As noted in a prior post, MLS® sales across Southern Georgian Bay in 2016 reached a new record for dollar volume with total MLS® sales exceeding $1 billion. Condominium sales were an integral segment of this growth with condo sales for 2016 growing at a faster clip than the rate of increase for single family homes.
Area MLS® condo sales for 2016 totalled 554 units an increase of almost 17% over 2015. Single family home sales grew by less than half that rate with sales up 7% in 2016. Collingwood represents the largest segment of the areas’s condominium market. MLS® condominium sales in Collingwood last year totalled 285 units or 51% of all the units sold. These sales do not include the sales of new units in developments such as Wylde Cove which is virtually sold out.
From my experience condominium sales are growing briskly for two reasons. First they are a more affordable housing alternative than single family homes especially for first time buyers. Let’s take Collingwood as an example. In 2016 there were 381 single family homes sold in Collingwood an increase of 6% over the number of homes sold in 2015. The average price of these homes was $440,200. Meanwhile the average MLS® sale price of the 285 units sold in Collingwood last year was $288,600. That is a difference of over $150,000 or 34% and would make a big impact on a buyer’s ability to secure financing.
The second reason is lifestyle. This area is attractive to both buyers looking at purchasing a property for recreational purposes as well as for retirement. The condo lifestyle may not be for everyone but for those that are tired of cutting grass, shovelling snow and doing other home maintenance tasks, the condo lifestyle frees them of those responsibilities allowing them, to ski, golf, boat or to head south for the winter worry-free albeit at a price in the form of a monthly condo fee.
As with our overall market there is a severe shortage of condominiums actively listed for sale. As of the end of January, the MLS® system of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® (SGBAR) there were 79 listings, less than a sixty day supply based on prior year sales. Many that have recently sold have done so with multiple offers rendering a final sale price well above asking. Currently there are just 18 condominium units in Collingwood listed for sale on the local MLS® system which is less than a one month supply at the current rate of sales. By comparison there are 53 active MLS® condo listings in the Blue Mountains a 3.5 month supply of which 41 units or 77% are in the Blue Mountain Village.
Recently I help manage the sale of a small condo in Collingwood listed by a colleague. It was a three bedroom one bath unit located in central Collingwood listed at $169,900. There were a total of 17 offers which to my knowledge was the largest number of offers ever recorded for a listed property in our market. The unit sold for $202,000 which was almost 19% over the asking price.
As we approach spring we can anticipate seeing a ramp up in the number of active condo listings on the MLS® system. Many of these properties may be currently rented for the ski season or are being used by their owners. I anticipate however that inventory will remain tight relative to demand which makes it an ideal time for sellers to dispose of a property they may no longer have a need for.
If you have a condominium property that you may be considering selling or if you are a buyer actively looking for a condominium property in this area, please feel free to Contact Me for a no obligation confidential discussion about your particular real estate objectives. Helping you to make an informed decision is something I am more than happy to assist you with.