As the real estate market in the Southern Georgian Bay area and elsewhere continues to shift, one aspect pertaining to sales activity that is seldom talked about in the media is “days-on-market.”

Days-on-market (DOM) is the time it takes for a home or other property to sell from the time it is listed on the MLS® System or put on the market as an exclusive listing until it is sold firm.  In addition to pricing, DOM is a key measurement by which to gauge market activity.  When homes and other properties are selling quickly it may signify a strong market where demand is high and inventory, the number of homes listed for sale is low.  Such was the case in 2021 and in the first part of 2022.

The chart below shows the 5 year history of DOM for single family residential home sales in the Southern Georgian Bay through the local MLS® System in the following municipalities: Clearview Township, Collingwood, Grey Highlands, Municipality of Meaford, Blue Mountains and Wasaga Beach








As you will note, DOM took a sharp drop in 2021 and 2022 and has jumped back to a level that is  consistent to the pre-COVID 19 pandemic years of 2019 and 2020.  Inventory, homes listed for sale on the MLS® System were low and demand was high.  As a result, multiple offers was a common occurrence driving home prices in this area and elsewhere across Canada to record high levels.

Having been selling real estate in the area now for over 20 years, DOM is a question I am often asked by Buyers. and on occasion by Sellers.  Many times when walking up to the front door of a house we are going to look at Buyer(s) will ask, “how long has this home been on the market?”  The reason this question is asked is varied.  If the house has been on the market for a while it prompts yet another series of question starting  with, “Why hasn’t this place sold?”  “What’s wrong with it?”  “Is it over priced?”  “Is this a bad neighbourhood?”  Sometimes the Buyer(s) will ask “when did the sellers purchase the home” and “what did they pay?”  That is all readily available from the Land Registry system so it does not fall under the Privacy Act and it is information that I look at regularly in order to provide the best knowledge, information and value I can to my clients.

If a home has been on the market for awhile, another question that I am sure some savvy Buyers asked at least to themselves is, “Are the Sellers motivated?”  That question may lead the Buyer(s) to believe in their minds “maybe there is a deal here” prompted them to want to out in a low offer.

Another aspect of DOM is “cumulative” DOM.  Many times the MLS® listing for a home that hasn’t sold either “expires” or the listing is “cancelled” at the request of the Seller(s).  Expired and or cancelled listings are often brought back on the market as a “new” listing and sometimes at a new price.  Having been listed before the listing is obviously not “new,” it is just portrayed that way.  While DOM is the time a property has been listed as per the current active listing agreement, cumulative DOM or CDOM is the total of all days that the property has been listed for sale.

Example: A home is listed for sale on the MLS® System for 60 days, doesn’t sell and the listing expires.  In this case the DOM was 60 days.  The property is then re-listed again and two weeks (14 days) later a Buyer(s) looks at the home and asks, “How long has this home been on the market?”  Many REALTORS® would answer 14 days.  While that in essence is correct I personally believe it is misleading.  Originally the house had been listed for 60 days and it has now been on the market for another 14 days so the CDOM is 74 days not 60.

The chart below shows the “cumulative” DOM for the same municipalities mentioned above over the same timeframe.

At first glance there doesn’t appear to be much difference.  In 2019 DOM was 37 days while the cumulative DOM or CDOM jumped by one day to 38.  During 2020 and 2021 there was not much difference between DOM and CDOM.    In 2022 CDOM jumped by two days from 13 to 15.  The real change has been in 2023.  For the first 7 months of 2023 DOM is 35 days versus 13 days last year.  CDOM to the end of July is 56 days up from 15 days last year an increase of 273%.  Homes are clearly staying on the market much longer.  Understandably that lessens a Seller’s leverage when it comes to negotiating a final sale price with a Buyer(s).

Under some circumstances, DOM may be more important to a Seller(s) than a Buyer(s) and for various reasons.  Maybe their work requires them to relocate by a certain date or one of the Sellers have lost their job.  Prior to entering the real estate profession I personally went through three relocations/moves for work including one to the U.S.  Maybe there are health reasons, a divorce or a death and the family wants the house sold to finalize the estate as soon as possible etc.

One factor that has to this point not been present but I believe will be in the next year or so is the increased mortgage rates we have seen over the past year.  During the robust market conditions we experienced in the latter half of 2020 and into 2021 some Buyers may have bought more house than they need and or can ultimately afford.  Mortgage rates were low and with housing prices rapidly rising some Buyers suffered from what I call FOMO, the fear of missing out.  They jumped into the buying frenzy participating in bidding wars.  We’ve all heard or read stories about homes selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars over their respective asking price.  It was easy to overpay when mortgage rates were 2% or less.  With a mortgage renewal looming at today’s rates of 5% to 6%, some Sellers may find themselves in a position where they have to sell.  Under circumstances such as that and or others such as the ones I mentioned above, DOM will be move important to Sellers that they are to a Buyer(s) simply looking for a good deal.   Only time will tell if I am correct but I suspect power-of-sales are on the horizon in the next year or two.

In my next post I will provide some additional data on days-on-market, DOM in each of the 6 municipalities mentioned herein as well as in the various home price segments in Southern Georgian Bay as the number vary by both location and price range.  Whether you are a Seller or  Buyer I believe this is crucial information that you need to know in order to make an informed decision about your real estate selling or buying needs and objectives.

Information such as what I have provided herein is a key element of what those of us in the real estate profession need to provide our clients especially at a time such as this when the market is going through a significant change.

Stay tuned…