Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer April 22-28, 2016

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This market summary includes data for Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford. The information was obtained from the MLS® statistics provided by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®. Previous week(s) will in brackets.

Single Family ResidentialMarket Report Icon

New Listings:  70 (65, 57, 29)
Average List Price: $493,476
Range of List Prices: $99,900 – $2,650,000
Number of Sales:  52 (55, 33, 18 )
Range of Sale Prices:  $134,900 – $1,285,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  12 (9, 13, 7 )
Average List Price:  $262,342
Range of List Prices: $135,000 – $389,900
Number of Sales:  13 (13, 6, 10)
Range of Sale Prices: $130,400 – $535,000

Vacant Land
New Listings:  10 (18, 7, 6)
Number of Sales: 10 (4, 12, 2)
Range of Sale Prices: $44,444 – $200,000

Price Changes this week: 55

Notables this week:  

  • 12 Single Family residences sold for more than their asking prices
  • 3 single family residences sold at their asking prices
  • 1 vacant land  listing sold at it’s asking price
  • 3 condo listings sold for more than their asking prices
  • 1 condo listing sold at it’s asking price

Note: All statistics obtained from the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® Real Estate Board.

Balmoral Development in Collingwood to Offer Age-In-Place, Adult Lifestyle Community

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Balmoral Site PlanThe new Balmoral development in Collingwood’s west end has broken ground as the site is prepared for servicing.  The development is billed as an “age-in-place” lifestyle community for those adults who are 55 and over. The master plan for the community includes five different aspects of housing choices as well as an 8000 Sq. Ft. recreation centre and, a future medical/wellness and commercial centre for the development.

The first phase will include 35 semis and townhomes with prices starting from $299,990 and the Grand Opening is this Saturday, April 30th at 10 am.

They recently sent out the following information about their of their upcoming plans:

  1. Website and New Brochure:  We have updated our website and you can view our housing choices at www.balmoralvillage.ca  
  2. Phase I by Royalton Homes: This initial phase of semi-detached bungalows and bungalow townhomes can be seen on our website Site Plan.  We are excited about the great home designs offered by Royalton Homes.  You can review more details re floor plans and renderings at www.royaltonhomes.com
  3.  Retirement Block:  This Block consists of a 127 Suite Retirement Residence, the Recreation Centre and Clubhouse and a block of 49 one and two bedroom rental apartments.  Footings for the Retirement Block buildings will be going in this month and we expect the rental apartment building will be completed by late Fall of 2016.  The MTCO Seniors Group is building and operating this block and they have extensive experience in the Retirement Segment.
  4. Condominium Block: We have planned this Block to include two five storey buildings with 53 and 56 one and two bedroom condominium units, with underground parking.  We have tentative floor plans for the 53 unit North Building.  The one bedroom units are approximately 900 sq. ft and the two bedroom units 1200 sq. ft.  We will not have information finalized on the condo block for a few months, but you can put a fully refundable reservations deposit on a unit type and floor choice at the Balmoral Sales Centre.
  5.  Medical/Wellness Commercial Centre:  This Block, which is situated parallel to Harbour Street, is planned for 2017.  All the proposed medical services are outlined on our website and in our new brochure.

Based on the number of enquiries I’ve had about this development over the past 18 months, I suspect it will be a big success as it’s the right product at the right time in our marketplace.

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer April 15-21, 2016

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This market summary includes data for Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford. The information was obtained from the MLS® statistics provided by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®. Previous week(s) will in brackets.

Single Family ResidentialMarket Report Icon

New Listings:  65 (57, 29, 49)
Average List Price: $562,855
Range of List Prices: $119,900 – $2,800,000
Number of Sales:  55 (33, 18, 38 )
Range of Sale Prices:  $103,000 – $730,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  9 (13, 7, 8 )
Average List Price:  $301,844
Range of List Prices: $124,900 – $645,000
Number of Sales:  13 (6, 10, 3)
Range of Sale Prices: $132,500 –  $750,000

Vacant Land
New Listings:  18 (7, 6, 34)
Number of Sales: 4 (12, 2, 3)
Range of Sale Prices: $63,500 – $229,000

Price Changes this week: 12

Notables this week:

  • 7 Single Family residences sold for more than their asking prices
  • 5 single family residences sold at their asking prices
  • 1 vacant land  listing sold at it’s asking price
  • 2 condo listings sold for more than their asking prices
  • 1 condo listing sold at it’s asking price

Note: All statistics obtained from the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® Real Estate Board.

How to Use An RRSP to Buy a Home (and maybe get some free money from the government too!)

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WorkingHow to Use An RRSP to Buy a Home (and maybe get some free money from the government too!)

In some cases, this is a great idea and even better, you may get some free money from the government to help! Read on.

How Does It Work? For qualifying home purchases, and if certain conditions are met, you are permitted to withdraw up to $25,000.00 from your RRSP towards your downpayment on a home. Each spouse or common law partner can withdraw this amount under the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) if they are the annuitant, INCLUDING spousal RRSPs. The limit is $25,000 each, or $50,000 in total if you’re purchasing the property together, jointly.

Who Qualifies? First time homebuyers are able to participate in this federal Home Buyers’ Plan. (You are deemed to be eligible as a first-time buyer if during the 4 years previous to the year of withdrawal of the funds from the RRSP, and up to 30 days prior to the withdrawal, neither you nor your spouse nor common-law partner owned a home in which either of you lived.   You must provide a signed agreement to purchase or to build a qualifying home.

Other details: You must pay back the withdrawal from the RRSP over 15 years. The payments start in the second year following the year you take the money out of the RRSP. (If you don’t make the required repayment, an amount must be added to your income in the year of the shortfall.)

The withdrawal remains non-taxable as long as you repay it within the 15 year time period. So, each year, you must repay at least 1/15th of the amount you with withdrew from your RRSP.

Note: You cannot make a withdrawal under this Home Buyers’ Plan within 90 days of a contribution, or your ability to claim a deduction for that contribution may be restricted. So, you should make the RRSP contribution more than 90 days before the date you plan to make the withdrawal. (After 90+ days, your deduction may generate a refund and just think – you could add that to your downpayment, or use the tax refund amount to help with moving expenses.)

Here’s the part about free money. That’s right, tax refund (amount depends on your marginal tax rate!) Let’s say you’ve been saving cash for a downpayment, and you’re not buying for at least 91 days. It may be a good idea to put your downpayment funds into your RRSP, providing you have contribution room to do so, and then withdraw your downpayment through the Home Buyers’ Plan. The advantages are two-fold:

  1. You are making a contribution to an RRSP and will likely receive a tax refund because you did. Just think what that refund could help pay!
  2. You repay 1/15th of the amount you withdrew yearly into your RRSP, resulting in a nest egg at the end of the 15 years, that you might not have had, had you not utilized this HBP.

By the Way, Second Time’s a Charm! Even if you’ve used the HBP before, there are certain situations where you may be able to participate again. You have to have repaid any previous withdrawals in full back into the RRSP before the beginning of the year in which you’re hoping to participate in the HBP again. You must also qualify to be a first-time homebuyer once again.

Things to Consider: 1. Is it the right time to withdraw out of your RRSP (ie. what investments are you currently in/rates, etc) 2. Are you likely to discipline yourself to repay 1/15th of the withdrawal amount to your RRSP each year (note: most on-line banking have ways to set up an automatic payment with a future date…)

As with any tax strategy, you should run your plans by your tax advisor.

 

Update on the ‘Clearview’ Wind Turbine Issue: Mark your Calendars!

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turbine heightThe proposed WPD wind farm has been one of the hottest topics in our area in regard to land use and it was shocking to learn that the government approved these turbines.  The shock is because they are in the flight path of the Collingwood airport which is actually situated in the Township of Clearview.

In my opinion, this is a huge real estate issue and, I don’t believe they will stop at 8 turbines. It’s also a health and safety as well as an economic issue in our area.  Now is the time to fight – not after they are built and here is a good article from a recent edition of the Enterprise-Bulletin explaining local concerns.

Two municipalities and  a non-profit organization are about to join other interested individuals in their fight with the Ontario government over it’s approval of 8 wind turbines.  Taller than the T.D. Tower in Toronto, these wind mills are to be located proximal to 2 aerodromes and would generate 16.4 MW of electricity.

A preliminary hearing date of April 12th 2016 has been set with the province’s Environmental Review Tribunal, to hear for and against arguments for the WPD’s Fairview Wind Project.

The main hearing will be held May 16th, and both hearings will take place at the Collingwood Curling Club starting at 10:00 a.m.

The hearing will review the MOECC’s decision and will consider if the renewable energy project would cause serious harm to the health of humans, or irreversible and serious harm to plant life, animal life or the environment.

If the tribunal decides that the harm will be too great, it can reverse the decision, or direct a change to be made.  If the tribunal decides that harm won’t occur, they will uphold the decision.  By legislation, the tribunal is required to issue a decision no later than August 19, 2016.

If interested, you can sign the petition online.

 

 

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer April 1-7, 2016

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This market summary includes data for Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford. The information was obtained from the MLS® statistics provided by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®. Previous week(s) will in brackets.

Single Family ResidentialMarket Report Icon

New Listings:  57 (29, 49, 55)
Average List Price: $459,619
Range of List Prices: $137,500-$2,200,000
Number of Sales:  33 (18, 38, 34 )
Range of Sale Prices:  $130,000-$1,250,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  13 (7, 8, 19)
Average List Price:  $291,869
Range of List Prices: $104,000-$599,000
Number of Sales:  6 (10, 3, 9)
Range of Sale Prices: $125,000-$415,000

Vacant Land
New Listings:  7 (6, 34, 5)
Number of Sales: 12 (2, 3, 1)
Range of Sale Prices: $16,500-$220,000

Price Changes this week: 23

Notables this week:

  • 4 single family residences sold at their asking prices
  • 2 Single Family residences sold for more than their asking prices
  • 4 vacant land  listings sold at their asking price
  • 1 vacant land listing sold for more than it’s asking price

Note: All statistics obtained from the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® Real Estate Board.

March 2016 Real Estate Report for Collingwood, Blue Mountain and Area

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market snapshot 1

It would be very easy to become confused by the March market statistics that just came out for our local Collingwood and area real estate market. Despite the fact that we all know most areas are experiencing very active sales, multiple offers and rising prices, the stats show that sales last month we actually about the same number as in March 2015 and even the same number as last month in February.  The number of new listings in March were also on par with last year. Odd yes but, there is an explanation.

Sales have been so strong in recent months that the actual number of properties available for sale, is way down. The demand is up but there are simply no properties available in certain areas or price ranges that match the demand. Secondly, many sales are taking place BEFORE they ever land on the MLS® system and these are unaccounted for in these reported stats.

Year-to-date, the number of new residential listings in our area is down 8.5% while the number of sales is up 13.9%.Report by areaLooking at single family residential homes the six key areas of our local market (Clearview, Collingwood, Grey Highlands, Meaford, Town of Blue Mountains and Wasaga Beach), the average sale price of a single family residential home climbed 4.4% from a year ago to $406,668.  The chart below shows the picture in each individual community and you can see that in places like Collingwood and Wasaga Beach, sellers market conditions are among the strongest we’ve ever seen with a sale to list ratio of 66% year-to-date. The surprise once again is Meaford which continues to lag the region with continued buyer’s market conditions in that area.

As always, the majority of sales in our area are under $500,000 with the bulk of those usually being in the $200,000 to $350,000 price band however, as prices climb, so do the sales in various price bands.  Year-to-date, the biggest increase has been seen in sales of properties priced from $300,000 to $400,000.  We have not seen much change in the number of sales in the upper price tier so far this year.

In the condo market, there have been about 99 sales so far this year with an average sale price of $265,300 compared to $248,100 and 98 sales last year.

There are a large number of investors in the market place as well looking to balance their portfolios with either residential or recreational properties that generate positive cash flows.

This is not an easy market for buyers who are anxious to purchase a home in the area, especially a home under $350,000 in Collingwood or Wasaga Beach. There is little choose from, competition is fierce and there is little time to think. Buyers are well advised to get pre-qualified for financing before making offers and, ask their real estate salesperson for strategies to assist them in finding properties and in getting their offers accepted.

Sellers in these same areas have an easier time with fewer days on the market and often competing offers that drive up prices, if they are in demand areas and price ranges. While this is a wonderful position to be in, it can also be stressful in having shortened time frames for dealing with offers and, in choosing one offer over another that may or may not have the right terms, conditions and ability to complete the deal. Again, sellers should ensure they have solid advice from a trusted real estate salesperson to guide them through negotiations.

Please note that data is from the MLS system of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS.

When you need a trusted real estate advisor in the Collingwood area, just call Marg. It’s YOUR move.

The Future of Collingwood’s Hospital

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We have a pretty good hospital in Collingwood. It’s called the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital and it’s name gives you some idea that it has a long history in the town. Like many other facilities in the Province, it is too small, tired and ready to burst at the seams but nonetheless, it’s well equipped with state of the art diagnostics, caring staff and a wide range of services.Sewell presentationThe board has started the process of looking toward the future of the hospital including the need for a new and larger facility.  Where should it go?  What would be in the best interest of the wider region it serves?

John Sewell is a former Mayor of Toronto and is a part-time resident in the Collingwood area.  He will be speaking in Collingwood on April 10th in regard to plans for a new hospital in the Collingwood area.  Does it make sense to locate new hospitals on the edge of town or is it better to keep them within the downtown and in built areas?  This promises to be a lively discussion and if you plan a move to the area or live here already, it would be great to attend.

This is a FREE event to be held at the Simcoe Street Theatre in downtown Collingwood.

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer Mar. 25-31, 2016

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This market summary includes data for Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford. The information was obtained from the MLS® statistics provided by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®. Previous week(s) will in brackets.

Single Family ResidentialMarket Report Icon

New Listings:  29 (49, 55, 45)
Average List Price: $483,320
Range of List Prices: $134,900 – $2,295,000
Number of Sales:  18 (38, 34, 38 )
Range of Sale Prices:  $155,000 – $789,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  7 (8, 19, 11)
Average List Price:  $497,657
Range of List Prices: $120,000 – $1,995,000
Number of Sales:  10 (3, 9, 3)
Range of Sale Prices: $134,900 – $475,000

Vacant Land
New Listings:  6 (34, 5, 12)
Number of Sales: 2 (3, 1, 2)
Range of Sale Prices: $75,000

Price Changes this week: 19

Notables this week:

  • 1 single family residence sold at it’s asking price
  • 3 Single Family residences sold for more than their asking prices
  • 2 condo listings sold at their asking price
  • 1 condo listing sold for more than it’s asking price

Note: All statistics obtained from the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® Real Estate Board.

How to Clean Dirty Window Tracks

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window tracksMy buyer clients know that in addition to my magical smelling powers, I also have an eagle eye for clues that tell us a lot about a home. One of my favourites is grimy and moldy window tracks. Ick. Sometimes, this is merely an indication of inadequate home maintenance but other times, it may be a clue that there is moisture, and therefore potential mold in a home.

We just recently bought an income property and well, let’s say filthy would be a bit of a compliment.  Have you ever heard of it taking over 3 hours to clean one window set and track?  Alas, it is also feeling a bit like an early spring already so you may be thinking about your windows.  Don’t stop at the glass planes.  Do the tracks too.

In regard to simple cleaning, it’s really not that hard and this website will show you an easy way to get it done.

RE/MAX four seasons realty limited, brokerage  ♦  67 First Street Collingwood, ON L9Y 1A2  ♦  705-445-8500