After a strong 1st Quarter we have now had two consecutive months (April & May) of weaker MLS® real estate sales across Southern Georgian Bay both in dollar & unit volume.

Canada’s inflation rate in April dipped to 2.7% from 2.9% in March.  Pending a reduction in both the rate of inflation and mortgage borrowing costs, real estate sales may remain soft despite the sharp increase in inventory of homes and condos currently listed for sale on the MLS® System.

NOTE: Results shared in the report are based on total MLS® sales for residential, commercial properties &  vacant land in Clearview, Collingwood, Grey Highlands, Municipality of Meaford, the Blue Mountains and Wasaga Beach. 

MLS® dollar volume in May of $165.4 million was down $18.4 million (10%) from $183.8 million in May 2023.

MLS® unit sales in May of 188 properties were 31 units (14%) less than 219 sales in May of last year.

2024 Year-to-Date (YTD) MLS® dollar volume is $605.2 million compared to $625.1 million last year, a decrease of $19.8 million (3%).  It’s worth noting as shown on the chart below that YTD MLS® sales in 2024 are $402.9 million (40%) below the first 5 months of 2022 before the market began to soften.

YTD MLS® unit sales total 708 properties down from 735 (4%) sold in the first 5 months of 2023.  As stated in prior reports, “lack of inventory” is no longer the cause for declined MLS® sales.  We are now in a Buyer’s market.

New MLS® listings in May totaled 672 properties vs 583 last year, an increase of 89 units (15%).  YTD there have been 2,432 new listings posted on the MLS® System up 428 units (21%) from a year ago.

Currently there at 1,535 active MLS® listings in the area up 467 units (44%) from 1,068 last year.  The level of inventory on the local MLS® System has been rising steadily since early 2022.  Some Sellers are looking to sell before prices drop further and I suspect others are facing mortgage renewals at a significantly higher rate than what they are currently paying which could also be driving for some, the desire and or need to sell.

Expired MLS® listings at the end of May total 330 properties an increase of 71 units (27%) from 259 expired listings in May 2023.  The current number of active & expired MLS® listings is at the highest level we have seen since 2015.  The increase in expired listings can only partially be attributed to weaker sales, many properties are “overpriced” in today’s changing market.  Buyer’s have ample choices & Seller price reductions are implemented regularly in an attempt to attract Buyers.

May YTD MLS® single family home sales total 506 units, slightly more than 504 homes sold in the first 5 months of 2023.  Condo sales of 105 units are down 23% from 136 units sold in 2023 while vacant land sales of 41 properties are up 78% from 23 sales last year.

 NOTE:  The statistics contained herein do not include the sale of new homes and condominiums made outside of the MLS ® system by builders and or developers own sales staff nor do they include full time or seasonal rentals.

At the end of May, the YTD 2024 MLS® median residential sale price is $782,200 vs $771,600 up just over 1% from a year ago.  That is not to suggest prices are increasing.  The median sale price has steadily declined due to lower sale prices overall & significantly reduced sales in some price segments above $1.0 million.  In comparison, the YTD median MLS® sale price in May 2022 was $881,400.

At the end of May, the 2024 YTD MLS® residential list-to-sale price ratio is 96.9% up from 96.7% in 2023 but well below 102.2% in 2021.  Multiple offers which previously drove sale prices over their respective asking prices have all but vanished.

In a balanced market the overall MLS® list-to-sale price ratio in the area has typically ranged from 95% to 97% +/- annualized, hence we are trending back to normal & historic market dynamics.

2024 MLS® single family home sales priced $300,000 to $499,999 are up 29% while those price from $500,000 to $799,999 are down 8%.  YTD we have seen a surge is sales in the $1.5 to $2.5 million range keep in mind however the number of sales in these segments is smaller, see chart below.

YTD single family home sales vary by area & through the end of May are as follows: Clearview Township, unchanged.  Collingwood up 2%, Grey Highlands up 13%, Municipality of Meaford up 21%, Blue Mountains up 14% with Wasaga Beach down 13%.

Note: These results do not include the sale of new homes made directly by developers most of which are done outside of the MLS System.

For those looking or needing to sell their home, condominium or other property, determining its value in today’s current & shifting market is key.  While the Bank of Canada has just announced a reduction in interest rates of 25 basis points (.25%) with more expected during the remainder of the 2024, a .5%, .6% or .75% interest rate reduction in total is welcome but will not likely fuel a resurgence in sales to the level we experienced in 2020 & 2021.

For those of us that have been around long enough, we know that real estate is a “cyclical” market.  The difference with this “cycle” is that we have never fallen from such a high perch where not only did the demand for homes far exceeded the supply but during that period, we had for several years enjoyed “record low” interest rates which allowed Canadians to add further to already high levels of consumer debt.

As a Market Value Appraiser (MVA) for residential properties, I have the expertise & skills to provide you will an accurate assessment as to what your property is worth in today’s market.  Contact Me for a no obligation valuation of your property or to confidentially discuss your real estate needs and or objectives. rcrouch@sothebysrealty.ca or 705-443-1037.

Note: The author is a Broker, Market Value Appraiser-Residential with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada and a Past President (2008) of the Lakeland’s Association of REALTORS®.

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