Indigo Estates New Home Development in Collingwood

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Update:  As of January 16th, I’ve just received floor plans and pricing for the freehold townhome units now available for sale.  Contact me for full details.

Having launched sales in November 2016, Indigo Estates by Eden Oak is Collingwood’s latest new home subdivision.  The project is currently in a pre-construction phase with first occupancies expected in June to September 2018. With clients interested in this project, I’ve had a good chance to fully explore the pros and cons but more on that in a moment.

Indigo location

The site is located in the south end of Collingwood near the corner of Hurontario St (County Road 124) and Poplar Sideroad. It’s well located close to schools, parks and is about a 10 minute walk to the downtown core. Upon completion, the site is approved for about 378 units including a mix of single family and town homes.  The first phase of 100 single family homes is now in the sales phase and at the time of writing, is already close to 70% presold.

Indigo site plan

The current phase includes bungalow and two storey, single family homes on a choice of 36’, 46’ or 56’ serviced lots with base house prices ranging from $400,900 to $664,900 and with sizes ranging from 1435 sq ft to 3192 sq ft.  All of the homes in this phase include full, unfinished basements and double car attached garages.  Walk-out basements are available on a limited number of lots for an additional cost and, lots backing onto parkland or the Hamilton Drain trail attract a premium charge.

The plan includes 120 townhomes expected to be released for sale soon.  As Collingwood has a very limited number of freehold townhomes and, as affordability is a key features for home buyers, I would expect these to be very popular if the price points are appropriate to the product.

Marg’s Comments:

  • I think this is a well located project and the developer, Eden Oak, has a successful track record in our area.  Based on sales to date, the project is being well received by the public as close to 70% of homes are already presold.
  • I find it interesting that the best lots, which attract a premium charge, are not sold whereas the lowest priced homes on the smallest lots are the first ones sold out.  This suggests to me that either buyers are being very price conscious or, a large percentage of the buyers are investors planning to either rent out homes or flip them before or after possession.  As with most new home subdivisions, there is generally high resale activity in the first few years following completion for this reason.
  • The choice of locations is important in this development due to the location of the school and main roads. If buyers are sensitive to traffic, there are locations I would consider to be better than others.
  • There are some details in the agreement of purchase and sale that buyers should take specific note of as they can affect the bottom line of dollars they’ll spend on closing.  There are always added and sometimes unexpected additional costs that buyers are responsible for. In some cases, the builder may be willing to negotiate caps on some of those costs if the buyer knows to ask.
  • Since the projected closings are still 18 months out, the builder has not determined all of the construction details and this is perhaps the most challenging aspect of buying in the development at this stage.  Some basic questions such as basement height, size of basement windows, type of hardwood (solid vs engineered), cost of upgrades and specifics on fixtures and finishing couldn’t be answered at this stage.  In other new home developments in the area, these questions can be answered since they are already into the construction stage.

Contact me if you would like to be represented in exploring this development and require more details on options, packages and deposit structure.

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer Jan. 6-12, 2017

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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) in brackets.

Single Family ResidentialMarket Report Icon

New Listings:  9 (13, 11, 13)
Average List Price: $688,922
Range of List Prices: $229,000 – $2,000,000
Number of Sales: 19 (4, 19, 8 )
Range of Sale Prices:  $220,000 – $3,600,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  2 (5, 7, 8 )
Average List Price:  $269,450
Range of List Prices:  $139,000 – $399,900
Number of Sales:  7 (2, 9, 8)
Range of Sale Prices:  $202,000 – $565,000

Vacant Land
New Listings: 6 (4, 5, 5)
Number of Sales: 4 (0, 3, 9)
Range of Sale Prices: $110,000 – $245,000

Price Changes this week:  9

Notables this week:  

  • 2 Single Family residences sold at the asking prices, and 3 sold for more than the asking prices
  • 2 condos sold for more than the asking price
  • one condo had 17 competing offers and sold for 20% more than it’s asking price
  • 1 vacant land listing sold at the asking price

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

How much does an extra bedroom cost you in a condo at Blue?

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Before you decide to buy a unit with an extra bedroom for the kids who come and visit twice a year, you may want to see if it makes financial sense.

Here is a look at the 2016 condo prices In Collingwood and Blue Mountain.  (Good conversation starters at your next Apres Ski soiree too!)  condo-sales

In Collingwood, there were a total of 285 condo sales in 2016:

  • 103 were 3 bedrooms with an average sale price of $337,847;
  • 127 were 2 bedrooms with an average sale price of $227,610;
  • 20 were 1 bedrooms with an average sale price of $155,405; and
  • there were 34 condos with 4 or more bedrooms sold with an average sale price of $450,944.
  • If you’re counting, there is one missing and it was a bachelor at $102,000.

In the Town of The Blue Mountains, there were 188 condo sales in total.  Interestingly, we can divide these sales into “at Blue Mountain” and “not at Blue Mountain.”

  • There were 10 bachelor units sold with average sale price of $143,540, all at Blue Mountain.
  • Of the 36 1 bedrooms sold: 30 were at Blue with an average sale price of $178,000; 6 were “not” and had an average sale price of $141,900.
  • Of the 72 2 bedrooms sold: 53 were at Blue with an average sale price of $284,051; 19 were “not” and had an average sale price of $316,042.
  • Of the 47 3 bedrooms sold: 25 were at Blue with an average sale price of $354,493; 22 were “not” and had an average sale price of $332,676.
  • The remaining units were 23, 4 or more bedroom condos with an average sale price of $503,321, and were not located at Blue.

Planners Series 2016: Town of Collingwood

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Each year, local planners meet with the Membership of our SOUTHERN GEORGIAN BAY ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® to review the past year and tell us about upcoming news for each municipality. For your reading pleasure, here is a summary of the planning presentation from each municipality.

TOWN OF COLLINGWOOD PLANNERS: An update was given by Nancy Farrer, Director of Planning Services, and Mark Bryan, Community Planner.

Developments: a review

  • Silver Glen – finishing up over next 1-2 years, under construction
  • Blue Fairway – 180 Townhouses, 83 homes, under construction
  • Balmoral – 46 singles, 50 towns, 50 apartments plus a retirement home, under construction
  • Shipyards – next phase
  • Linksview Development has been appealed to the OMB (600 units)
  • Riverside Town Homes  and Riverside Mid-rise block – 150 apartments
  • Charleston (across from Mountain Croft) – 233 singles, 86 semis and 87 towns)
  • Mackinaw Village – 28 townhomes
  • McNabb Farm Subdivision (Eden Oak ) (by Lockhart) just going to council

Commercial:

  • Regional Commercial District (under review)
  • French Catholic School – Findlay Drive – under construction (Notre Dame de la Huronie)
  • Georgian Bay Bio Medical, under review

Accessory Apartments: Bylaw 2010-040 (see section 4.40)
Interest in accessory apartments is growing, and is permitted. They are also allowed in semi-detached and townhomes, however the Planner cautioned that attention needs to be paid to driveways re parking.  (For information on accessory buildings use the above link to the Bylaw and go to section 4.31.  For information on accessory apartments, use the above link and go to section 4.40.)

Nancy Farrer spoke about the Provincial Growth Plan – which encourages intensification and smaller dwelling units. The province wants us to be more efficient with the cost of land. They project 33,400 in population by 2031, and the Provincial Growth Plan targets are 50 people/jobs/hectare of land.

Natural Heritage Policies: mapping has been updated, and EP is part of the official plan.

Highlights were given of the Waterfront MasterPlan, which when accepted would include trails, skating rink, and marina.

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer Dec.30/16 to Jan. 5/17

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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) in brackets.

Single Family ResidentialMarket Report Icon

New Listings:  13 (11, 13, 20)
Average List Price: $557,292
Range of List Prices: $194,900 – $1,200,000
Number of Sales: 4 (19, 8, 36)
Range of Sale Prices:  $223,500 – $485,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  5 (7, 8, 9)
Average List Price:  $259,140
Range of List Prices:  $169,900 – $319,000
Number of Sales:  2 (9, 8, 5)
Range of Sale Prices:  $208,983 – $490,000

Vacant Land
New Listings: 4 (5, 5, 3)
Number of Sales: 0 (3, 9, 4)
Range of Sale Prices: $0

Price Changes this week:  3

Notables this week:  

  • 1 Single Family residence sold at the asking price, and 1 sold for more than the asking price

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

What To Expect In The Collingwood – Blue Mountain Real Estate Market for 2017

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crystal ballCan you see my hands shaking and the sweat dripping from my brow?  That’s because it’s the time when I make my predictions for the year ahead and it’s always slightly terrifying to me.  So far, I have a surprisingly accurate track record but was that just dumb luck?

Nonetheless, I’m going to take a deep breath and get started.  As always, I’ve been poring over reports, articles and studies to see what everyone else thinks.  Sadly, there isn’t a great deal of consensus and it ranges from predictions of the greatest real estate crash in history to glowing expectations of a banner year.

Here is What We Do Know:

Real estate prices have been enjoying a pretty steady rise in values since the early 1990’s outside of a small blip in 2008/09.  They have reached a frenzied pace in the last two years. Here are some possible reasons

Economy:  The Ontario economy is healthy and growing, benefits from a low dollar and steady immigration in-flow.  No immediate threats on the horizon.

Demographics: Millennials are moving into their prime home buying years.  This group is one of the largest generations in history and their influence will reshape the economy.

Immigration:  To grapple with the reality of an aging population and to help support economic growth, the government is increasing the number of immigrants allowed into Canada next year to 300,000 and potentially more.

Foreign Investment:  Canada is known around the world as having one of the most stable economic and banking systems.  People moving their money around in international markets feel there is nowhere in the world safer than Canada.  The banking system and legislative controls over financing and banks, combined with our resource rich asset base in this country, make Canada top of the list for foreign investors.

Land Scarcity in Ontario:  Due to the Provincial Places To Grow legislation which protects land belts from future development, builders complain that there is a shortage of land available for development thereby driving prices up

Interest Rates:  rates remain historically low and are expected to continue to stay low in the foreseeable future.  Any increases would be small as a rapid rise in rates would wreak havoc in the economy and there is no political appetite to do so.

Here is What We Don’t Know:

The Trump Effect.  Please don’t ask me to explain.  I think you know that nobody knows what he knows.

Affordability:  Prices climbed very fast in 2016; over 15% in Ontario and 17% in our Southern Georgian Bay area. The profile of the home buyer is changing.  First time buyers are getting shut out of the market. Investors are buying up multi-residential units, GTA migrants make up the bulk of single family home buyers now in the area

Legislative Intervention:  The Feds jumped in last year with policy changes making it harder to qualify for mortgages.  B.C. also brought in a foreign buyers tax.  Ontario doubled the land transfer tax rebate for first time buyers.  In other words, governments are always having a hand in the real estate and banking world.  Somehow I doubt they’ll watch prices continue to soar at the levels we’ve been seeing without further intervention. IN addition, foreign governments may introduce rules that restrict outflows of dollars form their own countries which would impact our real estate markets,

Supply and Demand:  This is the key factor impacting our market.  People don’t want to sell for fear they will not be able to find anything to buy and this has created its own vicious cycle.  With real estate prices soaring, sellers don’t yet see the ceiling and potentially some are also hanging on to see where the market heads later this year.  No matter the reasons, the supply and demand factor will affect our market more than any other factor in 2017.

Impacts in Southern Georgian Bay

No matter what we read about national or provincial trends, real estate is always local.  The market in Vancouver is entirely different than in St. John’s.  For that matter, the market in Collingwood compared to Owen Sound, Barrie or Orangeville – all just one hour away, is also very different.

Our market here is changing:

  • Considering the average wages of the local population and, considering the average house prices, first time buyers are being shut out of the local housing market. With the increased stress on qualifying for a mortgage at the posted rates, buyers are also qualifying for mortgages at a lower amount.  This has increased the competition for low priced homes which have given way to price increases above the norm.  As a result, more people are having to rent but that also means more investors are snapping up lower price d properties and, rents have been climbing almost as fast as the housing market.  This is not sustainable or healthy.  First time buyers will have to start looking at new solutions to afford a home such as lowering expectations, considering other areas than their prime choice, buying properties with built-in income, house sharing, etc.
  • Many of our buyers come from the GTA where home values have soared allowing for early retirement. It appears the common threshold for buyers “downsizing” to our area is about $600,000 and as a result, homes up to this price level have been scarce and often sell with competing offers if they appeal to this demographic.  Homes with main floor master bedrooms, full basements and double car garages in good neighbourhoods are top of the heap.
  • We’ve seen real growth in the upper tier of the market. The top 10% of the market in this area starts at about $650,000 and the top 1% at about $1.6m.  Sales over $1m grew 71% last year and for the first time, we had 2 residential sales in the region topping $3m. As the wealthy retire or, as they seek a vacation playground, the Southern Georgian Bay region has become THE place to be in Ontario.

Marg’s Predictions:

I don’t see any significant economic or regulatory changes on the horizon that should impact the market over the first half of 2017 or even beyond.  What I do see happening is the continued Seller’s market with a shortage of properties for sale which will mean two things:  The number of sales will actually decline in 2017 over last year merely because there is nothing to buy and, prices will climb a minimum of 6% for the same reason.  I expect we’ll see a run up in prices similar to 2016 over the next six months but by the latter half of 2017, we may start to see buyer fatigue and pull back resulting in a stabilization of prices and potentially some balance in the market. Any benefit to buyers may be offset by a slight rise in interest rates later in the year.  I expect to see further government policy intervention in an attempt to cool the market.

So there you have my two cents.  What do you think?  I’d love for you to share your thoughts here on the blog.

2016 Year-end Real Estate Market Report for Collingwood, Blue Mountain and Area

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As predicted, 2016 proved to be another record-setting year in the Southern Georgian Bay Western region. The number of MLS® sales of all kinds were up 15% over the previous year, the dollar volume was up by 29%, the number of new listings was down by 9% and the year ended with a striking shortage of properties for sale.

I pulled out the stats specifically for the six key areas of our region including Clearview, Collingwood, Grey Highlands, Meaford, Town of the Blue Mountains and Wasaga Beach. This chart shows the detail for single family homes which rose an average of 17% in 2016.  Look at the number of homes for sale at the end of the year.  It’s the story of the year which will continue through 2017:  an extreme shortage of properties for sale.

market-statistical-report

Here is a chart showing the price ranges of the properties sold.  This includes all types of properties (homes, condos, vacant land, farms, commercial).  You’ll note that 90% of all sales are under $650,000 or so.  In fact, more than 80% of all sales are under $500,000.

price-bands

Condominiums:

The number of condos sold in the area climbed last year by just over 14% with the prices up by 9.6% to an average of $284,956.  As of January 1, there were only 74 condos for sale in the area.

Highs and Lows

  • The lowest single family sale in 2016 was a 540 square foot cottage in east Collingwood that sold for $73,000.
  • The lowest priced condo sale was a 400 square foot unit in Meaford that went for $49,500.
  • The highest priced single family home sale was $3.945m for a 7,000 square foot, custom waterfront home in the Town of the Blue Mountains.
  • The highest priced condo sold was a 2,100 square foot, 3 bedroom waterfront unit in Lighthouse Point that went out for $1.1m.

Predictions

As always, I’m working on my predictions for 2017 and these will be posted in the next day or two.

Note:  All data obtained from the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® MLS®

How Interest Rates and Local House Prices Dance Together

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I was taking a look at something my friend Chuck Charlton posted over at Milton Daily Homes about the correlation between interest rates and home prices.  It got me curious about our area here in and around Collingwood and sure enough, the pattern, while not as pronounced, is the same.

rates-vs-prices

In 2016, prices in our local area have climbed on average, over $200.00 a day.  The prolonged period of low rates has led to steady increases in house prices.  That would suggest that as rates begin to climb, we may see more balanced conditions ahead with prices climbing more in line with economic growth versus interest rates.  Interesting times lay ahead.

 

Holiday Fun in Collingwood

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If you’re looking for some activities to enjoy around Collingwood this holiday season, you may want to venture downtown between Christmas and New Year’s.

From December 27 – January 1st, the Frozen In Time Ice Sculpture Festival takes place in our historic downtown with ice sculptures that capture the Town’s history.  Ice carving demonstrations and battles take place and the end results are always spectacular.

Other downtown events include street hockey, a winter wonderland village, wagon rides and more as you can see below.

frozen-in-time

 

Now You Can Get Around South Georgian Bay Easier Without a Car

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clearview-transit

The Clearview Transit system is now a reality and by partnering with neighboring communities such as Collingwood and Wasaga Beach, it’s now easier to get around South Georgian Bay without a car.

Launched on November 21, 2016, the Clearview bus will operate seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. running from Stayner to Wasaga Beach where riders can catch a connecting link to Collingwood as well. The fare is $2.00 and full details can be found at www.clearview.ca/transit.

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