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CONDO REPORT: Buyers find time to catch their breath

Year-over-year for December, average sale price for condo apartment went down 21% while condo townhouses decreased by by 6%
The Barrie skyline at Centennial Beach is shown at night in this file photo.

Last year, the Barrie condominium market was challenging for both buyers and sellers alike. The market seemingly shifted from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market, so both sides had to adjust their expectations accordingly.

The first quarter of 2022 was the hottest seller’s market in history. Inventory was at an all-time low and demand was extremely high, which caused properties to sell for record prices. 

Sellers were reviewing offers on a designated day and buyers were submitting offers much higher than the asking price and were willing to take the risk of going into the deal with no conditions to remain competitive against other buyers. These multiple bids put upward pressure on prices causing them to increase much faster than expected in Barrie.

At the beginning of the second quarter, the Barrie condo market started to see its first signs of slowing. There were fewer offers and some sellers were even sitting without a single offer on their requested offer day.

These changes in the market caused sellers to re-evaluate their price and adjust their expectations. It took some time for sellers to realize they no longer had the upper hand and to accept the new market conditions.

The market had peaked and it was time for buyers to catch their breath.

Throughout the spring and summer months, the market continued to slow, which created a more balanced real estate market in Barrie. There was much more inventory for buyers to choose from, which caused sellers to rethink their listing strategy and price lower to remain competitive against other sellers.

Buyers were finally able to take their time when choosing to submit an offer on a property and were back in a negotiating position with sellers; rather than being in competition with other buyers.

The Barrie condo market saw a slight bump in the market during the final weeks of the third quarter. In September, many condos were selling within a week of being listed provided they were staged like a model home and priced extremely competitively.

It's common for the market to pick up in the fall, but it tends to be short-lived as many buyers decide to relax their property search after Thanksgiving.

The final quarter of 2022 was quite slow. Condo sales were down and properties were taking much longer to sell as many buyers switched their focus to the holidays and spending time with loved ones.

Let’s shift gears and look at what happened in the Barrie condo market in the past year.

December 2021

1. The average sale price for condo apartments sold was $630,028.
2. The average sale price for condo townhouses sold was $565,333.
3. Units were selling for an average of 110 per cent of their original list price.
4. Average days on market for the whole condominium sector was 13 days.
5. At the beginning of January 2022, there were 14 condo apartments available for sale, three of which are assignment sales for condos that are not yet built, and three condo townhouses in Barrie.  

December 2022

1. The average sale price for condo apartments sold was $499,750.
2. The average sale price for condo townhouses sold was $529,600.
3. Units were selling for an average of 96 per cent of their original list price.
4. Average days on market for the whole condominium sector was 48 days.
5. There are currently 56 condo apartments available for sale and five condo townhouses in Barrie. 

Year-over-year for December, the average sale price for a condo apartment went down 21 per cent and condo townhouses have also gone down, but only by six per cent.

This year, we are starting off the year with more condominium inventory on the market than we did this time last year.

Things to consider going into the Barrie real estate market in 2023:   

1. Get pre-approved sooner than later. It is predicted that interest rates are going to continue to rise in order to bring down inflation. Get pre-approved and locked into a rate now so that you keep more money in your pocket.

2. If you are looking to sell, do it now! Although prices have come down since this time last year, inventory is currently low. As we move through the first quarter of the year, it is expected that more properties will hit the market. As both inventory and mortgage rates rise, prices may continue to drop especially if demand remains low.

3. Hire a condo-specific Realtor to assist you with your condo sale or purchase. The freehold housing market is completely different from the condo market right now so you might not get the best advice or guidance from someone that does not work in the Barrie condo market regularly.

4. If you are a buyer, make sure you understand what conditions to put in an offer to protect yourself when purchasing. There are conditions and clauses that are important to put in an offer to purchase a condo but you wouldn’t necessarily use if you were to buy a freehold house.

5. If you are a seller, when it comes to reviewing offers, make sure you understand the various conditions and how they could strengthen/weaken the offer and how they could affect your situation. There are so many angles to understand and if you are not fully informed it could cost you thousands of dollars.

* All stats are based on listings sold with the Barrie & District Association of Realtors

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Ashley Lamb

About the Author: Ashley Lamb

Ashley Lamb is a local condo expert who writes a monthly column about statistics and trends in the Barrie real estate market
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