After robust sales in 2020 & 2021, MLS® condominium sales in the Southern Georgian Bay area softened in 2022 and this trend continued into 2023 as did the market overall.
Total 2023 MLS® condo sales of 324 units were 11 fewer than 335 units sold in 2022, a decrease of 3%. It is worth noting that sales in 2023 were 291 units (47%) less than 2021 and 278 units (46%) below annual sales of 2020.
The chart below illustrates 5 years of condominium sales in the six municipalities of the Southern Georgian Bay area from 2019 to 2023. This clearly shows that sales dropped off in 2022 and 2023 compared to the 2019 to 2021 time frame.
2023 MLS® condo sales dollar volume of $217.6 million was 7% less than $233.5 million in 2022 & $170.4 million (44%) less than sales in 2021 when the market was at its peak.
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 & may in fact drive them higher over time.
In 2023, MLS® condo sales remain concentrated in the Blue Mountains and Collingwood with these two municipalities representing 88% of the overall market with Wasaga Beach coming in at 9% in terms of the total number of units sold through the MLS® System.
The median MLS® sale price for condo units had been rising steadily but with fewer sales especially in the upper price ranges, the 2023 median price decreased 10% from $577,900 in 2022 to $518,600 in 2023 (dollars rounded). The 2022 median MLS® sale price jumped 17% from $491,900 in 2021 and was the highest median sale price in the past 5 years. The median sale price has risen largely due to the types of condos being built and sold. Many Buyers, some purchasing for full time use want larger units, garages, basements and high-end finishes etc.
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.
As per the chart below, Collingwood has the highest “median” MLS® sale price at $639,600 followed by the Blue Mountains at $595,500. The town of Collingwood is home to the area’s largest condominium units some of which are on the water in developments such as Lighthouse Point and Mariner’s Haven hence the value of those properties drives the median sale price higher.
As shown in the chart below, condo sales priced between $300,000 to $499,999 were up 21% in 2023 compared to 2023. Sales in all other price segments of the market were down anywhere from 10% to 20% over the prior year.
As of this report there are currently 157 condo units listed for sale on the MLS® System (15 of which are fractional ownership properties) compared to 94 total this time in 2023 an increase of 67%. Units currently listed for sale on the MLS® System are priced from $270,000 to $729,000 (excluding the fractional ownership units). Based on the rate of sales in 2023 there is currently 174 days or just under 6 months of inventory listed for sale on the local MLS® System. I forecast this number of listings for sale will increase as we get closing to the end of the ski/snowboard season once the seasonal rental tenants depart.
The 2023 median days-on-market (DOM) for condos to sell was 36 compared to the median DOM of 22 days for 2022. Clearly the market has changed. The inventory of condo units listed for sale on the MLS® System has increased, sales are down as is the median sale price and units are taking longer to sell.
The purchase of a condominium cannot be taken lightly. Inflation and higher mortgage rates clearly impacted sales activity in 2023. Inflation has no doubt caused maintenance costs to increase and this is sure to impact condominium corporation’s operating budgets/expenses & subsequently the condo fees paid by owners for maintenance, repairs and upgrades etc. These are key factors to consider if you are contemplating a condominium purchase. Further, this is why we as real estate professionals make every Agreement of Purchase and Sale conditional on the Buyer’s lawyer reviewing the applicable condominium corporation’s “Status Certificate” prior to firming up a purchase.
Many 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. As always, I encourage both current owners as well as potential Buyers to obtain qualified legal or accounting advice prior to entering into rental programs or when considering a condominium purchase. Above all, don’t be swayed by a builder/developer’s promotional sales materials or brochures.
With weaker sales, higher interest rates and inflation, I forecast that condo sales in the area will continue to remain soft at least for the first half 2024 or until mortgage interest rates begin to move downward, perhaps mid to later this year. In the current market, thorough due diligence has never been more important.
If you have questions about a condo sale or purchase my experience can assist you in determining how the current market may impact your selling or buying decisions. firstname.lastname@example.org