Following weak sales activity in the final quarter of 2023 especially in December, real estate activity across the Southern Georgian Bay area gained some momentum to start 2024. It is worth noting again however that MLS® unit sales in December were at the lowest monthly level of sales in the past 5 years.

MLS® dollar sales in January of $79.3 million were down $2.5 million (3%) from $81.2 million in January 2023.  As noted in the chart below January sales were $97.5 million 55% less than the same month in 2022.

Conversely, MLS® unit sales in January of 97 properties were up a modest 10 units, 12% more than 87 sales in January 2023.

Unlike some markets across Canada where inventory, the number of properties listed for sale remains low relative to demand, such is not the case around Southern Georgina Bay.

New MLS® listings in January totaled 298 properties up 8 units (3%) from 290 new MLS® listings in January 2023.

NOTE: While the above result is a modest increase of less than 2% in the number of new listings compared to 2023, new listings last month were 66% and 50% more than in January 2021 and 2022 respectively.  As I have previously stated on many prior occasions, “lack of inventory” can no longer be used as the reason behind weaker MLS® sales in this area.

Current active MLS® listings in the area total 943 properties up 40% from 673 last year and 269% more than 255 active listings in January 2023.

Expired MLS® listings at the end of January total 391 properties an increase of 100 units or 34% more than in January 2023.

The current number of expired listings is the highest level we have since January 2015 when the number of expired listings stood at 396 properties, 5 more that today.  While the cause of increased expired listings can be partially attributed to fewer sales, some properties are clearly “overpriced” in today’s market.  As a Market Value Appraiser for residential properties and with a significant amount of construction knowledge, I offer more than just an opinion of building and renovation costs.  Either some Sellers haven’t accepted the new reality of today’s market or they are still hopeful of attracting an unsuspecting, misinformed Buyer(s) that is willing or able to overpay.  Many of the new MLS® listings I see come out are priced well above their “replacement cost new” including the value of the land. That makes it tough to justify a price to sell to a Buyer(s) or to a mortgage lender when financing is needed.

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

January MLS® single family home sales total 72 units, 16% more than 62 homes sold last January.  Condo sales of 14 units are just 1 more from 13 in 2023 while vacant land sales of 4 properties are down from 6 largely due to a lack of land & or lots available for sale.

 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.

The 2024 MLS® median residential sale price is $662,500 compared to $695,000 a year ago a decline of 5%.  The median sale price has been trending down due to lower sale prices overall & significantly reduced sales activity above $1 million.  These factors have all contributed to decrease the median MLS® sale price over the past 12 to 18 months.  The median MLS® price back in 2022 was $870,000.

The 2024 MLS® residential list-to-sale price ratio is 95.5% up slightly from 95.4% in 2022  but well below 100.0% in 2022 when housing demand was high and Buyers found themselves in bidding wars resulting in sale prices well over asking.  Multiple offers have all but vanished.  Buyers are simply not willing or able to pay above listed prices due to increased mortgage rates.

In a balanced market the list-to-sale price ratio in our area has typically ranged from 95% to 97% +/- hence we are simply trending back to a balanced market with a list-to-sale price ratio & other historic market dynamics.

2024 MLS® single family home sales priced from $300,000 to $799,999 are essentially unchanged from 2023, while those priced $800,000 & higher are up 17% to 100% from last year.  With only one month the quantities are small although sales from $1.0 to $1.5  million have gone from 7 in January 2023 to 14 this year.  See chart below.

For January, residential Days-On-Market (DOM) was 60 days whereas in 2023 it was 54 days compared to just 10 days at the marlet’s peak in 2022.

MLS® single family home sales in January by municipality are as follows: Collingwood down16%, Clearview Twp up 150%, Meaford up 20%, Grey Highlands down 44% and Blue Mountains up 120%.

NOTE: Single family home sales in the Blue Mountains are down the most as that municipality has the largest market share of sales over $1 million & those price segments are experiencing the biggest decline in 2023.

Heading into 2024 & looking at all key data, I forecast we may continue to see a modest increase in MLS® sales across some segments of the market especially the lower end  ie: $300,000 to $800,000.  Pricing will remain key to attracting potential Buyers & satisfying lenders for those purchasers that need financing.

Despite a pickup in sales activity in January following a weak December, I personally I see no significant upturn in the housing market overall until (a) inflation is brought under control and (b) mortgage rates come down which is unlikely to happen until mid 2024.  More importantly, Canadian consumers must accept and get use to the fact that 6% to 7% mortgage rates is not the new short term norm, but rather a return to rates that were historically in place for many years prior to the record lows we saw in 2020 and 2021.

For information pertaining to your specific property and or real estate selling or buying objectives, please fee free to Contact Me for a no obligation consultation and I’d be happy to prepared detailed summary to assist you in making some informed decisions.