2010 will be remembered by many in the Real Estate industry as the year the market came back to earth. Old timers will see it as the end of another cycle in the market while newer Realtors who came into the business within the past ten years are adjusting to a different pace.
The past ten years has seen year after year interest rate drops and year after year home value increases that out performed many blue chip stocks. We saw years of steady exodus by families from the greater Toronto area to more affordable lifestyles in the Barrie area and home builders doing their best to keep pace with demand, turning most of the remaining undeveloped tracts of in town lands into subdivision communities.
We saw young families putting all their resources into that first home only to have their home values increase by tens of thousands of dollars in turn creating opportunity to sell then buy the next bigger home they wanted but couldn't afford a couple years earlier. The viable evidence of this was subdivisions just a couple years old often having more for sale signs than new trees planted on the front lawns over the past ten years. The past year or so has seen much of that frenzy die down.
2010 saw a continued leveling off of the market that began in the later part of 2009 yet it still performed far better than many nay sayers and some "experts" had predicted it would. We can enter 2011 with the confidence of knowing the market didn't - and isn't likely to crash. Much like the hurricanes we see dramatically covered on CNN we as Canadians wonder every time if they will cross over the border and they seldom ever do.
Barrie has a new Mayor and council for the next four years who look to be more intently focused on stimulating our local economy than in recent past. Georgian College and Royal Victoria Hospital, Barrie's two largest providers of employment to the region are currently expanding their facilities meaning new jobs for existing residents in addition to many new residents recruited to the area.
Development is finally underway at the future Park Place mega retail facility in Barrie's south end and with the expansion of our boarders to the south last year we can expect future south end growth for Barrie. Many existing businesses in Barrie that have weathered recent downturns could see growth as a result of The City of Barrie's plans to work with existing businesses on expanding their markets.
Business growth will be the primary catalyst for healthy future real estate values. A healthy economy increases demands for housing. Barrie has built out as far as it can for the most part, now it will begin to build up. The next decade or two of new housing will be primarily condominium development. With little room for new detached home growth the resale home market will benefit from future detached housing demands.
Anyone waiting on prices to drop to get into the market will likely be disappointed. What investors can take advantage of is the still low interest rates and a market that is geared towards long term gain.
Do your research, hook up with a Realtor who does their research, is up to date on what is happening in areas that interest you and will keep you apprised of new activity. Remember, the best opportunities go fast in any market.