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CONDO REPORT: City seeing sizable surplus in condo inventory

Increased inventory 'caused the gap between supply and demand to widen further,' says condo columnist
2021-06-24 Barrie condos RB 4
A condominium building along Barrie's Lakeshore Drive is shown in this file photo.

It is the first time in more than half a decade that there are more than 150 condominiums listed for sale in Barrie, at a given time.

With condo inventory remaining high, many sellers are finding it challenging to come to terms with the slow market conditions we have been faced with this year.

Historically, a slow summer market is followed by a second, short-lived boom a couple of weeks after the Labour Day long weekend. This ‘mini-spring market’ tends to last until Thanksgiving weekend, and then trickles off for the winter. Unfortunately, that was not the case this year. Too many sellers had the same idea, and the surplus of condo inventory increased even more in September, which caused the gap between supply and demand to widen further.

In September, there were 21 condo apartments that sold in Barrie with an average sale price of $565,143. Units were selling for 98 per cent of their original list price and were taking an average of 38 days to sell. Although the real estate market has slowed quite a bit in 2023, the average sale price for this property type has increased year over year for the month of September by 1.5 per cent. This shows prices have held strong even with properties taking longer to sell.

For the most part, the condo townhouse market has been quite healthy this year. Last month, there were eight condo townhouses units that sold in Barrie with an average sale price of $486,688, which was a 10 per cent increase year over year for September. The sale-to-list ratio was 99 per cent of the original list price and they took an average of 24 days to sell. This was also the case for condo townhouses in Barrie. Even with all the doom and gloom portrayed by the media, the Barrie condo market has seemed to be doing just fine.

In terms of inventory, if no other condo were to hit the market in Barrie, it would take almost six months to sell all the condos currently listed for sale. This means we are in a balanced market but will be in a buyer’s market if units for sale continue to rise and demand remains the same or decreases.

What should buyers do in a balanced and/or buyer’s market?

  1. Understand what is currently for sale. Supply in Barrie is high, so this is a great opportunity to get educated and see as many condo units and complexes as possible. There is a decent mix of unit sizes and layouts in Barrie, and every condominium complex offers different amenities, social programs, and has its own look and feel.
  2. Pay attention to the days on market. Some condos have been on the market for a few months, and others just became available. When inventory is high, the days on market are reflected by the price. If a seller has priced competitively and is offering a unique property that could be in a high demand, it may sell rather quickly. If the competition is high for a particular unit and the seller is priced in and around their neighbours, they could sit on the market longer, which could cause them to rethink their list price to be more in line with demand.
  3. Get pre-approved and locked into a rate. Speak to a lender about the mortgage options that are available and lock into a rate. Although the market is slowing and inflation is on its way down, there is a chance interest rates could increase again. If a buyer locks in and rates go down, do not be concerned as lenders will always offer the best rate possible. Also, pre-approvals are held for 90 to 120 days with most lenders, so there is no need to rush into making a decision.

What should sellers do in a balanced and/or buyer’s market?

  1. Make sure your home looks the best it can. Yes, it is a lot of work getting a property ready for sale, having to declutter and organize, maybe paint or even remove furniture, but you only have one chance to make a good first impression. If you are looking to get top dollar for your condo in this competitive market, you need to put the time and energy into making your home look as presentable as possible.
  2. Hire the right professionals and understand the commitment. There can be a lot of added stress when selling your home in a slower market, so working with the right team of professionals can make all the difference. Make sure you have a good understanding of the listing process, market conditions in your condo complex and the customer service that is offered. Ongoing communication will help relieve some stress and pressures that come along with selling in a slower market. Keep in mind that in a balanced and/or buyer’s market, listing agents tend to request a longer commitment from sellers as it normally takes longer for properties to sell. Review the length of the contract and have a good understanding of the service that will be provided. Business relationships can last a long time, and you want to make sure the people you are working with are a good fit for you and your family.
  3. Price competitively. In a market with a large amount of inventory, it is suggested to price your condo as competitively as possible from the start. This will help to avoid chasing the market and going through a variety of price reductions. It can be challenging to sell in a market that is continuing to slow, so make sure to go through a variety of scenarios prior to determining a list price. Remember, the highest amount of action you will get online and in person will be within the first 10 days, so if you are priced too high, you may lose out on potential buyers.

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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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