Overview: The Record Streak Ends – July’s Sales Slip Below Last July’s
Well, it couldn’t go on forever. For the first time in 40 months – since March of 2014 – the Georgian Triangle’s monthly volume sales failed to set a new record over the previous year.
July’s MLS dollar sales of $80,861,900 were down 18% from last July’s record of $98,335,000. Unit sales of 177 were down 33% from last year’s high of 263, with 2% fewer new listings on the market. Overall, the month had a 55% sales/listings ratio with only 52 expired listings.
Turning now to year-to-date sales, 2017’s record volume of $714,388,943 is up 19% from 2016’s previous record pace, while units of 1566 are down 5% from last year’s record of 1641. Lastly, thanks to the greatly overheated market we’ve seen for much of 2017, the region’s average sale price of $456,187 is up a big 25% from the $364,525 of one year ago.
Despite July’s failure to set a record, it was the region’s third-best July ever for volume. With new listings down from 2016, a 55% sales/listings ratio and the average sale price holding steady at 25% over last year, the demand for listings still definitely exceeds the supply.
The Market In Detail
As Table 1 and Graph 3 show (see next page), 2017’s year-to-date 5% drop in units from last year is mainly due to slowing sales in the lower-priced home segments, a development which in turn is partly the result of the region’s 25% jump in the average sale price from July 2016. And so, while unit sales are down 37% in the high-volume $100K-$299K price range, and also slightly down – for the first time this year – in the under $100K range, they’re up significantly in all other ranges. The $300K-$499K range is up 5% from 2016, while the entire $500K+ range is up 57% from 2016. Within that range, the $500K-$799K, $800K-$999K, $1M-$1.999M and $2M+ ranges are up 43%, 42%, 218% and 50% respectively. Taken one step further, the highend $1M+ market is up a huge 173% and has shown no sign of slowing from earlier this year. It will be interesting to see if unit sales rebound or continue to slow for the remainder of 2017.
Graph 4 shows July’s dollar sales drop from the March-June spike, as well as from the previous two Julys. Graph 5 shows that units are also way down from 2016 and 2015. We’ll see whether the month’s sales were the fallout of the overheated spring market or a sign of things to come.
Sales By Property Type
As Graphs 6 and 7 show, although unit sales seem to be slowing, 2017’s volume sales for all property types are still at record levels. Overall, the demand for listings exceeds the supply.
- Year-to-date dollar sales of $555,004,932 are up 13% from July 2016, while unit sales of 1063 are down 12%. The average sale price of $522,112 is up 29%. Condominiums:
- Year-to-date dollar sales of $110,757,303 are up 22% from July 2016, while unit sales of 313 are down 4%. The average sale price of $353,857 is up 27%. Vacant Land:
- Year-to-date dollar sales of $45,301,521 are up 95% from July 2016, while unit sales of 227 are up 57%. The average sale price of $199,556 is up 25%.
As Graph 8 shows, 2017’s YTD drop in single-family home sales translates variously into the communities. The Blue Mts. and Meaford are up 17% and 2% respectively from 2016, while Collingwood, Clearview, Wasaga Beach and Grey Highlands are down 12%, 15%, 19% and 29%.
And so, the extraordinary run of record sales months in the Georgian Triangle finally came to an end at 39. It had to end sometime, so no real surprises there. The question is where do we go from here? We noted in last month’s Q2 Market Report that the super-intense sales activity we saw from February to May – with all its multiple and overprice offer situations – could not be sustained and likely produced some degree of market burnout. We also wondered out loud whether the regional market had begun to get a little skittish due to the slowing GTA market. And then on July 12th the Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate 0.75 per cent — the central bank’s first move upward in seven years – with Canada’s big five banks then raising their prime rates. It will be interesting to see what short and longer-term effects this combination of factors has on our real estate market – on sales and prices, both in general and in different price ranges. That said, we’re still in a sellers’ market – just not as hot as the one we’ve seen for the last eighteen months in particular. As we said throughout the boom, the fundamentals of the Georgian Triangle market remain very strong. It is an incredibly beautiful place to live, it offers great value, and the growth we’ve seen is primarily due to solid demographics. The bottomline is that it’s still a good time to be a home seller – or a home buyer – in this wonderful region. So if you’ve considered selling your home your chances of getting a good price in a timely manner are excellent.
As to whether the region’s stellar sales will continue throughout 2017 as more people discover the Georgian Triangle’s four-season lifestyle and great value, time will tell.