Ebb and Flow

It's difficult to believe that just a year or so ago, the Barrie and area real estate market was a blazing meteor.  Each month, the stats would read something to the effect of "Sizzling Hot", or "On Fire", or "Breaking Records".  Now, as we reflect on the sobering stats for the month of September 2017, we realize that what goes up, must come down.  Or ebb and flow.  The great news is that prices are still on the rise.  Within the City of Barrie, detached homes posted an average selling price of $515,522, an increase of 8% over September 2016.  However, the NUMBER of home sold fell a drastic 43% compared to September 2016.  The same held true for nearby communities of Innisfil, Essa, Springwater, and Oro-Medonte.  Only condos in Barrie escaped the downturn.  Their average sale price was $346,481, up 30% over last year, and the number of sales were up too - by 29%!   It seems condos are where it is currently at.  There are a number of possible reasons why the number of home sales has decreased.  A couple of interest rate hikes this year.  The implementation of a 15% foreign buyers tax.  And more stringent mortgage rules to ensure people are not overburdened.  And those mortgage rules are set to get tighter January 1st, when ALL buyers must pass a mortgage stress test, whether they are seeking an insured mortgage (less than 20% down) or an uninsured mortgage (more than 20% down).  We are proud to be prudent in Canada, to ensure our housing market does not turn upside down like our neighbours to the south just a few years ago.  And Barrie is still a very appealing area - so much so that a recent MoneySense survey listed Barrie as the 15th Top Canadian City To Buy Real Estate in 2017.  And Home And Property listed it as the 18th Cheapest City To Live In Canada, as the cost of living is just 2.5% above the national average.  We await to see what the next Bank of Canada Interest Rate announcement will hold on October 25th.  Until then, and even afterwards, we, as good Canadians, will go with the flow.

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