After 5 consecutive months of increased sales activity May thru September versus 2022, MLS® sales across the Southern Georgian Bay area softened in the 4th Quarter of 2023 Illustrating the market downturn is far from over.

The year ended with a sharp decrease in monthly sales with MLS® dollar sales in December of $47.8 million were down $34.4 million (42%) from $82.2 million in December 2022 and $103.7 million (68%) below December sales in 2021.

Monthly MLS® Sales in Dollars 2022 versus 2023

MLS® unit sales in December of 68 properties were 29 fewer (30%) than December 2022.  It is worth noting that both MLS® unit and dollar sales in December were at the lowest monthly levels in the past 5 years.

Monthly MLS® Sales in Units 2022 versus 2023

Total 2023 MLS® dollar volume for the year of $1.496 billion was $292.2 million (16%) less than 2022 and $1.337 billion (43%) less than in 2021 before the market started to shift.

Total Annual MLS® Sale Volumes 2021 to 2023

2023 MLS® unit sales totaled 1,784 properties down a modest 6% from 1,903 sales a year ago and most of this decline was in the higher price segments of the residential home market.  While 2023 MLS® dollar and unit sales continued to run behind 2022 especially for those properties priced over $800,000, 2023 did bring about an increase in MLS® listing activity.

New MLS® listings in December totaled 199 properties up 53 units (36%) from 146 new listings in December 2022.

New MLS® Listings by Month 2022 versus 2023

New MLS® listings in 2023 of 5,160 units were 717 units (16%) more than 4,443 new MLS ® listings in 2022.  Current active MLS® listings in the area total 1,029, up 60% from a year ago, this is the highest level of MLS® inventory we have seen since 2016.

Expired MLS® listings at the end of 2023 totaled 634 properties. The number of expired listings is the highest we have seen since 2020 due to fewer sales with some properties undoubtedly not selling due to be being “overpriced” in today’s changing market which has been impacted by higher mortgage rates.  See chart below.

10 Year History of Active & Expired MLS® Listings 2014 to 2023

Based on the above MLS® listing statistics, lack of inventory can no longer be claimed as the cause of weaker sales and or pricing.  Overall demand remains much softer, prices have come down and with increased inventory properties are taking longer to sell.  For home Sellers, it is a much more competitive market that it was in 2020, 2021 or 2022.  For 2023 the overall residential Days-On-Market (DOM) was 32 days whereas in 2022 it was 22 days compared to just 12 days in 2021.

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. 

Total 2023 MLS® single family home sales total 1,210 units, 5% fewer than 1,275 homes sold in 2022. Condo sales of 323 units are down 4% from 335 in 2022 while vacant land sales of 82 properties are down 43% largely due to a lack of vacant land and 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.

5 Year History Median MLS® Residential Sale Prices 2019 to 2023

The 2023 MLS® residential list-to-sale price ratio was 96.7% down from 98.5% in 2022 & well below 100.7% in 2021 when it was clearly a Seller’s market. Multiple offers have all but vanished as Buyers are simply not willing or able to pay above listed prices due to increased mortgage rates.

5 Year History MLS® Residential List-To-Sale Price Ratios 2019 to 2023

In a balanced market where Sellers and Buyers are equal participants, the list-to-sale price ratio in our area has typically ranged from 95% to 97% +/- hence we are trending back to historical list-to-sale price & overall market dynamics.

2023 MLS® single family home sales priced from $300,000 to $799,999 were up from 26% to 63% over 2022, while those priced $800,000 & higher were 21% to 61% below 2002, see chart below.

MLS® Single Family Home Sales by Price Range 2022 versus 2023

Other than in Wasaga Beach where sales in 2023 were up 13%, MLS® single family home sales are down in every other local municipality: Collingwood -1%, Clearview Twp -14%, Grey Highlands -22%, Meaford -9% and Blue Mountains -22%.

MLS® Single Family Home Sales by Area 2022 versus 2023

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 and after looking at all key data, I forecast we may see a modest increase in MLS® sales across some segments especially at the lower end of the market ie: $300,000 to $800,000.  Further, I believe this will not take place until the latter half of the year until after we see some downward movement in mortgage rates.  More on this is future posts.

Pricing will remain key in 2024 to attracting potential Buyers as well as satisfying lenders for those that need mortgage financing.  Gone are the days when Sellers can ask for and expect to realize an inflated price more than “fair market value” for their home or other property.

Whether you are Selling or Buying, feel free to Contact Me and let me put my 20 years of experience as a Broker and Market Value Appraiser to work helping you meet your real estate goals and objectives.