the ski season winding down we may see more units that were rented for the winter coming onto the market whose owners may be concerned about weaker sales and lower prices at a time when mortgage rates are increasing.

The 2023 YTD average days-on-market (DOM) for condos to sell is 49 days compared to average DOM of 21 days at the end of the 1st Quarter this time last year.  When sales activity diminishes with inventory and mortgage rising rises, the result is fewer potential Buyers so it is not unusual to see days-on-market, (the time it takes to sell) on the rise as well.

Based on the rate of sales in 2023 there is currently 114 days of inventory on the local MLS® System & that number may rise in 2023 driven by ongoing weaker sales activity.

The purchase of a condominium cannot be taken lightly.  Inflation is having an impact on us all & this is sure affect condominium corporation’s operating budgets/expenses & subsequently on the condo fees paid by owners for maintenance, repairs etc.

Further, municipalities across the province are looking at restrictions on short term rentals, those of less than 30 consecutive days. This is going to have an impact on some condo buyers & perhaps current owners that wish to or do rent their units out to help offset ownership costs.  This may explain why sales in the Blue Mountains has increased that municipality’s % markershare this year.  As always, I encourage both current owners as well as potential buyers to obtain qualified legal or accounting advice in this regard.

Condominiums remain an attractive purchase for many & we will may see a modest increase in activity now that spring has arrived, only time will tell.  With higher interest rates, inflation & a possible recession, the market is bound to remain softer in 2023 than what we saw in 2020, 2021 and 2022

The intent of my market reports is to provide you with the information you need to know regarding the current market that may impact your selling or buying decisions.