The Georgian Triangle market, which not long ago viewed $500 Million in sales as a great year, surpassed $1 Billion in sales for 2016! That’s a big 29% more than 2015’s prior record of $804,882,436 and a whopping 56% more than 2014’s, which had also been a record. Unit sales were up 15% over the previous record year.

That said, 2016’s sales came on 9% fewer listings than 2015 and 23% fewer than 2014. To top it off, the region’s average sales price of $377,392 was up 12% and 18% from 2015 and 2014respectively, in part due to the record number of multiple and overprice offers we saw in 2016.

Additionally, December gave us the region’s 33rd consecutive record month for sales volume!

All of these numbers – particularly the combination of stratospheric sales, far fewer listings, the many multiple and over-asking offer situations, and the big jump in the average sales price – not only indicate that the regional demand for listings GREATLY exceeded the supply during 2016. These numbers indicate that the record sales would have been even higher had there been more homes on the market.

The Market In Detail:

As Table 1 shows 2016’s annual volume and unit sales translated directly into nearly all of the main market metrics. Sales were up from 2015 in all applicable price ranges. The entire $300K+ range was up 39%, with huge gains of 55%, 55%, 59% and 94% in the $500K-$799K, $800K-$999K, $1M-$1.499M and$1.5M+ ranges respectively. 

 A Few More Numbers To Fill In The Picture:

2016’s metrics also translated into the details of residential home sales by community and property type. Regarding 2016 residential unit sales by community (see Graph 6):

  • Clearview was up 25% from 2015 and 24% from 2014
  • Grey Highlands was up 24% from 2015 and 4% from 2014
  • Wasaga Beach was up 18% from 2015 and 58% from 2014
  • Blue Mountains was up 18% from 2015 and 26% from 2014
  • Meaford was up 9% from 2015 and 23% from 2014
  • Collingwood was up 4% from 2015 and 12% from 2014

Regarding 2016’s residential unit sales by property type (see Graph 8):

  • Single family home sales up 13% from 2015 and 26% from 2014
  •  Condominium sales up 15% from 2015 and 22% from 2014
  • Vacant land sales up 43% from 2015 and 78% from 2014

Analysis: What Made The 2016 Regional Market So Over The Top?

Well, aside from the fact that it was the area’s first $1 Billion+ sales year and that few, if any, could’ve imagined such phenomenal growth over the last 7-8 years, here are some key points:

  • Despite 2016’s dollar and unit sales being up 29% and 15% respectively from 2015’s, there were 411 – or 9% – fewer new listings on the market than in 2015.

  •  2016’s sales/listings ratio was an unheard-of 70% (with 1 month over 100%, 2 moreover 90% and 2 more over 80%). To put that in perspective, 2015’s 55% ratio was the previous record, well above the year-in-year-out 30%-40%

  • 2016 saw 1041 expired listings, 38% less than 2015’s 1683 and 57% less than 2014’s2415. To put that in perspective, 2016’s 2750 sales mean its sales/expireds ratio was 264%, only the second year since the 1980’s – according to our long-term agents – that more regional MLS listings sold than expired. The first year was 2015, with a 142% ratio.

  • While there are no exact numbers, 2016 had even more multiple and overprice offers than 2015, and 2015 had far more than any other year our long-time agents can recall.

  • 2016’s average days-on-market for residential homes was 58 days – nearly 3 weeks less than 2015 and nearly 4 weeks less than 2014.

  • 2016’s average sales price of $377,392 was up a very happy 12% from 2015 and 18% from 2014.

The Takeaway:

Since the first quarter of 2015 we’ve been drawing attention to the atypical and, in some ways, illogical combination of factors driving the Georgian Triangle real estate market to ever greater heights: consistently record-breaking sales; a dizzying number of multiple and overprice offer situations; many homes suddenly selling that had been on market for years; a significant drop in the average days-on-market generally; a huge reduction in expired listings; steadily rising prices and . . . far fewer homes being put up for sale. Huh? Go figure.

In fact, the 2016 market really wasn’t unprecedented. It was just like 2015 – only a lot more so.

And now, for the $1 Billion+ question: can this exceptionally robust market be sustained into 2017? I remain cautious at this point; low numbers of listings will keep prices up but I expect the number of transactions to drop. Additionally, expected changes in external circumstances (ie: interest rates, government regulations, unpredictable provincial and world politics) may present either a challenge or an opportunity for us. Furthermore, I expect it will be a couple of months before we see any clear indications.

So we’ll close with our oft-repeated refrain: If you’ve considered selling your home, now is a great time to do it. There continues to be a big demand for listings and your chances of getting a very good price in a timely manner are excellent.