Collingwood, Blue Mountain and Area Real Estate Prices Rising Again
First, a disclaimer: Statistics can be dangerous things if they are not carefully and accurately assessed. For example, our MLS® system uses average sale prices rather than median sale prices. Neither is an exact science but when used comparatively, it gives us a general sense of trends only. For example, the absence or presence of very low or very high-end sales can dramatically alter averages within small sampling groups.
Now having said that, I think we have a fairly safe picture emerging. I've taken a look at the average sale prices of residential properties in six areas including Blue Mountain, Clearview, Collingwood, Grey Highlands, Meaford and Wasaga Beach. Using the MLS® data provided for those areas by the Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board, here's what I found:
- The 12-month average residential sale price at the end of December 2009 was $298,150
- This was 2.6% higher than at the end of December 2008 but 4.9% below December's 2007 record high
- The highest average sale price continues to be in the Blue Mountains which ended the year at $453,258 while the lowest was in Clearview Township with a 12 month average ending at $$251,213.
- The average sale price of a condominium in 2009 was $216,697 which was up 3.4% over 2008 and up 6% from 2007.
Last year, a new way of measuring price changes was developed that showed results that could be quite different from traditional measurements. The Teranet-National Bank House Price Index uses a house pairing methodology which I think is a more reliable indicator of market change than using average sale prices. The index shows that as of October 2009, average residential sale prices in Toronto were up by 2.3% over the same period in the previous year.
Given that our market is substantially impacted by the GTA market, we tend to follow similar trends. The index showing a 2.3% increase as of October combined with our 12 month average price having climbed 2.6%, I think it is fairly safe to say that prices in the Georgian Triangle rose between 2-3% in the last year compared to 2008 but are still slightly below the record highs of 2007.
As always, there were certain pockets of activity where values climbed more than in others. One example would be in the Heritage Corners development near Blue Mountain where prices for a 3 bedroom unit climbed by over 10% in a three month period this past summer and fall. In Lighthouse Point, not a single unit with two or more bedrooms is currently for sale under $330,000; a situation not seen in many years. On the other hand, there were certain subdivisions where virtually nothing sold all year despite a strong supply of inventory.
All MLS® data and/or statistics obtained from the Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board.