Market Pulse & Trends 2017 vs 2018

What was the impact of low inventory, stress tests and the rise of interest rates on the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Real Estate Market?

 

Buyer Demand

Compared to 2017, we experienced lower inventory in both the Residential Market and the Waterfront Market. Buyer demand in both markets remained evident, despite the introduction of the nationwide ‘stress test’ in January 2018 and the forecasted interest rate increase.

Steady buyer demand resulted in the continued high list to sale ratio and fewer days on the market.  Differences in List to Sale Ratio and Days on Market (DOM) for 2017 vs 2018 were nominal. Annually we saw an increase in average sale price in both markets.

 

Residential (includes Single-Family homes in Huntsville/Lake of Bays):

2018 experienced 107 fewer sales, a 10.6% increase in sale price and close to 100% list to sale ratio reflecting the competitive market.

 

Waterfront (includes waterfront single-family cottages/homes):

2018 experienced 37 fewer sales, a 14.4% increase in average sale price and close to 100% list to sale ratio. While not as competitive as our off-water market, the waterfront market still saw it’s share of multiple offers and close to sale price offers.

 

Trends & Hot Price Points

While we may feel some ripple-effects from the Toronto market, our Muskoka markets are very different. One of the trends we have been experiencing are people selling their homes in the city, to purchase here (off-water) for what could be half the price of what they sold their city home. They then use any equity, to pay off debt and/or set some funds aside for retirement.  This particular trend could be the reason we are seeing the increase in certain price points (500k + residential) compared to years past.

 

Residential (Single-family) Trends:

Homes 300-400k represent the hottest price point, followed by 400-500k. Compared to 2017 there were more sales in both the 600-800k and 800-1m. From a first-time home buyer’s perspective, affordability has become increasingly difficult as a result of not only the ‘stress test’,  but lower inventory levels under 300k.

 

Waterfront Trends (this could and will be a post all on it’s own!)

Waterfront sales under 500k are found on smaller lakes in the Huntsville/Lake of Bays area and generally, come with “work to do”. 500-700k and 700-1m were pretty closely matched to each other and to last year. Even the 1-1.4 were close year over year. 2018 there were more sales over the 2m mark with 1 over 5m.

 

2019 Real Estate Market Forcast

January has already seen an active start to the 2019 market, both in on and off-water sales.

Despite the new mortgage rules and the increase in interest rates (which at the time of this writing have stabilized), Buyer demand continues. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the market needs inventory!

As stages of life and lifestyles evolve and change, people will continue to move up, downsize and invest. With a little patience, the pursuit of a positive real estate outcome is viable.