It was an outstanding year for real estate sales across the Southern Georgian Bay region and especially for luxury properties with new sales records set in virtually every price segment of the market.  By definition, we consider properties priced from $1 million and up to represent the luxury market segment in our area.

Following a promising start to 2020, real estate activity in our market came to a near halt in mid-March of last year which continued on through into April and May.  Following Ontario government’s designation that real estate sales and listing activity was an “essential service,” new protocols were established to facilitate house showings with one stipulation.  We were restricted to deal with only those consumers that simply had to sell and or buy a property.  Once those came into effect, the flood gates appeared to be open and the market rebounded like never before especially in the higher priced luxury segment of the market.

MLS® sales of luxury homes priced over $1 million in 2020 as reported by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® totalled 353 properties versus 127 in 2019, an increase of 179% over the prior year.

The value of these MLS® sales which totalled $544.2 million was an unprecedented increase of 189% (rounded) over the $188.2 Million worth of luxury properties sold during 2019.

Sales in all luxury home price segments were very strong in 2020 and were as follows:

  • Sales priced $1 to $1.5 Million were up 146% to 214 units.
  • Sales between $1.5 to $2 Million were up 200% to 81 units.
  • Sales between $2 to $2.5 Million increased 500% with 36 sales reported versus 6 in the prior year.
  • Sales between $2.5 to $3 Million totalled 12 properties also up 500% from 2019.
  • For the full year, there were 10 MLS® sales over the $3 Million threshold, 5 sales or 100% more than in 2019.

The Blue Mountains remains the location of choice for many luxury home buyers with over 45% of the properties sold in 2020 above $1 Million in that municipality.  Many buyers of higher end properties prefer to be situated close to the area’s private ski and golf clubs as well as amenities for shopping and dining.  Collingwood is a distant second in terms of market share with 22% of the area’s luxury property sales following by Clearview Township which includes the village of Creemore with 12% of the market.

When looking at luxury property pricing across the area there are some noticeable differences based on whether the property is a single family home, condo, waterfront, a rural estate with acreage, panoramic views and more.  Looking at “average” prices is meaningless in any market and especially for luxury homes as is pricing these properties using the traditional “comparable market value” approach.   Luxury properties are for the most part incomparable and distinctive each with among other things their own unique architectural style, features, finishes and more.

Based on total MLS® luxury property sales in 2020, Clearview Township has the highest “median” sale price ie: middle-of-the-road sale price for luxury properties sold at $1.675 Million followed by the Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands at $1.4 Million while  Collingwood is at $1.3 Million.  As I have said before, the pricing on luxury properties seems to follow the downward slope of area ski runs.  The further you are from the mountain or Niagara Escarpment, the lower the price which explains at least in part why the Municipality of Meaford and Wasaga Beach have the lowest median sale prices among area municipalities.

As of this report there are 54 properties listed for sale over $1 Million on the MLS® System of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®.  From $1 to $3 million there is between 2 to 4 months of available inventory listed for sale based on the rate of sales we saw in 2020.  Over $3 Million the amount of inventory jumps to 16 months.  In prior years, inventory of higher priced homes has typically been 12 to 36 months based on the overall rate of sales.  This changed in 2020 based on the significant demand and level of sales increase we experienced.  Heading into 2021, the months of available inventory will in all likelihood increase, it always does as we head into the spring market.

Whether 2021 brings the same demand we saw for $1 Million plus properties that we experienced in 2020 remains to be seen.  Market dynamics may well shift up or down stemming from the prolonged COVID 19 pandemic and its overall impact on the economy.  This applies not only to the luxury segment but to the overall real estate market as a whole.  Only time will tell and I will keep you advised in future posts.

As a “Market Value Appraiser” I can say with authority that pricing your luxury property to market value is the key to attracting potential luxury home Buyers.  Luxury property Buyers are savvy, experienced property owners.  Many have built and or renovated their full times homes and or recreational properties in the past so they know quality and they know the associated costs.  If the asking price from a listed property is not commensurate with its location, features and finishes etc. they will simply move on.

Thinking of selling and or buying a property of any type in 2021?  Contact Me for a no obligation and confidential consultation of your particular needs and circumstances.  As a full time Broker, my only objective is to first help you in meeting yours.  Direct at 705-443-1037 or via email rcrouch@sothebysrealty.ca