Overview: Ho Hum . . . Just Another Record Sales Month
For those of you who read our Reports and who are also music aficionados into vinyl LPs, all this repeated talk about yet another broken record must sound, well . . . like a broken record.
OK, sorry for the bad pun, but the 2015 Georgian Triangle real estate market has done it again, with the best August ever. At $76,530,165, last month’s dollar volume topped the previous August high by 12.8%. As has been the case all year, it did so despite slower listing activity than 2014, which compels us to say again that the demand for listings still greatly exceeds supply.
Also, as Graph 1 shows 2015’s total MLS® sales volume through August, at $546,648,798, continues to be way up: 21.7% over 2014’s previous record. Still, it needs mentioning that 2015’s increases over 2014 have slowed month-after-month since Q1, with March’s, April’s, May’s, June’s and July’s gains at 42.4%, 36.2%, 27.6%, 26.6% and 23.5% respectively.
Graph 1: Georgian Triangle MLS® Sales – January To August, 2013 vs 2014 vs 2015 (Dollars)
That said, as Table 1 shows, 2015’s record-breaking dollar figures are reflected in the unit sale details which, at 1607, are up 15.2% over 2014’s unit sales of 1395 despite the year-to-date listings total of 3247 being down 16.3% from 2014’s 3880. And regarding the 5.6% increase in average sale price over 2014, we must note that it reflects unit sale increases at all price points except two: under $100,000 (due to fewer homes listed at that price) and $1.5 million-and-up.
Table 1: Georgian Triangle MLS® – January to August, Sales And Listing Summary, 2014 vs 2015
So given that unit sales are up at all prices except the low and high ends of the market – and particularly given that they are up 15.6% in the high-volume $100,000 > $799,000 range – it is safe to say that the 5.6% average sales price gain is representative of the market as a whole.
Some Key Numbers That Characterize This Very Unusual 2015 Market
Given 2015’s consistently great sales numbers, we would be remiss to not draw attention once again to the anomalous pattern that has had industry watchers scratching their heads all year: record-breaking sales, home prices up, a stratospheric sales-to-listing ratio, a huge demand for listings . . . but far fewer people putting their homes on the market than in 2014. Specifically:
2014’s January-to-August sales were 1395 while expired listings were at 1491. So more listings expired than were sold, a more or less consistent pattern since the late 1980’s
2015’s January-to-August sales were 1607 while expireds were at 1042. So 54.2% more listings were sold than expired – a pattern our long-time Agents say is unprecedented!
Along these lines, check out the next five graphs:
Graph 2: Georgian Triangle Monthly MLS® Sales – January To August, 2014 vs 2015 (Dollars)
Graph 3: Georgian Triangle Monthly MLS® Sales – January To August, 2014 vs 2015 (Units)
Graphs 2 and 3 are pretty much what you would expect. 2015’s volume and unit sales have bested 2014’s every month, no mean feat given that 2014 was a record year. However, take a look at Graphs 4 and 5, which compare the two years’ listings, sales and expireds numbers.
Graph 4: Georgian Triangle Monthly MLS® Listings vs Sales vs Expired Listings – January To August, 2014 (Units)
Graph 5: Georgian Triangle Monthly MLS® Listings vs Sales vs Expired Listings – January To August, 2015 (Units)
As you can see, 2015 is very different from the more typical 2014. In 2015 listings and expireds are down (16.3% and 30.1% overall respectively), while sales are up (overall 21.7%). And as Graph 6 shows, the 2015’s sales-to-listings ratio has been up every month (overall 37.5%!).
Graph 6: Georgian Triangle Monthly MLS® Sales-to Listings Ratio – January To August, 2014 vs 2015 (%)
So what does all this mean?
The short answer is: generally, it’s a fantastic time to be a home seller in the Georgian Triangle. Again, average sale prices are up nicely – but obviously not so much that buyers aren’t buying, given that the market just enjoyed the best August sales month ever.
The longer answer requires revisiting the fact that the 2015 market – while still very hot – has since Q1 been gradually slowing month-after-month relative to the 2014 market, with March’s, April’s, May’s, June’s, July’s and August’s increases at 42.4%, 36.2%, 27.6%, 26.6%, 23.5% and 21.7% respectively. And here, the point is that market slowdowns nearly always involve an oversupply of listings, many of which have become overpriced for the market.
However, according to many of Locations North’s salespeople, the slowing of the 2015 market – again, given the super-high, YTD sales-to-listings ratio of 49.5%, as well as the unprecedented fact that 54.2% more listings have sold than expired – is actually due to a shortage of listings!
So, in true “broken record” fashion, we’ll pose the same question as last month: How long can this relatively unique situation continue: i.e. a hot sellers’ market where sales are slowing due, in considerable measure, to a shortage of people who want to sell? The crystal ball is as cloudy as ever, but it seems safe to say that if you’ve considered selling your Georgian Triangle property, your current chances of getting a good price in a timely manner are excellent. ☺
A Few More Numbers To Fill In The Picture
Just as they have throughout 2015, August’s main market metrics translate directly into nearly all the details of Single-Family Home Sales (Graph 7), and Sales by Property Type (Graph 8).
Regarding single-family homes, 2015’s year-to-date numbers are up 12.1% from 2014. Similar to last month’s figures, each community is up except Grey Highlands (down 12.4%), while high-volume Wasaga Beach (up 34.4%) has been responsible for most of the overall gains.
Lastly, 2015’s condo sales are up 12.5% over 2014’s, while vacant land sales are up 23.4%.
Graph 7: Georgian Triangle MLS® Sales – January To August, Single-Family Homes By Area, 2014 vs 2015 (Units)
Graph 8: Georgian Triangle MLS® Sales – January to August, By Property Type, 2014 vs 2015 (Units)
Again, as to whether 2015’s sales numbers will be sustained throughout the year as more and more people discover and 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 Georgian Triangle Market Reports in order to help you make better-informed real estate decisions.