John M. Kacmar, Broker
Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage

I am delighted to offer you up to date market statistics and insight into the trends that drive the real estate industry. I hope this information will allow you to analyze the marketplace that you are buying or selling in and make the best decision for your circumstances. - John

December 2017

The Southern Georgian Bay Association Of REALTORS® (SGBAR) comprises two distinct markets. This report summarizes the monthly statistics for the SGBAR Western Region. The SGBAR trading area also includes the Eastern Region of Southern Georgian Bay due to an amalgamation of the Midland Real Estate Board and the Georgian Triangle Association Of REALTORS® in 2014.

In looking back over 2017, we can say with all certainty that 2017 was a banner year for Sellers in the SGBAR Western Region with historically low interest rates in spite of 2 increases throughout 2017, lots of qualified Buyers in the marketplace and tight inventory.

The first 4 months of 2017 marked a very frenzied marketplace with the lack of inventory causing many buyers to act on the “fear of missing out” principle which in part contributed to the upward rise of prices.

Along with the rest of Ontario, the SGBAR Western Region experienced a shift in activity when Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan was announced on April 20, 2017  by the Ontario government in an attempt to cool the housing market and make housing more affordable and offer expanded rent control measures particularly in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Much of the attention on the housing affordability plan was focused on the 15 percent Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) imposed on the purchase or acquisition of an interest in residential real estate by a foreign individual, foreign corporation or a taxable trustee. The NRST applies only to residential real estate containing one to six family residences located in the Greater Golden Horseshoe which includes Barrie, Brant, Dufferin, Durham, Guelph, Haldimand, Halton, Hamilton, Kawartha Lakes, Niagara, Northumberland, Peel Peterborough, Simcoe, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington and York.

As the summer of 2017 rolled around, many Buyers were experiencing fatigue and uncertainty due to government intervention, supply and demand and affordability issues. Many Sellers held steadfast to their ambitious list prices hoping the conditions experienced earlier in the year would return.

The pace of the fall and early winter market leading in to December was moderate as inventory remained at record lows and a strong Sellers market prevailed. With a typical seasonal slowdown in December, the first few months of the New year may have Sellers anxious to get their homes on the market while inventory remains low and demand remains high.

Effective January 1st, 2018, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), Canada’s banking regulator requires mortgage stress testing for uninsured mortgages with down payments of 20 per cent or more. The stress test is designed to ensure buyers will be able to afford their mortgages if interest rates rise. A similar requirement was imposed in 2017 on borrowers with less than 20 per cent down. Under the new rules, it will be applied to all buyers. As Buyers will have to qualify at a rate 2% higher than their current interest rate or the Bank of Canada’s 5 year benchmark rate, the question will be whether they will be able to adjust their expectations for a home, location, or seek out lenders that aren’t governed by OSFI. Time will tell.

Going forward, we look forward to providing the usual monthly market reports for the Western Region of The Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®.

Prepared by Diana Lea Berdini, Broker/Office Manager Collingwood/Owen Sound

Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage

These statistics are compiled using data from the MLS® system of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®