The real estate market in the Southern Georgian Bay area has shown modest improvements in the first three months of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023, with incremental increases in both dollar volume and unit sales.

The MLS® dollar volume in March 2024 of $131.3 million increased by 20% from $109.4 million in March 2023.

MLS® unit sales in March of 148 properties was a 7% rise from the same period last year, however despite the gains in both unit and dollar sales the market is still significantly slower than it was two years ago at its peak.

Total Year-to-Date (YTD) MLS® dollar volume at the end of the 1st  Quarter 2024 is $307.5 million compared to $287.9 million last year, an increase of $19.4 million (7%).  It’s also worth noting that YTD MLS® sales remain $299.8 million (49%) below the first three months of 2022.

The increase in real estate activity is further highlighted by a rise in the number of new MLS® listings.  New MLS® listings in March 2024 total 495 compared to 408 in March 2023, an increase of 21%.  YTD new listings in 2024 total 1,176 up 22% from a year ago.

This suggests that the previous concern of a “lack of inventory” can no longer be considered the sole cause of weaker sales, especially as current active listings have significantly risen, providing home Buyers with a wide range of choices.

Interestingly, the market is also witnessing a higher number of expired listings, reaching the highest level in the past decade. This could be attributed to weaker sales and properties being priced too high for the current market conditions, indicating some Sellers might not have adjusted their expectations in line with the reality of today’s market or are still hopeful for Buyers willing and able to overpay.

In terms of sales by property type, there’s been a noticeable shift. Single-family home sales increased by 12% with 261 sales this year versus 233 last year.  Condo sales experienced a slight decrease down 2 units and vacant land sales saw significant growth from 23 sales in the 1st Quarter of 2024 compared to 12 a year ago. This shift in preferences and sales dynamics indicates a changing landscape within the overall market.  Personally I suspect it is too early to suggest we have turned the corner and the market is on the cusp a full recovery.

The median residential MLS® sale price as of the end of March 2024 has decreased slightly compared to the previous year, $704,650 this year compared to $711,200 at the end of 1st Quarter 2024.  Significantly lower sales above $2 million are at least partially to blame.

The MLS® list-to-sale price ratio has adjusted closer to the historical norm for the area, 95% to 97% signaling a return to more balanced market conditions favouring both buyers and sellers.

The days on market (DOM) for residential properties have increased indicating a slower pace of sales compared to the frenzied activity seen in 2020/2021.  To the end of March DOM stood at 43 days whereas a year ago it was 36 days.  Additionally, sales activity varies significantly across municipalities, with some experiencing substantial growth and others witnessing slight declines.

Notably, the sales of single-family homes priced under $500,000 have surged, up 50% to 57% while high-end property sales over $2 million remain sluggish reflecting broader market trends and possibly shifting Buyer priorities.

YTD MLS® single family home sales by municipality are as follows: Collingwood up 29%, Clearview Twp up 25%, Municipality of Meaford up 9%, Blue Mountains up 19%, Grey Highlands down 5% with Wasaga Beach down 3%.

Looking forward, the continued modest increase in MLS® sales across certain market segments, especially in lower price ranges, will likely depend on future mortgage rate changes and the importance of competitive pricing to attract potential Buyers. This analysis provides a comprehensive overview of the Southern Georgian Bay real estate market’s current state, highlighting both the challenges and opportunities as it navigates through changing economic conditions and Buyer sentiments.

Please feel free to Contact Me, as always I welcome your comments and or questions regarding the market overall or to discuss your particular real estate needs or objectives.