A Slow Starter Becomes A Runaway Record-Breaker


Well, 2014 certainly was an interesting year in the Southern Georgian Bay real estate market. Woefully slow sales during the first quarter were followed by unheard-of highs as the year progressed, and there was a unexpected uptick in the mid- and high-priced home market.

The good news, as Graph 1 shows, is that in the end 2014 turned out to be a record-breaking sales year. Annual MLS dollar sales topped the $700,000,000 for the first time, up a surprising 12% over 2013, which had also been a record-breaker.

Graph 1: Georgian Triangle MLS® Annual Sales, 2012 vs 2013 vs 2014 (Dollars)



The Slingshot Effect

Although 2014 was a record-breaking sales year, it certainly didn’t start out looking like one.

Sales were very slow for the first quarter – down nearly 10% from 2013 levels – due to the unseasonably cold and snowy weather. Apparently -10C to -32C temperatures and regular snow squalls were not optimal conditions for open houses, showings or transacting generally.

However, as Graph 2 shows, all the pent-up desire to buy and sell real estate produced a huge sales surge, such that by the time May rolled around the market was actually ahead of 2013’s record pace in overall dollar sales.

Graph 2: Georgian Triangle MLS®, Sales by Month, 2014 versus 2013 (Dollars)


And it didn’t stop there. The record sales pace continued throughout the summer, with June setting the all-time MLS® monthly dollar volume of more than $78,000,000, and then July and August also posted highs. Sales spiked again with a record October that topped out above $70,000,000, and then the year closed out with sales of more than $40,000,000 in December.

Unit Sales Point To A Slightly Different Story

Although 2014’s overall dollar sales volume reached the relative stratosphere, the area’s unit sales tell another tale in which an interesting pattern emerges. While Graph 3 demonstrates that monthly unit sales were generally correlative to 2014 dollar sales, Graph 4 shows that 2014 single-family home unit sales were up less significantly from 2013.

So while 2014 dollar sales were up 12%, 2014 single family home unit sales at 1396 were only up 6% over 2013’s total of1312. It should also be noted, as Graph 4 shows, that single-family units sales were up more or less uniformly throughout the Georgian Triangle’s main municipalities, with the only exception being Grey Highlands, which was down slightly.

Graph 3: Georgian Triangle MLS®, Sales by Month,2014 versus 2013 (Units)


Graph 4: Georgian Triangle MLS®, Single Family Home Sales By Municipality 2014 vs 2013 (Units)


A Jump In Average Sales Price

Although Graph 4 shows that single family home units sales were up 6%, Table 1 shows that overall units sold were actually up just 4.7%. That said, there is only one metric which can reconcile the fact that overall sales dollar volume increase of 12%was up so much more than the overall unit sales increase of 4.7%: average sale price.

Indeed, Table 1 shows that the average sales price for 2014 was up 6.9% over 2013. A closer look reveals that this jump of6.9% was in part the result of one very notable market trend during 2014: the significant increase of units sold in mid- and high-priced properties.

  • Unit sales among properties priced between $300,000 and $499,000 were up 15.9%
  • Unit sales among properties priced between $500,000 and $799,000 were up 12.9%
  • Unit sales among properties priced between $800,000 and $999,000 were up 95.8%!
  • Unit sales among all properties priced at $800,000 and above were up 50%!
  • Unit sales among all properties priced at $1,000,000 and above were up a 17.6%

Table 1: Georgian Triangle Sales Summary, 2014 vs. 2013


As to whether this considerable 2014 growth in mid- and high-price home market will continue into 2015 as retirees and baby boomers in general take advantage of the Georgian Triangle’s four-season lifestyle and great value, we’ll have to see.

Please stay tuned as we will regularly provide these Georgian Triangle Market Reports in order to help you make better-informed real estate decisions.