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Real Estate, Rentals & The Future (Posted On: Sunday, February 24, 2008)

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BUYING/SELLING: Despite the housing market events in the US (see more on that below), according to the MLS statistical reports provided by our Real Estate Board, this region is up 17% in overall resale dollar values and up 10% in # of actual sales over 2006. Properties sell on average at 95% of their asking price and average 79 days on market.

Collingwood ended 2007 with 280 sales of listed properties (50% of total), compared to 269 properties in 2006, with an average price increase of 4.5% over all for the year. The worst months to sell a Collingwood property were Jan., Feb. & Nov, the rest were steady with 18 to 35 sales per month - best month: June! Collingwood’s 4 high sales of the year ranged from $630,000 to $850,000 - all waterfronts or near it, and a residential development parcel in The Forest for $1,567,000. Average price for a re-sale residence in Collingwood is now $244,230.

Town of the Blue Mountains finished its year with 173 sales of listed properties (32% of the total) compared to 165 sales last year, and values soared up 12.8% after a flat year '06 over '05! The worst months to sell a TBM property were Jan. & Feb., the rest ranged from 12 to 22 sales per month - best month: November! TBM’s 5 highest sales ranged from $1,210,000 to $1,950,000 - 3 waterfronts, a home in Snowbridge, and a custom home near Ravenna. Average price for a re-sale residence in TBM is now $460,714.

Further in-depth details are available by contacting the writer, but the Meaford area saw 165 re-sales with a value increase of 5%, and Clearview had 166 re-sales with a 4.8% increase.

Waterfront property sales surged after a slump last year. Not counting Wasaga Beach, nor riverfront, nor condominiums, 45 waterfronts sold in 2007 ranging from $236,000 to $1,950,000, ironically, both the low and the high off the Hwy in Craigleith. Please keep your eyes on for continuing information on the loss of water levels in our Bay and lobby your Representative to put a plug in the St. Clair River.

The high residential sale of the entire area happened in Creemore - a country estate home on 90 acres sold for $2,500,000 after 283 days on market. The high sale was in Wasaga Beach, a draft plan subdivision of 128 lots for $3,500,000. In all, 2007 saw 23 properties sell over $1,000,000, compared to 20 in 2006.

RENTALS: The meltdown of Christmas '06 took its toll and more than the usual # of ski season renters opted for "short season" (starting after NY's). Winter renters are showing the same preferences as are Buyers….they want new and pristine with all the modern conveniences but they are well aware of the competition for their rental dollars and are negotiating hard and holding Landlords to their promises like never before! Older, unrenovated properties, or ones with just one bathroom, are becoming almost impossible 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. 3 bedroom, or larger, properties are more in demand than 2 bedrooms or smaller.

THE FUTURE: The Ontario Real Estate Association writes that Canada's long-term fundamentals are solid - a growing population, energy & commodities in high demand and strong job creation. Unlike the US, Canada's housing market has not been artificially driven by bad lending practices, in fact, by June '07 only 5% of mortgages in Canada were sub-prime (21% in the US) and all Canadian mortgages are insured which is not the case in the US. Locally, new residential & commercial development continues apace, mostly happening on the west side of Collingwood and out towards Christie Beach, and still putting a lot of pressure on re-sales. In the works: a new Rogers' cellular tower at Georgian Peaks for improved Craigleith area reception (yay!), a "mini-Yorkville" with retail, residential, waterfront park, hotel, ice rink, and a College campus in Craigleith across from TRI-W's office, expansion of the Orchard Hills at Blue Mtn. for Dec. '09, resumed work on the Hwy 26 By Pass from Stayner to Collingwood, a new "Environment First" philosophy in all our Planning Dept's, and Toronto's Centro Restaurant takes over from Indian Motorcycle in The Intrawest Village. The Collingwood area is still a major retirement destination for the active crowd but we are also attracting young entrepreneurs who come or return for the quality of life and safety in which to raise their children. All in all, Collingwood & The Blue Mountains continues to be an exciting place to live, work, and play year round!

Jane Moysey, Broker
Tri-W Realty Inc., Brokerage




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