17 Jun

Canadian real estate gains in May 2020.


Posted by: Anne Martin


There was good news in the real estate and housing markets. Home sales surged by 56.9% in May from Aprils collapse.  The Canadian Real Estate Association’s data showed that national home sales recovered by about one third of its Covid related loss between February and April.  Year over year activity was down almost 40%.  There was a jump in sales which together with a surge in new listings shows that there was pent up demand for housing by buyers who want to take advantage of record low interest rates.

Transactions were up from the Covid coma we were all in with sales rising in the Greater Toronto Area by 53% among other Canadian locations.

Current data suggests that housing activity has been steadily rising from the middle of April until at least the first week of June.

The number of new listings increased by a record 69% in May compared to April including gains across the country.  The number of sales to new listings ratio fell to 58.8% compared to 63.3% in April.  This shows some measure of balance in the housing market even though our economy suffered such a major blow.

Many homes that were already listed stayed on the market during the lockdown with reduced  expectations for showings.  They are now coming off the market, many by reason of a sale, leaving the real estate markets depleted of listings.

Prices haven’t fallen by much especially in the GTA and Golden Horseshoe Area around Toronto from a year ago.  In fact, some cities such as Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton prices have been climbing but at a slower pace than before the lockdown.

For further info please see – http://ow.ly/h9Ic30qQYsK

Barrie and District Association of Realtors Inc. said its region showed a strong recovery from April as the number of residential units sold doubled.  In May, prices showed a month over month increase of .6% from April 2020.    The average price of units sold in the City of Barrie during May 2020 was $519,915.  This was 1.8% less than the average price during April 2020.  Last year the price increased by 1.3% for the same period.

For comparison and interest, in Simcoe County there were 2.2% less properties sold over last year during the same time frame from January to May 31st.  The City of Barrie had a growth of 4.4% properties sold.

The average price in Barrie increased by 8.5% to $522,265 from the same time of year in 2019.  Simcoe County saw a price increase of only 5.7%.  Barrie accounted for 48.9% of al properties sold.

The Housing Price Index (HPI) showed a year-over-year increase of 12.0% between May 2020 and May 2019.

Info extracted from “May 2020 Statistics” released by the Barrie and District Real Estate Association.


15 May

Canadian Real Estate Sales and New Listings down in April


Posted by: Anne Martin

Its not a surprise that real estate figures are down for the month of April and it won’t be surprising if they are down in May as well, even though we are beginning to come out of the coma.

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, sales in Canada’s largest markets fell by 66.2% in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), 64.4% in Montreal, 57.9% in Greater Vancouver, 54.8% in the Fraser Valley, 53.1% in Calgary, 46.6% in Edmonton, 42% in Winnipeg, 59.8% in Hamilton-Burlington and 51.5% in Ottawa.

However, the real estate industry is not standing still but is utilizing as much technological innovation as they can creating new ways to accommodate the purchase and sale of homes.  Stats for May are showing that sales have started to pick up in line with the use of technology which will probably be utilized for some time, given we are not out of the woods yet.

Perhaps some good news on the mortgage qualification front.  Last week some of the banks lowered their posted posted rates which have been above 5% since the stress test began in January 2018.  The stress test rate has  fallen a couple of times since it began at 5.34% to 5.04%.  If the banks keep reducing their posted rates, the stress test rate could fall even further.

For further facts and figures and an overview of how Canada has reacted politically and financially to Covid 19 see Dr. Sherry Coopers blog http://ow.ly/F1kO30qGrz1 

16 Jan

Sigh of relief as Decembers job numbers improve over November


Posted by: Anne Martin

Welcome Rebound in Labour Markets in December

Dr.  Sherry Cooper, chief economist for Dominion Lending Centres, states that the job market has rebounded in December and we can breathe a sigh of relief.

The unemployment rate has reversed itself and erased almost half of the decline in November.  This ended the second best year of job growth since the recession.  This reinforces the position of the Bank of Canada who supports the view that Canada’s economy is resilient.

35,200 net new jobs were created in December bringing the years total new jobs to $320,200 bringing down the jobless rate to 5.6%.  The good news too was that all the job gains were in the private sector and full time.  Ontario  and Quebec with a jobless rate of 5.3% led the gains while BC led the declines in December.

For further info on Canada’s economic report please visit http://ow.ly/Aujs30qa2yD


28 Nov

Housing in Canada in full rebound. October Stats, Dr. Sherry Cooper


Posted by: Anne Martin

October Data Confirm That Housing Is in Full Rebound

Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show that national home sales rose for the eighth consecutive month. Activity held steady in October at the relatively robust September pace following a string of monthly increases that began in March. Existing home sales are now almost 20% above the six-year low reached in February 2019, but remain 7% below the heights reached in 2016 and 2017 when many fretted over a housing bubble (see chart below).

Housing activity in roughly half of the local markets rose offset by the other half that fell. Higher sales in Greater Vancouver (GVA), the neighbouring Fraser Valley and Ottawa offset a monthly decline in activity in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), particularly in Central Toronto, and Hamilton-Burlington.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity rose 12.9% year-over-year. Transactions were up from year-ago levels in 80% of all local markets in October, including all of Canada’s largest urban markets.

All was not rosy, however. “It’s a full-blown buyer’s market or on the cusp of one in a number of housing markets across the Prairies and in Newfoundland,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Homebuyers there have the upper hand in purchase negotiations and the mortgage stress-test has contributed to that by reducing the number of competing buyers who can qualify for mortgage financing while market conditions are in their favour.”

New Listings

The number of newly listed homes fell by 1.8% in October, with the GTA and Ottawa posting the most significant declines. Almost a third of all housing markets posted a monthly decrease of at least 5%, while about a fifth of all markets posted a monthly increase of at least 5%.

Steady sales and fewer new listings further tightened the national sales-to-new listings ratio to 63.7%. This measure has been increasingly rising above its long-term average of 53.6%. Its current reading suggests that sales negotiations are becoming more and more tilted in favour of sellers; however, the national measure continues to mask significant regional variations.Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with the long-term average, just over two-thirds of all local markets were in balanced market territory in October 2019, including the GTA and Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Nonetheless, sales negotiations remain tilted in favour of buyers in housing markets located in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland & Labrador.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between sales and the supply of listings. It represents how long it would take to liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 4.4 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of October 2019—the lowest level recorded since April 2017. This measure of market balance has been retreating further below its long-term average of 5.3 months. While still within balanced market territory, its current reading suggests that sales negotiations are becoming more tilted in favour of sellers.

National measures of market balance continue to mask significant regional variations. The number of months of inventory has swollen far beyond long-term averages in the Prairie provinces and Newfoundland & Labrador, giving homebuyers an ample choice in these regions. By contrast, the measure is running well below long-term averages in Ontario, Quebec and Maritime provinces, resulting in increased competition among buyers for listings and providing fertile ground for price gains. The measure is still well centred within balanced market territory in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
Home Prices

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) rose 0.6%, marking its fifth consecutive monthly gain. Seasonally adjusted MLS® HPI readings in October were up from the previous month in 14 of the 18 markets tracked by the index. (Table below)

Recently, home price trends have generally been stabilizing in the Lower Mainland and the Prairies. While that remains the case in Calgary and Saskatoon, home prices in Edmonton and Regina continue to decline. By contrast, home price trends have started to recover in the GVA and the neighbouring Fraser Valley.

Meanwhile, price growth continues to rebound in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH). In markets further east, price growth has been trending higher for the last three or four years.

Comparing home prices to year-ago levels yields considerable variations across the country, with mostly declines in western Canada and mostly price gains in eastern Canada.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) Aggregate Composite MLS® (HPI) was up 1.8% y-o-y in October 2019, the biggest year-over-year gain since November 2018.

Home prices in the GVA (-6.4%) and the Fraser Valley (-4.2%) are still below year-ago levels, although declines are becoming smaller.

Elsewhere in British Columbia, home prices logged y-o-y increases on Vancouver Island and in the Okanagan Valley (3.1% and 2%, respectively) while having edged marginally higher in Victoria (0.5% y-o-y).

Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon posted price declines in the range of -1.5% to -2.5% on a y-o-y basis in October, while the gap between this year and last year widened sharply to -6.8% in Regina.

In Ontario, price growth has re-accelerated well ahead of overall consumer price inflation across most of the GGH. Meanwhile, price growth in recent years has continued uninterrupted in Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton.

Bottom Line

This report is in line with other recent indicators that suggest housing has recovered from a slump earlier, helped by low mortgage rates. The run of robust housing data gave the Bank of Canada another reason– along with healthy job gains and higher wage rates — to hold interest rates steady. However, the central bank has become more cautious in its outlook. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, one of the few central bankers to resist the global push toward easier monetary policy, acknowledged he’s begun to consider the merits of joining other countries in lowering borrowing costs.

At a press conference after the Bank of Canada’s decision to keep the current 1.75% policy interest rate unchanged for an eighth straight meeting, Poloz said his governing council discussed the possibility of implementing an “insurance” cut to counter the global economic headwinds. But, the council decided against it because of the potential costs to such a move. These include driving up inflation already at the central bank’s 2% target and fueling household debt levels that are among the highest in the world.

“Governing Council considered whether the downside risks to the Canadian economy were sufficient at this time to warrant a more accommodative monetary policy as a form of insurance against those risks, and we concluded that they were not,” Poloz said. The Bank of Canada “is mindful that the resilience of Canada’s economy will be increasingly tested as trade conflicts and uncertainty persist.”

1 May

Report on affordable neighbourhoods in Barrie


Posted by: Anne Martin

On Thursday April 25th, 2019 the Barrie Advance published the results of a report written by Zoocasa comparing home prices in the City of Barrie to Toronto.

An average home in Barrie sold for$494,488 in March while the average home in Toronto sold for $830,043.  This provides proof of the affordability of Barrie as compared to Toronto.  The report even broke it down by neighbourhood and displayed approximate income needed to purchase in that neighbourhood.  It then compared required income in  to the actual average income of the neighbourhood.  It only found one neighbourhood in the City of Barrie where the home prices exceeded the needed income.  This neighbourhood was also the most expensive in town in the south east end called Innishore.

Sales were up 12% in March 2019 as compared to March 2018.  Zoocasa reports that the resurgence in Barrie is due to the spillover of Toronto residents looking for affordable options.

The report also states that rents are rising in the city of Barrie according to Padmapper.    Barrie has the 6th highest rental cost of $1380 for a one bedroom apartment, up 3.8% from a year ago.  A two bedroom in Barrie is down to $1500 a month, or 5.1% over March 2018.


Please visit this article for further info:    http://ow.ly/DxBi30oBEFi 

23 Jul

Barrie and area real estate sales perk up in June 2018.


Posted by: Anne Martin

The Canadian Real Estate Association released its statistics for the month of June.  All statistics are of interest but one has to take into account the inflated nature of 2016 and 2017 which artificially inflated numbers, only to create large gaps in sales levels, which can be defined as a moderate change back to normal levels.

Fueled by new mortgage rules and interest rate increases, it is hoped that we are returning to a more normal real estate market.

Read the statistics published by the Barrie and District Real Estate Association here.  http://creastats.crea.ca/barr/

In summary……

Residential property sales in the City of Barrie and District perked up in June 2018 to sell 478 unit in June of 2018 which was an increase of 15.2% over June of 2017 but was still below the 5 and 10 year averages for the same month.

Year to date, there were 2178 units sold over the first six months of the year, down 28.5% for the same period in 2017.

Within the city of Barrie, there were 252 in residential sales in June 2018, up 25.4% on a year over year basis.  In surrounding areas there was an increase of 5.6% in year over year sales tottaling 226 units sold.

“Sales activity perked up noticeably from May to June,” said Geoff Halford, 2018 BDAR President. “That improvement, combined with the falling sales trend at this time last year, resulted in a double-digit year-over-year increase in the June 2018 sales figure. That said, we’ve still got a long way to go before activity is anywhere near the record sales activity of early last spring.”

Average prices –

$479,553   –  City of Barrie  (decrease of 6.8% compared to the first 6 months of 2017.

$525,578 –  Surrounding areas (decrease of 9.1% from the first 6 months of 2017)

Listings were up by 15.9% on a year over year basis with 1,095 new listings by the end of June 2018 and was a record for the month.

Active listings by the end of June was 1.766 units which was a big increase for 41.5% from June 2017 and being a more healthy levels.

Sales of all property types in the Barrie region numbered 504 units in June 2018, an increase of 17.5% from June 2017. The total value of all properties sold was $258.5 million, rising 18.9% from June 2017.




28 Jun

Recent drop in home prices not expected to continue. Mortgage Market Update June 28, 2018


Posted by: Anne Martin



The latest Housing Market Insight Ontario report from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) says a recent drop in Ontario home prices isn’t expected to continue.

CMHC predicts that moderate economic growth across Ontario will provide support for provincial real estate prices throughout 2018 and 2019.

Market imbalances are easing and fundamentals such as employment, growth in new households and slightly higher interest rates will support home prices. As such, CMHC expects inflation-adjusted home prices in the province will remain relatively stable and close to the levels of last year’s fourth quarter.

Read more

Best fixed rates are as low as *3.29 – 3.69 % for a 5 year fixed,
variable rate mortgages from as low as p-.95%
Prime Rate is 3.45%

*High Ratio/Quick Close Specials
This is a critical time to sit down and review your household financing needs. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions.

If you are in the market for a home, book an appointment today to see how the recent regulatory changes by the Office of Superintendent of Financial Institutions will affect your purchase.

**rates subject to change with market conditions – *OAC  **conditions apply E. & O. E.


Terms Bank Rates Our Rates
6 Month 3.14% 3.10%
1 YEAR 3.04% 2.99%
2 YEARS 3.44% 3.24%
3 YEARS 3.59% 3.39%
4 YEARS 3.89% 3.54%
5 YEARS 5.59% *3.29 – 3.69 %
7 YEARS 5.80% 3.79%
10 YEARS 6.10% 3.99%
Rates are subject to change without notice. *OAC E&OE
 **Please note that rates shown above are subject to change without notice. The rates shown are  posted rates and the actual rate you receive may be different, depending upon your personal financial situation. “Some conditions may apply. Rates may vary from Province to Province. Rates subject to change without notice. *O.A.C. E.& O.E.”


Check with your Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Professional for full details and to determine what rate will be available for you.

19 Mar

Barrie residential real estate sales for February 2018


Posted by: Anne Martin

The number of residential real estate sales recorded by the Barrie & District Association of Realtors, Inc for the month of February 2018 was 263 units which is down 43.2% from the record set in February 2017.

Year to date sales were 482 units in the first 2 months of the year creating a decrease of 33.2% from the same period of time in 2017.

Within the City of Barrie sales activity was down 45.9%, year over year with the city only seeing 139 units sold in February 2018.  Surrounding areas had a 39.8% decrease in sales activity totaling 127 units.

It seems that factors like the new mortgage stress test coming into affect January 1 moved up sales to the end of 2017 and some closings in early 2018.

The year to date average selling price in the City of Barrie so far is $485,483 causing a decrease of 2.1% compared to last year the same time.  Surrounding areas so far this year was $542,821, increasing prices by 2.2% from 2017.

There was a rise of 125.5% of active listings on the market over the lows of last February with 3.6 months of inventory at the end of February 2018.

See http://creastats.crea.ca/barr/  for further details.

The many factors contributing to the reduction in price and sales numbers including the new government stress test, increased mortgage rates, trade uncertainty and economic factors.  Although none expected, it will be important to watch the Bank of Canada for its decisions on mortgage rate hikes.

18 Sep

Residential Real Estate Statistics for Barrie, Ont. August 2017


Posted by: Anne Martin

“The housing market is becoming more balanced in comparision with earlier this year.  In this changing market, it’s important you use your local, professional REALTOR® for your real estate needs.”  -says Rob Alexander, 2017 President, Barrie & District Association of REALTORS® Inc. (BDAR)

*The Barrie and District Association of Realtors changed to a new data systems, therefore, statistics may be approximate.

City of Barrie

In the City of Barrie detached homes in August 2017 sold for an average selling price of $515,922 which is an increase of 14% over August 2016.  With townhouses, link and semi-detached homes selling for an average of $380,862, meaning an average increase of 11% over August 2016.

Surprisingly, condo sales averaged a 5% increase over August 2016 with an average price of $330,942.  This is a contrast to Toronto who reported a a 21% decrease in sales in the second quarter of 2017 of condo townhouses from 2016, and a 8.3% decrease in sales of condo apartments for the same time period.  Please see http://creastats.crea.ca/treb/mls02_category.html

Essa Township

Detached residential properties sold for an average of $457,470 in August 2017, a decrease of 10% over August 2016.


The Innisfil real estate market showed detached residential properties in decreased by 3% to $529,229.

Oro-Medonte Township

The average selling price for detached homes in Oro-Medonte was $717,906, an increase of 14% over August 2016.


This township showed a whopping increase of 30% to $774,716.

It appears that multiple offer situations and crazy bidding wars have come to a close, for the most part!  This may be due to the new mortgage rules implemented by the federal and provincial governments in the Spring of this year.  Most notably is the decrease in pricing and sales in Toronto most likely due to the new foreign buyer tax implemented by the provincial government.  Oro and Springwater showed a nice increase over last year but will they slow down and become more balanced like the Barrie real estate market shortly?

The Federal government is currently in consultations with mortgage industry professionals to discuss how to best implement new proposed changes to mortgage rules.  How will the effect Barrie and area real estate is important to see in the future.

These proposed changes could slow the market even more and make it difficult for not only home purchasers but also home owners who want to refinance their existing mortgages.  It will be important to see how this plays out!

Information available at https://www.bdar.ca/public/Stats/August2017StatsMediaRelease.pdf



16 Aug

Canadian Housing Market Weakens in July 2017


Posted by: Anne Martin

The release by the Canadian Real Estate Association for the month of July confirms that important housing markets in Canada continued to slow down especially the Golden Horseshoe area that surronds Toronto.  The slowdown started in April in this area starting mostly with the announcement of the 15 % foreign buyers tax credit and the 16 point program announced provincially to enhance home affordability.

Then the Bank of Canada announced a rate hike in July, the first in seven years which had further effects on the economy, causing mortgage rates to increase along with the value of the Canadian dollar.  The posted mortgage rate which is often used as the mortgage qualifying rate for insured mortgage loans increased by 20 basis points which affected mortgage applicants ability to income qualify for their mortgages, taking some out of the mortgage and home buying market.  There is a proposal to extend this qualification to uninsured mortgage borrowers as well, meaning those who have more than 20% down payment or equity in their homes.

CREA saw the number of home sold in July decrease by 2.1% for the fourth consecutive month.  Sales activity is down by 15.3% from the activity of March this year.  Year over year, sales is down 11.9% for July.

The number of new listings went downward by 1.8% in July, led by the GTA.  In July is was seen that the national sales to new listings ratio balanced out to 53.5%.  Above 60% is considered a sellers market and below 40% is considered a buyers market.  More than 60% of all local markets are now in a more manageable buyers market.

Prices continue to decline.

Home prices continued to fall in July, extending the decline that began in April.  The Aggregate Composite MLS House Price Index rose by 12.9% year-over-year in July, a further deceleration from the pace earlier this year. The decline in price growth from June to July was the result of softening prices in the GGH.  Price gains reduced in all categories of homes including townhouses, detached family home and bungalows.

With exerts from Dr. Sherry Cooper, economist for Dominion Lending Centres.    http://ow.ly/FQa830esxA9

In the city of Barrie, smaller price increases are being seen with the housing market leveling out.

“We are now seeing the housing market level out with smaller price increases in some areas and decreases in some of our smaller areas compared  with.  With things evening out, your local Realtor will help you get the most value for your real estate transaction.”                                                                                                                                                    ‐ Rob Alexander, 2017 President, Barrie & District  Association of REALTORS® Inc. (BDAR)

The city of Barrie saw an increase in detached residential prices of 18% in the month of July 2017 over the average price in the same month 2016.

Townhouses increased by 14% in the same period and Condos had a whopping 37% increase in July 2017 over July 2016.

For more info on the residential statistics for Barrie and District please follow this link.  http://ow.ly/wiTt30esxpG