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Real Estate, Rentals, & The Future (Posted On: Friday, March 03, 2006)

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BUYING/SELLING: According to the MLS statistical reports provided by our real estate Board, Collingwood ended 2005 with 313 sales of listed properties (59% of total), compared to 295 properties in 2004, with an average price increase of 7.8% over all for the year. The best months to sell a Collingwood property were March through September. Collingwood’s high residential sale of the year was a combination of residential-commercial at the corner of Osler Bluff Rd. and Mountain Road for $700,000, and less than 3 acres of residential development land across from the Cranberry Inn sold for $795,000. 60 acres of commercial development land at the corner of the Poplar sideroad and Raglan Ave. (east Collingwood) sold for $1,500,000.

Town of the Blue Mountains finished its year with 139 sales of listed properties (38% of the total) compared to 188 sales last year, but the average price increase is a whopping 16.5%! The average home in TBM sold for $407,000! The best months to sell a TMB property were June, August and September. Again the re-sale market is responding to the Buyers’ preference to have “NEW” as opposed to an older home needing updating. The re-sale prices reflect this preference as does the fact that many properties went unsold as Buyers chose to go direct to a new homes developer or custom builder instead. Indeed, for the second year in a row, over $100 million in new building permits were issued. The moral: those of us with older properties have to price them down to convince a Buyer its worth it, or do the updating and renovations ourselves in order to get the property to sell. TBM’s high residential sale of the year was a 5 year old custom-built chalet near Alpine & Craigleith Ski Clubs for $1,275,000. 14 acres of development land across from Georgian Peaks Ski Club sold for $2,200,000.

Waterfront properties were a bit slow to sell this year. Not counting Wasaga Beach, 31 waterfront properties sold from $270,000 to $985,000 BUT many of those had been on the market for well over a year, and 19 waterfronts expired without selling with asking prices of $324,000 to $999,000. Although waterfront vistas are always beautiful and interesting, the water’s depth and distance from the residence has become an issue.

Of note is the high residential sale of the entire area happened in Meaford!! A waterfront property under 3 acres with a 4,700 sf home sold for $1,400,000. In all, 2005 had 13 properties sell over $1,000,000, compared to 9 in 2004.

RENTALS: Winter renters are showing the same preferences as are Buyers….they want new and pristine with all the modern conveniences and many are happy to pay a large rent to have their desire. The older properties, or ones with just one bathroom, are getting more and more difficult to rent or are attracting very low rents. Summer renters mostly are looking for a weekend or 7 night stay in clean, modern, air conditioned surroundings with easy, free access to an outdoor pool. It is a renters’ market as competition for both seasons’ renters is fierce! 3 bedroom, or larger, properties are more in demand than 2 bedrooms or smaller.

THE FUTURE: Sadly, the plethora of restaurants we have the privilege to enjoy has inevitably caused the first casualty......Casey's in the Collingwood Centre, has announced its imminent closing. On the bright side, however there is “No bubble market evident” according to TD Bank Financial Group’s Housing Bubble Watch “due to historically low mortgage rates and a rise in incomes as opposed to speculation.”

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