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Overview: March Spike Drives Record Q1 Sales Despite Fewer Listings

After February’s 4% unit sales drop, we questioned whether the market was finally slowing due to a shortage of homes for sale. It turns out sales drop was a result of a critical shortage of listings. Sales rebounded with a huge spike – not only a record for March, but the region’s second best month ever after last August 2016.

March Sales

  • Volume sales of $116,439,226 were up 67% from last year’s prior March record of $69,663,824, while unit sales of 275 were up 48% from last March’s 186.
  • The spike came despite listings being down 20% from a year ago.
  • Expireds were also down 42%.

Year-to-date Sales 

  • Q1-2016’s volume of $246,039,256 and units of 560 were up 41% and 19% respectively from Q1-2016, all with this year’s listing count of 748 being down 21% from last year.
  • Additionally, with such great buyer demand and so many multiple and overprice offers, the region’s average sale price of $439,356 is up 18% over this time last year.

2017’s record sales, big average price increase and incredibly high 81% sales/listings ratio all indicate that the demand for listings GREATLY exceeds the supply. There is no doubt among agents that sales would be much higher still if there were more homes on the market.

The Market In Detail

As Table 1 and Graph 3 show (below), Q1-2017’s unit sales – with one exception – translate directly into all of the market metrics for different price ranges.

  • While unit sales are down 15% in the high-volume $100K-$499K price range, they’re way up in all other ranges.
  • The $300K-$499K and $500K-$799K ranges are up 25% and 85% respectively from Q1-2016.
  • The entire $800K+ luxury home segment is up 53%, with huge gains of 130% and 67% in the $1M-$1.999M and $2M+ ranges respectively.
  • Even sales in the under $100K price range – which have generally decreased with each passing year due to fewer and fewer homes being listed at that price – are currently up 77% from one year ago.

As 2017 progresses it will be interesting to see whether the increasing demand for high-end homes is sustained and what impact it has on volume sales and prices generally.


In Graphs 4 and 5 we can see March’s spike in perspective. The month’s volume sales fell just short of last August’s, the region’s biggest month ever. On the units side, March was way up over last March, and was also the fifth best month ever after last May, August, June and April.

 

Sales By Property Type

As Graphs 6 and 7 show, Q1-2017’s record pace is reflected in the region’s sales by property type. In each case, the numbers indicate that demand for listings greatly exceeds the supply.

Single-Family Homes:

  • Q1-2017 dollar sales of $189,020,753 are up 30% from a Q1-2016, while unit sales of 362 are up 2%.
  • The average sale price of $522,157 is up 27%.

Condominiums:  

  • Q1-2017 dollar sales of $36,669,786 are up 40% from Q1-2016, while unit sales of 113 are up 14%.
  • The average sale price of $324,511 is up 22%.

Vacant Land:

  • Q1-2017 dollar sales of $20,839,330 are up 197% from Q1-2016, while unit sales of 100 are up 156%.
  • The average sale price of $208,393 is up 16%.

 

Lastly, as Graph 8 shows, Q1-2017’s 2% rise in single-family home sales translates variously into the communities. Meaford, The Blue Mts. and Collingwood are up 50%, 46% and 8% respectively; Wasaga Beach is down 10%, Grey Highlands is down 33% and Clearview is even.

The Takeaway

After February’s 4% drop in unit sales from last February – the biggest year-over-year decrease since March, 2014 – we mused that perhaps the market was finally beginning to run out of momentum due to a serious shortage of homes for sale . . .

WRONG! Now it appears that February was more of a short recoil before the market shifted into a whole new gear in March, with volume sales up 67% and unit sales up 48% over last year’s previous March records – all of which, in turn, resulted in Q1-2017’s volume and unit sales being up 41% and 19% respectively from Q1-2016’s. Still, the question remains: How long can the unlikely combination of fewer and fewer listings, greater and greater demand, record sales, rising prices and multiple offers continue? The crystal ball is cloudy, but one thing is certain: the attraction of this region’s beauty and possibilities just keeps growing. And March was the Georgian Triangle’s 36 th consecutive record month for volume sales. So we’ll close with our usual refrain: If you’ve considered selling your home, your chances of getting a great price in a timely manner are excellent.