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Barrie's sizzling real estate market getting back to 'balanced'

Prices still strong but the heat has cooled
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Barrie Real Estate Signs
Signs of the times. Several weeks ago it was a buyer's market as evidenced in these for sale signs on Essa Rd. but now the housing market is back to 'normal.' Sue Sgambati/BarrieToday

What a difference a couple of months make. 

Barrie real estate swung from a sizzling hot seller's market in February and March to an inventory-rich buyer's market in late April. 

And stats from May show we're getting back to normal, according to the president of the Barrie and District Association of Realtors.

"It's becoming more of a balanced market now. It's not a seller's market. It's less of a buyer's market than it was six weeks ago," said Rob Alexander.  "It seems to be coming back to a more normal situation where conditional offers are more the norm. And homes are taking a little longer to sell."

Although still up from this time last year, for the first time in months home prices have dipped in Barrie.

Within the city of Barrie, detached residential properties posted an average selling price in May of $566,077 which is an increase of 25 percent over May 2016.

Bu that's down from April when the average selling price was around $600,00.

Townhouse, link and semi-detached homes had an average selling price of $408,622 In May 2017, a 28 percent increase over May 2016.

Condo sales average for Barrie was $336,771, up 33 percent over May 2016.

"It's interesting when you compare this year with last year it's still up 25 percent year over year for the month of May. Now compare that with April. We were a little over $604,000 so the average sale price has come down about 6 percent in the last month."

But prices have remained strong and are expected to stay at a 'new reality' high. 

It's the frantic bidding wars that are fewer but not entirely gone. 

"It's a momentum change as opposed to a significant change as far as price is concerned," Alexander said. 

Barrie is in step with what has happened in the GTA with home sales slowing down, he said, but the situation requires context.

What happened in March and early April was unprecedented and 'crazy.'

"As we got into April we started to see more inventory come along and went into full bloom in May.  Whether it's a matter of a traditional spring market or more people realizing, 'Hey I should join the party here. Prices are strong maybe it's a good time to move and put their home on the market," explains Alexander.

On Apr. 20, the provincial government announced its Fair Housing Plan with 16 proposals to cool the market. 

The announcement alone, with no plans yet implemented, is undeniably a factor in the mix but exactly how much can't be measured.

A combination of factors appears to have 'tempered' the market.

"What seems to have resulted when you combine it with the government announcement back at the end of April, little bit of uncertainty. More homes hitting the market, buyers are in a much better position now because there's more available stock to look at," said Alexander.

"Some of the urgency or rushing out to see a home and make an offer right away eased by more homes for people to choose from. It's slowed it down but it's become more like a normal market than what we were experiencing back in February, March and early April."

It seems like an extreme change but that was such an extreme situation- unprecedented for Barrie -  we were in early this year, Alexander said.

It's too early to tell what will happen next, he says, except a crash is not expected.

Here are more May statistics:

Essa Township

In Essa Township, detached residential properties posted an average selling price of $532,155 in May 2017, an increase of 2% over May 2016.

Town of Innisfil

Detached residential properties in the Town of Innisfil posted an average selling price of $588,404 in May 2017, an increase of 19% over the month of May 2016.

Innisfil experienced the biggest month to month price drop of about $100,000. Detached residential properties in the town sold for an average of  $682,753 in April.  

Oro‐Medonte Township

The average selling price for detached residential properties in Oro‐Medonte in May 2017 was $767,560 an increase of 26% over May 2016.

Springwater Township

Detached residential homes in Springwater Township posted an average selling price in May 2017 of $772,596 an increase of 33% over May 2016.

 



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