March Market Spotlight: Huntsville & Lake of Bays
MARCH MARKET DATA :
Relevant to the data collected for March 2020, is understanding the market before March 15th and the market after March 15th, when emergency measures were implemented as a result of COVID-19. In both the residential off-water and waterfront markets, the early part of March showed promise with new inventory and strong sales activity. Now with strict protocol in place, the real estate transactions that are taking place are considered more essential than discretionary. The reality is people still need to move, due to circumstances not always in their control, and those are the transactions we are able to assist with, with safety being paramount.
We are anticipating April will continue to experience a continued drop in both new inventory and sales, and mostly likely into May. Those not “needing to sell” are being encouraged to wait until we are in a healthier climate, and the same applies for Buyers, particularly cottage Buyers .
Will this impact prices? Experts (at this point) don’t feel they will drop. We have been operating across all markets, with low inventory for sometime now. The projection is that once our markets resume and life gets back to “normal”, there will be pent up demand. Time will tell!
My opinion is that it will depend more than ever on client motivation on both ends. Unfortunately, I see this situation putting [some] people in a position that they need to sell, which could actually open up more inventory, particularly in the cottage market. From the buying side, it will all be about confidence in their current financial situation.
A balanced market, where supply meets demand, with prices stable, would be a positive outcome.
WATERFRONT REAL ESTATE SALES ACTIVITY:
Compared to March 2019:
- Increase in Ave. Sale $ (see notes)
- Fewer NEW listings
- 2 more sales (3 of the 5 sold before March 15)
- Significantly more days on market (there were 2 sales with days on market at 132 and 221 contributing to the higher number compared to March 2019)
- Decrease increase in list to sale price
Minimum: $440,000 (2020) | $462,000 (2019)
Median: $ 667,000 (2020) | $620,000 (2019)
Maximum: $1,650,000* (2020) | $ 629,700 (2019)
*Max sale 2020 was on Lake of Bays
Notes: March is usually the time we see an influx of listings as we enter the spring market. Had circumstances been different, the projection for new listings looked promising. That has since changed, and we don’t see that changing heading into April and possibly May. Average sale price (2020) was higher due to 2 sales over 1m, compared to 2019 where the highest sale was $629,700.
The recreational market is greatly impacted right now with the strict protocols in place implemented from our Government. As mentioned earlier on in this post, many seller’s are being encouraged to wait to list on MLS, or as an alternative, list exclusively. The forecast for the recreational market, providing we see a positive shift related to COVID-19 in flattening the curve, will start mid summer and carry on into late fall. We hope!
RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE SALES ACTIVITY OFF-WATER:
Compared to March 2019:
- Increase of 4% in Average Sale $
- Significantly fewer NEW listings (indication of the hesitation to list given the current circumstances)
- 12 fewer sales
- Slightly more days on market
Minimum: $245,000 (2020) | $155,000 (2019)
Median: $400,000 (2020) | $ 387,500 (2019)
Maximum: $800,000 (2020) | $ 725,000 (2019)
Notes: Following a similar pattern to waterfront residential, typically we see homes hit the market in March in anticipation of the spring market. This year there were 8 new listings to hit the market. With the exception of 3, the rest were previously listed and had expired. The low sales volume, is most likely a correlation to the strict showing protocol in place after March 15th. Showing activity dropped dramatically. Buyers now need to be carefully qualified and agree to various Indemnity Agreements, Seller’s as well. The importance of a financing condition has never been more crucial, as lenders are now calling employers up to two days before closing, to make sure the person/people still have employment.
Moving forward, there will be sales activity and we will still see homes hit the market. The importance of photographs, floor plans, virtual tours and videos are relevant to every listing and will allow Buyers to “virtually shop” for a home. While not encouraging people to make unconditional offers, there are ways we can navigate through these unprecedented times. We are adapting to a new way of real estate, but that does not mean that we are reckless about it. Client safety, protection and confidence are at the forefront no matter what side of the deal you find yourself on.
Stay healthy and well!
If you have questions about a specific area in Muskoka follow this link: https://hereinmuskoka.com/market-spotlight/?fbclid=IwAR0CM_Kcp3g9-LHW396m1mhYpnETvaw_E85gpD6J8aIAJe0pkE76FvuuzKw
Data is collected from The Lakelands Real Estate Board for single-family detached residences, both on and off water in the Huntsville and Lake of Bays area.
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